St Mary s Catholic Primary School Religious Education Policy

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1 St Mary s Catholic Primary School Religious Education Policy Introduction The message of the Gospel is central to our school: it is essential to our view of education and underlies all we do. We recognise that the children in our care may be at different stages in their faith journey and we aim to help each child discover God through their life experiences, to come to know, love, and serve Him; to develop a personal relationship with God in their daily lives. Aims and Objectives of Religious Education 1 To present engagingly a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith; 2 To enable pupils continually to deepen their religious and theological understanding and be able to communicate this effectively; 3 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; 4 To raise pupils awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them; 5 To develop the critical faculties of pupils so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life; 6 To stimulate pupils imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith; 7 To enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum; 8 To bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life, and between faith and culture. At St. Mary s we place great emphasis on our Religious Education (RE) programme and it is the central strand running through the life of the school. We aim to: Foster in each child a loving and trusting relationship with God and with Jesus His Son through the actions of the Holy Spirit. Bring each child to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the religious and spiritual dimensions of life. Bring each child to a deeper understanding of the Catholic Faith and its relevance to everyday life. Deepen each child s personal faith, commitment and sense of awe and wonder. Encourage respect for the beliefs and feelings of others, including those of other faiths. 1

2 Be prepared to give living witness to what they teach; Fulfil our professional responsibilities with regard to all that develops and enhances the life of the Catholic school; Plan and teach schemes of work that are engaging and accessible so that all pupils may progress appropriately in their knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith; we follow the Come and See scheme Have high expectations of all our pupils; Ensure that 10% of the curriculum is devoted to Religious Education; Ensure that Religious Education contributes positively to the broad and balanced curriculum of a Catholic school through cooperation and dialogue with other subjects; Take care continually to deepen our own knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith; Take seriously the duty of every Catholic to form his or her conscience; Be given opportunities for our own spiritual and professional development as Catholic educators. In order to facilitate the above our teaching involves: Study of sacred writings and the historical and social context in which they were produced. Study of the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church. Study of the Saints in order to make the children aware of, and encourage them to benefit from, the example of great Christian figures. Applying a Catholic perspective to everyday life and the development of values, social awareness and a caring and Christian outlook. Participation in the liturgical life of the school, including an act of daily worship. Forging links with the parish community. The Religious Education Curriculum Process for delivery of R.E. The Religious Education Scheme we follow is Come and See. Religious Education is taught through the process of Explore, Reveal, Respond. This takes account of what to believe entails : the human search for meaning, God s initiative in Revelation and the individual s response in faith. Each term, a short unit is taught on another world religion; currently they are: Judaism; Islam; Hinduism Teaching and Learning Teaching and learning strategies from across the curriculum can be appropriately adapted appropriately to inspire the learning needs of pupils. 2

3 Inclusion All pupils have the right to have access to a differentiated Religious Education. Assessment Assessment of standards is carried out according to Diocesan guidelines using the criteria set out in Levels of Attainment in RE agreed by Bishops Conference. The time allocation for specific religious education is 10% of the taught week in each key stage, in accordance with the guidelines from the Bishops of England and Wales. Cross-curricular links As religious education is an integral part of school life, RE incorporates other curriculum areas. Aspects of PSHE, sex and relationship education, spiritual development and moral education are catered for through the RE programme (see Sex and Relationship and PSHE policies). RE is also made crosscurricular through a number of themed enrichment weeks throughout the school year. Liturgy within the School Liturgy in all its forms - prayer, the celebration of the Mass, reconciliation and alternative forms of liturgy - are vital to the everyday life of the school. Children, staff and parents (where space and time permit) are encouraged to take an active part in the spiritual life of the school. There is a well-established pattern to our life of praise. Prayer Prayer is fundamental to our relationship with God. We provide our children with opportunities to pray formally and spontaneously and to think and reflect, because it is in times of quiet reflection that we often hear that still small voice within. Each day begins and ends with classroom prayers and each classroom has a religion table a focal point for shared devotion and a visible symbol of God s presence throughout the school. A number of prayers are explored in school. These include: The Sign of the Cross The Our Father Grace Before Meals Glory be Morning Prayer Evening Prayer Grace After Meals The Hail Mary 3

4 The Eucharist The celebration of Mass is central to our lives and an integral part of the life of our school community. We are fortunate that our parish priest is generous with his time and we are establishing greater contact with him. We follow the Liturgical Calendar and Diocesan directory with a pattern of Mass celebration as follows: Whole School Masses Other Masses * Our School Feast Day * Class Masses on a rota basis for all Years R-6. * Holy Days of Obligation falling * A Year 6 Mass at the end of within the school year the Summer Term Parents and friends are invited to Masses. Reconciliation At present preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation does not take place in school. However the school is in close liaison with the Catechists and follows up key points of preparation within Year 3 RE lessons. The intention is to harmonise the RE study programmes within the school and so reinforce and enrich each child s spiritual development. Alternative Liturgy We recognise that there are many ways in which we can express our love for God and many ways in which we can bring our lives and work before God. Children, like adults, vary enormously in the ways in which they reach out to God. We try to present, develop and explore the Gospel in a variety of ways: We encourage children to be innovative in the use of spontaneous prayer and to organise prayer sessions. Our children prepare an Easter service/play as part of their sacramental preparation. We start the month of May with a special service for Our Lady that includes the crowning of her statue. Parts of the Rosary are said in class, dependent upon the age of the children. Prayers to Our Lady are written out and added to a May is the month of Our Lady display. At Pentecost we celebrate the birthday of the church. We have a Harvest service in the Autumn term which focuses on a different charity every year. 4

5 In November the children are encouraged to pray for the deceased and enter names in a book of remembrance All Saints/All Souls. We have Christmas celebrations, some of which are of a religious nature. These include: Nursery Nativity A Key Stage One Nativity A Key Stage Two Carol Service On occasion, special visitors are invited in to lead assemblies e.g. Cafod representatives, guest speakers relating to enrichment weeks etc. Links with the Parish The school is keen to develop and strengthen its links with the local parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Tilbury; events could include: joint parish and school Masses; services of Reconciliation in the parish church and visits to the school by the Parish Priest. First Communion Our First Communion course is Parish-based with catechists drawn from the congregation. We do all we can to support and reinforce the work of the First Communion Programme by ensuring that beliefs are taught and lived in school. The role of the RE Co-ordinator To lead staff in the implementation of Religious Education as the focal point of the school s mission statement. To co-ordinate the development, monitoring and evaluation of the Religious Education programme. To keep abreast of current developments in the teaching of Religious Education, by attending in-service training which may be provided, nationally, with the Diocese, or by the Local Education authority. To review current policy, and to ensure up-dating when necessary. To organise the selection, ordering, cataloguing, and storing of appropriate resources throughout the school. To consider appropriate assessment criteria in consultation with the Headteacher and staff. To co-ordinate liturgies which are an integral part of the Religious Education curriculum. To co-ordinate the use of display within school and the Church community in order to reflect the Catholic character of the school. To monitor, throughout regular contact with staff, the R.E. throughout the school. This, ideally, will include working alongside teachers in the classroom. 5

6 To establish an R.E. portfolio to assess continuity, differentiation and standards throughout the school. In Service Training The cascade method of disseminating information is employed following attendance at relevant courses. It is our intention to arrange further such school-based staff training activities in accordance with our School Development Plan. Staff have opportunities for prayer and personal growth and development. Participation in the C.C.R.S. programme is encouraged and financially supported. All Teachers are encouraged to secure this qualification in R.E. It is expected that the R.E. Co-ordinator and all aspiring to Senior Leadership in Catholic schools will obtain this. Resources Each member of staff has a copy of the Come and See scheme. In addition, there is a range of support material available on the Come and See website. Equal Opportunities At St. Mary s we do not tolerate discrimination in any way. We strive to create an environment free of unfairness and prejudice. Both boys and girls serve Mass and everyone has the opportunity to take part in masses, liturgies and assemblies. Gifted and Talented If a child is believed to be Gifted and Talented in a specific subject the child s teacher will begin the identification. The class teacher will evaluate the child against identified criteria. The identification criteria are located within the Gifted and Talented files in each classroom and the criteria taken from the National Curriculum. A child can be identified as Gifted and Talented in one or a number of subject areas. Once a child has been identified as Gifted and Talented their details will be passed to the named Gifted and Talented Coordinator and the child will be placed on the register. Provision Provision for Gifted and Talented children is made firstly by the class teacher through differentiated planning within the specific subjects that the child excels in. Provision will also be extended through extra-curricular clubs after school and holiday clubs. Details and arrangements of these clubs and activities will come from the Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator. 6

7 Monitoring The monitoring of Gifted and Talented provision will take place through planning scrutiny on a termly basis. There are also termly meetings with the Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator and each child on the Gifted and Talented register to set targets and discuss progress in specific areas. Details of these meetings are collated and included in the Monitoring Return Form which is sent to the Cluster for analysis. Race Equality and Equal Opportunities All children have equal access to the curriculum regardless of their gender, disability or ability. We plan work that is differentiated for the performance of all groups and individuals and are committed to creating a positive climate that will enable everyone to work free from racial intimidation and harassment to achieve their potential. The person responsible for the R.E. Policy is Date of review: September 2015 Date of next review: September

8 St. Mary s Catholic Primary School Collective Worship Prayer Timetable Monday am Whole School Assembly Tuesday am Key Stage 1 Assembly Wednesday am Whole School Singing Practice Thursday am Key Stage 2 Assembly Friday am Whole School Assembly Celebration Class Prayers 4 agreed School daily prayers: 9am 12.15pm 1.20pm 3.10pm Morning Prayer Grace Before Meals Grace After Meals Home-time Prayer The staff also encourage and say spontaneous prayers with their classes and as a staff. All formal meetings start with a prayer or a reflection and have a prayer focus. Staff should be encouraged to learn prayers linked with Our Lady who is our patron saint; prayers include: the Regina Caeli ( said at lunchtime during Lent); Hail Star of the Sea; Queen of Heaven ( see appendix). Class Prayers Some Suggestions Each class must have one class prayer session in the week s timetable. Class prayers should be a focused and reflective time that has been planned and prepared in advance. The session could include the use of: Music Candles Bible readings, reflective stories, stories about inspirational people, stories from own experience. 8

9 Guided meditation Drama Art / reflection on a religious painting (see poster cupboard in KS1 hall) Video Poems Rosary Children should be fully involved in the session, participating to the best of their ability. You could consider asking small groups of children to prepare the session each week for the rest of the class. Begin by asking for volunteers and soon hopefully every child will want to take a turn. All children should be encourage to participate in the preparation. Children will need to be given time to prepare their session. You may wish to give them a couple of guided reading times (or other suitable times) to organise themselves. A class prayer session should include: The Sign Of The Cross A Bible story of a story to reflect on A prayer to say together Bidding prayers/intentions A class prayer session could include: Any of the ideas listed above. Encourage the children to be creative and to bring their own ideas, perhaps sharing ways they pray together at home. As they develop in confidence children will begin to broaden their ideas and include a wider range of activities. Children will undoubtedly be nervous during their first attempts. Encourage and support them so that they well develop confidence in public presentation. You will need to provide resource material which they can work from but allow them to use their own ideas/books/music as well. There are many resources on the staff shelves. Help yourself but remember to return them and to alter then if necessary to make them accessible to your particular age group. RE Assessment at St. Mary s It is an ongoing process that all good teachers make professional informed judgements about the learning in the classroom. Assessment in RE may seem daunting but it doesn t have to be Assessment should not be an add on activity but should be a part of the regular unit programme. Consider the types of activities/questions which offer assessment opportunities. The activities outlined in The Teacher s Guide are suggestions only and staff can use any other idea that fits the criteria. At the end of each unit, students are required to complete a self-assessment booklet and teachers are required to assess students against the levels achieved 9

10 within the Attainment Targets (ATs) on the assessment grids supplied by the RE Leader. Copies of the assessment results for each unit should be given to the RE Leader by each teacher for monitoring purposes. You may also wish to assess skills the children use. Investigation asking questions/observing/listening/data gathering/finding evidence Interpretation categorising, interpreting signs and symbols, reflecting on own experience, seeing other points of view. Communication - presenting information, expressing themselves through art/writing, know religious language, use imagination/role play. Critical Skills form and express reasoned opinions, assess arguments, make connections between life and faith. Affective and social skills work in a group, relate to others, exercise empathy, accommodate cultural & faith differences, awareness of global issues. Evaluating skills make reasoned value judgements, responsible choices, distinguish between rules and principles, opinions and beliefs. Do we have a Catholic Ethos? Our aim is to promote a Christian ethos within the school which encourages an atmosphere of love, respect and understanding through prayer, worship and action. The School Mission statement is reviewed annually, and, in Autumn 2014, it was abbreviated to Respect ourselves, Respect others, Respect our school, Love God to make it more memorable for our students. Check list a. To offer quality opportunities for prayers, formal and informal, and reflections; within classrooms and the school community gatherings. b. To have prominent religious displays in classrooms and entrance hall. c. To have special prominent displays to proclaim the principle feasts of the Church s year eg. Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter Pentecost etc. d. To hold regular school and class Masses and special themed assemblies. e. To hold various, regular, child-led activities to collect for charity. f. To have assemblies, agreed at the beginning of the year to ensure a time balance, that give opportunities for moral development. g. To encourage lively and, when appropriate, reflective hymn singing. 10

11 h. To ensure that Scripture is used, and is seen to be used, in the school. (both in assemblies and in the wall displays) i. To provide, in Lent and Advent, services of Reconciliation that are child friendly active and relevant. j. To invite in visitors from organisation like CAFOD, Red Cross, Hospices, other World Faiths etc. to widen pupils window on the world. (Make displays for all the see about these visits). k. To keep the classroom prayer focus table (altars/prayers corners) fresh and appealing. 11

12 Morning Prayer Father in heaven you love me. You are with me night and day. I want to love you always, in all I do and say. I ll try to please you, Father. Bless me through the day. Amen. 12

13 Grace Before Meals Bless us, O God as we sit together. Bless the food we eat today. Bless the hands that made the food. Bless us, O God. Amen 13

14 Grace After Meals Thank you, God for the food we have eaten. Thank you, God for all our friends. Thank you, God for, everything. Amen. 14

15 Hometime Prayer Oh my God I come to say, thank you for your love today. Thank you for my family and all the friends you give to me. Guard me in the dark of night and in the morning send your light. Amen. 15

16 School Prayer Lord Jesus, I give you my hands to do your work I give you my feet to go on your way I give you my eyes to see as you do I give you my tongue to speak your words I give you my mind that you may think in mine I give you my spirit that you my pray in me Above all, I give you my heart that you may love in me, your father, and all mankind I give you my whole self that you may grow in me, so that it is you, Lord Jesus, who live and work and pray in me. Amen. 16

17 Hail Star of the Sea Hail, O Star of the ocean, God's own Mother blest, ever sinless Virgin, gate of heav'nly rest. Taking that sweet Ave, which from Gabriel came, peace confirm within us, changing Eve's name. Break the sinners' fetters, make our blindness day, chase all evils from us, for all blessings pray. Show thyself a Mother, may the Word divine born for us thine Infant hear our prayers through thine. Virgin all excelling, mildest of the mild, free from guilt preserve us meek and undefiled. Keep our life all spotless, make our way secure till we find in Jesus, joy for evermore. Praise to God the Father, honour to the Son, in the Holy Spirit, be the glory one. Amen. 17

18 The Regina Caeli V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary... V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, R. Be it done unto me according to your word. Hail Mary... V. And the Word was made flesh, R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary... V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, your Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 18

19 Hail, Holy Queen Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus; O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen 19

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