Religious Education is central to the curriculum at St Joseph’s and is at the heart of the philosophy of Catholic education. The primary purpose of Catholic Religious Education is to come to know and understand God’s revelation which is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. In addition, it teaches about our faith in the context of a school which proclaims the Gospel and invites the individual to respond to the message of Christ.
Religious Education is concerned not only with intellectual knowledge but also includes emotional and affective learning. At St Joseph’s, we will develop the pupils’ moral formation, religious education, personal and social responsibility and other civic virtues which are important contributions to the development of the Common Good. In addition, we aim to embed a relationship of love between child and God and between the child and other people in a community. Religious Education fosters this relationship through daily prayer, collective acts of worship and celebrations of liturgy. As a Catholic school we feel it is important that children learn how to co-operate with others, respect others and forgive others. Scripture, teachings of the Church and the teachers’ own witness and example are means by which these are taught. We work closely with our parishes to prepare liturgies and sacraments and we value the partnership between home, school and parish and the wider community.
10% of curriculum time is devoted to the teaching of Religious Education which is separate from times of prayer and collective worship. The pupils receive 2.5 hours a week of taught RE in Foundation 2 to Year 6 and 1.5 hours for our Foundation 1 pupils.
At St Joseph’s we use a number of schemes of work in order to meet the requirements of the Bishop’s Conference and the Curriculum Directory for Religious Education, which sets forth the expectations for what should be covered by Religious Education teaching in Catholic Schools in England and Wales. Children are assessed in RE through our use of the Diocese of Westminster’s Agreed Understandings of the Levels of Attainment for Religious Education.
The Aims of Religious Education
- To present engagingly a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith.
- To enable pupils continually to deepen their religious and theological understanding and be able to communicate this effectively.
- To present an authentic vision of the Church’s moral and social teaching so that pupils can make a critique of the underlying trends in contemporary culture and society.
- To raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them.
- To develop the critical faculties of pupils so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life.
- To stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith.
- To enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum.
- To bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life, and between faith and culture.