Aims and Purpose
Religious Education-Statement of Intent
“…Religious Education is not one subject among many but the foundation of the entire educational process. The beliefs and values it communicates should inspire and unite every aspect of school life. It should provide the context for and substantially shape the school curriculum and offer living experience of the life and faith in its practical experience”.
(Statement by the Bishops of England and Wales – 1988)
As a Catholic Primary School, Sacred Heart RC Primary and Nursery School is committed to the Catholic faith. We acknowledge that our faith is the cornerstone to our curriculum and aim to provide our pupils with a broad, balanced curriculum which is underpinned by our Mission Statement, ‘Let the love of Christ show in all that we do.’ We recognise all children as individuals who are unique and built in the image of God. We believe that RE teaching should promote awe and wonder and stimulate children to ask ‘Big questions’ about the world in which they live. Our Religious Education curriculum leads our children to aspire not to have more, but to be more; children are taught about God’s love; they learn about their Christian responsibilities; children are provided with experiences of church, Catholic and Christian traditions, as well as being taught to be respectful and understanding of people and traditions from other faith backgrounds. Through Religious Education our children learn about their unique place within the home, school and parish community.
At Sacred Heart RC Primary and Nursery School we follow the ‘Come and See’ Religious Education Programme in line with guidance from the Diocese of Salford. This programme is followed throughout school from Nursery through to Year 6.
This programme provides:
- Opportunities for celebration, prayer and reflection in implicit and explicit ways.
- children with the language of religious experience - a 'literacy' in religious activities, places, stories, symbols and rituals, people and objects.
- A 'systematic presentation of Christian event, message and way of life' in ways appropriate to the age and stage of development of the child.
- That for its implementation and production it requires the adults involved to understand the underlying theological as well as educational principles.
- Appropriate materials about other faiths.
- Academic respectability as in other curricular areas – utilising appropriate stages from the National Curriculum.
The programme explores the religious dimensions of questions about life, dignity and purpose within the Catholic tradition. Links are made with the children's own experience and with universal experience. It will raise questions and provide material for reflection by the children on their own experiences. It will enable them to explore the beliefs, values and way of life of the Catholic tradition and where appropriate other faith traditions.
Overview of Content
'Come and See' is taught through a series of 9 topics exploring:
- Community of faith – Church
- Celebration in ritual – Sacraments
- Way of life – Christian Living
Other faith traditions are also explored through discreet topics.
The process for delivering the topics in 'Come and See' has three stages - Explore, Reveal and Respond which enable the pupils with the development of knowledge, understanding, skills and the fostering of attitudes.
10% of teaching time is dedicated to the teaching of RE.
Search – Explore (1 week) this is the introduction to the topic where the children's life experience is explored, the questions it raises are wondered at, shared, investigated and their significance reflected on.
Revelation – Reveal (usually 2 weeks) this is the heart of the programme where knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith is revealed through the Word, in Scripture, Tradition, doctrine, prayers, rites and Christian living.
Response – Respond (1 week) this is where the learning is assimilated, celebrated and responded to in daily life. This reflective work is collated in the class Respond scrapbooks which travel up through the school with each class.
Other Faiths and Religions
Other world faiths including Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism are taught across the school as part of the RE curriculum and Whole School Interfaith Weeks are planned each term– the religion focus is carefully selected with consideration given to the most relevant and appropriate in light of each class and current local, national or world-wide events. We visit places of worship during each Key Stage and invite visitors into school to enhance the pupils’ experiences, knowledge and understanding.
Ongoing informal assessment against the Standard Indicators and Formal Assessment Tasks are used to inform planning and to identify areas for focus and support. Assessment is moderated internally and externally within cluster meetings.
The 5 W’s Framework
Our approach to developing the children’s understanding of their Catholic Faith is rooted in the 5W's of the Salford Diocese Framework for Review, Evaluation and Celebration.
Our 5Ws are:
Welcome – At Sacred Heart RC Primary and Nursery School we provide a warm and welcoming environment for all our children, families, staff, governors and visitors.
Word – We grow to understand our Catholic Faith through high quality lessons and experiences so that we know what the true meaning of a Catholic Life is. We value the teachings of Jesus and we are faithful to His word.
Worship – Christ is at the heart of all we do. We pray and reflect together in many different ways to show our love and devotion to God and celebrate the spirituality of our community.
Welfare – The children and staff are caring and supportive, not just of one another, but of others in our society both close to home and across the World through our actions and by teaching them about love, forgiveness and kindness.
Witness – We strive to act like Jesus would wherever we go and with whoever we are with. We do not just learn about our faith, we live out its principles in the way we treat each other and though other projects to ensure that we are acting out the Gospel values through our lives and becoming true missionary disciples.
These five areas cover all aspects of what it means to be a true follower of Christ. Through these, Sacred Heart RC Primary and Nursery School pupils are taught how to live a life rooted in Catholic values so that they go out into the word as beacons of Christ’s teachings.