Religious Education at St Richard Reynolds is an academic discipline, which includes learning about and learning from religion. It is at the core of the curriculum and helps fulfil the mission to educate the whole child, encouraging them to make links between the teaching and traditions of the Catholic faith and their everyday actions and decisions. In Religious Education lessons and the Catholic life of the school, we teach our children to know and understand the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church so that they may know God and themselves better. Religious Education is taught through individual lessons but is also integrated throughout the curriculum. We aim to challenge and inspire pupils to become religiously literate by giving them opportunities to put their faith in action.
The outcomes of Religious Education are religiously literate young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to think spiritually, ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life.
[From the Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools]
The ‘Come and See’ programme is used as a foundation for planning from EYFS through to KS2 and is progressive. Through collaboration with other local Catholic Primary schools this has been supplemented and planning frameworks have been created to more closely link with the new age related standards. These standards see a rise in expectation, knowledge and skills at each key stage. Within the academic year, two other faiths are taught allowing pupils to “think and speak respectfully of other religions and their followers, and to learn” (Pope Francis, 08/2013).
The pattern of learning through each key stage is guided by the structure of the programme and informs the process of each topic, opened up through Explore, Reveal and then Respond. As the learning is progressive, each year pupils have the opportunity to build on their previous learning of the development of the three themes, namely:
- Church (community of faith)
- Sacraments (celebration in ritual)
- Christian living (way of life)
Each year group firstly learns through Explore, which is the introduction to the topic where their life experience is explored, the questions it raises are wondered at, shared, investigated and their significance reflected upon. Pupils are also presented with a ‘Big question’ which they build knowledge and understanding of during the course of the topic. Next is Reveal. This is the heart of the programme where knowledge of the Catholic faith is revealed and pupils can link their learning through the Word, in Scripture, Tradition, doctrine, prayers, rites and Christian living. Lastly, in Respond, children are able to bring their learning together, to assimilate and then celebrate and respond to what they have learnt, and reflect upon and consider the Christian message in all its richness, in that experience of learning. The scheme follows the Liturgical year, so pupils learn about the Church’s major feasts and celebrations, as well as the Sacraments, the Old and New Testament and the many aspects of prayer.
Additional topics have been integrated with pupils learning about the Life of St Richard Reynolds, our college mission, our house saints and other key figures in the history of God at the beginning of each year. The topics are linked succinctly to the Religious Education Curriculum Directory and the Age-Related Standards across the phases. There is also a programme of visits to places of worship across the phases and visitors to school to enhance the RE curriculum.
All Catholic schools are subject to a Diocesan inspection at least every five years. These inspections will be carried out by Diocesan inspectors appointed by the Bishop in which the Diocese school is situated.