At St. Joseph’s, our RE curriculum underpins all aspects of life at our school and is a fundamental part of everything we do. Along with liturgy and prayer, the RE curriculum is the foundation on which the school’s spiritual and moral growth is built. All those who learn and work at St. Joseph's School are valued and the teaching of our faith reflects this. We also see our faith as the building blocks of our home/school links. At St. Joseph's, home, school and parish are linked through our Masses and charitable works.
As a school, we follow the Archdiocese of Birmingham’s Curriculum Strategy for Religious Education in Catholic Schools called “Learning and Growing as People of God” (see PDF documents below) and RE is allocated 10% of curriculum time in line with the expectations of the Archdiocese.
The strategy clearly lays out the steps to be taken in RE at each stage of the Primary Years to nurture the children’s seeds of faith and we then adapt these ideas to ensure that our pupils receive well-rounded and engaging RE lessons. As part of the strategy, the children learn about what it is to live as Christians today, how the Church is organised from global to parish level and the opportunities that exist for them to participate in the life of the Church. Throughout the year, the children also learn about the Liturgical Seasons and different types of prayers.
We assess the children regularly using the national and diocesan assessment. Each RE Unit has a Unit Marker that is completed at the start of the unit to show prior knowledge and again at the end of the unit to show what has been learned.
Religious Education at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School strives to:
- Nurture children’s faith;
- Promote - in a gradual way - their understanding and appreciation of Catholic teaching and practice;
- Develop their involvement with the Church Community;
- Develop their ability to show care for others;
- Foster pupils’ religious, spiritual and moral development;
- Develop the skills required to be able to examine and reflect on religious belief and practice, including those from other faiths and cultures;
- Enable pupils to develop their mortal qualities harmoniously, in order for them to become responsible and caring members of society; and
- Develop a sense of awe and wonder.
(Article 14: You have the right to choose your own religion and beliefs.
Article 30: You have the right to practice your own culture, language and religion - or any you choose.)
Prayer, Liturgy and Sacramental Preparations
There are daily acts of prayer and liturgy for all children that is suited to their age and stage of personal, social and religious development. Children are involved as much as possible in leading school prayers. The parish priest, Fr Michael Ho, helps the children to appreciate and participate in the liturgy of the Church. During the school term, the children take part in the celebration of the Mass either in church or in the school hall. Feast Days are celebrated with special services in which pupils participate. Parents are very welcome to join us on these occasions. When the children are in Year 3, they prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. The school welcomes the support of the parents at this time in their spiritual lives. In Year 6, the children prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Throughout this involvement, we aim to deepen the faith of the whole family at these important stages in a child’s life.
Parents have a statutory right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and worship. It is not expected that parents seeking a place in a Catholic School would wish to exercise this option. In many instances, it would be very difficult to identify a specifically “Religious” element in a topic or theme as Catholic philosophy underpins so much of our everyday work. Any parents considering withdrawing their children from this area of the curriculum should put their requests in writing to the Principal. They are very strongly urged to discuss the matter with the Principal in advance of any such decision.