Religious Education - Curriculum
"For all pupils, Religious Education is a proper subject in its own right in the school’s curriculum. It is a rigorous academic discipline.... For those already engaged in the journey of faith, religious education will be catechesis, and for some children and young people religious education will be evangelization, the first opportunity to hear the good news of the Gospel.”
Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools (Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales 1996)
As a Catholic Community, our belief in God provides the foundations for everything that we do at St Helen’s Catholic Primary School. Religious Education is a fostering of each child’s relationship with God and one another. This begins at Baptism and is continued at home as well as at Church and School.
The school is currently using The Way, the Truth and the Life scheme of work. Through our Religious Education Programme, we aim to explore the dignity and purpose of the religious dimension of life, within the Catholic tradition. Links are made with the children’s own experience and the universal experience. Children are also encouraged to explore links with other faiths and traditions and visits to places of worship for children in Key Stage 1 and 2 are encouraged. Scripture plays an important part in the Religious Education Programme and connections are made between the readings and the children’s lives.
We recognise the important role of the parent in the Religious Education of all children. As the Catholic Bishop’s Conference Statement on Religious Education in Catholic Schools May 2000 states:
“The first educators in the faith are parents. It is they, above all others, who establish in their child the first sensitivity and responsiveness to the presence of God, to the practice of prayer and to the patterns of life in the community of faith, the parish. By their example in the home and in participation in the Mass and the other sacraments, the foundations of life-long faith and discipleship in their children are laid down.”
Thus, parents are fully informed of the school’s approach to teaching Religious Education and are provided with ideas to support home learning through individual year group Religious Education Information booklets.
Religious Education Curriculum Planning (2023-2024)
Religious Education - Spiritual Development
At St Helen’s Catholic Primary School we believe that creating an atmosphere for spiritual growth is at the centre of all our teaching. Our children are encouraged to pray, reflect, contemplate and make links with their own experiences and religion on a daily basis.
Prayer plays an important part in the life of the school. The classroom environments promote prayer and reflection by including a prayer focus with current liturgical icons, artefacts, symbols and prayers. These are used for daily worship. In all classroom environments, ‘stillness’ is encouraged at certain points of the day for communicating with God. Traditional prayers are taught throughout the year groups. The whole school spend approximately 10-15 minutes a day in prayer or worship. This is done through collective worship, assemblies, guided meditations or services led by other classes or teachers. During the year, our whole school gathers together as a school family to celebrate Mass.
As a school community, we pray individually and collectively. On Holy Days of Obligation, Mass is celebrated at Our Lady of the Rosary Church. There is a programme of liturgical celebrations in school which follows the Church’s year. The communication between home, school and our Parish is valued and encouraged. Parents are actively encouraged to attend celebrations that take place in the school: Mass, Liturgies or weekly prayer assemblies During Advent and Lent, a service of Reconciliation is organised for Years 4, 5, and 6. There is an opportunity for Confession.