Our Catholic Religious Education Curriculum
At St. Edward’s Catholic Primary School, it is our duty to see our mission and vision embedded across the RE curriculum, and the whole wider curriculum beyond. This sits alongside the Gospel Values which are inextricably linked through everything we teach.
As a Catholic school, the RE curriculum is central to the whole school curriculum and underpins all teaching. It is a core subject and we follow the ‘Learning and Growing as the People of God’ scheme of work with timetabled collective worship and daily lessons
It is also our intention that pupils at St Edward’s will enjoy their RE lessons and they will not be seen as a way of either promoting the Catholic faith exclusively, nor for them to be something in which they are purely 'taught'. RE lessons should be faith-filled, enjoyable, inspiring and challenging where each child feels they belong to our school community and not excluded because they are not Catholic. Lessons should be places where everyone is respected for their beliefs and expressions of faith, but where ultimately, they all achieve because we have equipped them with the knowledge and skills that they require. We want them to know how religious education promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice, preparing them for adult life, employment and life-long learning. 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.
We are a Catholic school and we are committed to the Catholic Faith, recognising and valuing every individual as special and unique in the image and likeness of God.
We are a Catholic school, and proud of that fact. The Catholicity of the school underpins what we do everyday. This also directs us, with the help of God and the Archdiocese, to implement an RE curriculum whereby the Catholic faith permeates everything we do. We ensure that families are supported in bringing their children up in the Catholic faith and we provide a well-rounded Catholic education.
For RE we follow the Archdiocese's 'Learning and growing in the love of God' books as a scaffold for planning and coverage, as well as planning for opportunities to explore the Gospel virtues and encouraging our children to see the opportunities they have to demonstrate them to others. Although both are important, we focus heavily on what we can learn from our religion and faith and not just about what we learn about our religion.
As with all Catholic school we are grateful for the support we receive from the Archdiocese. Through moderation of planning, lessons and books, we can be sure that progress is made across all year groups. If progress is not being made, support is immediate and steps provided to ensure all pupils achieve and make progress.
Evidence of impact in RE is not just collated through books. All our pupils contribute to collective worship and Catholic Life.
St. Edward’s Catholic Primary School
“Jesus is at the heart of all that we do”
The life and soul of St Edward’s is based on the example given to us by Jesus Christ. The caring, understanding, love and support for each other is present in all that we do and all that we strive to do.
Every child and every adult at St Edward’s is as important as the next. By working together we are all able to help each other and produce the best environment possible for each child's learning experiences to be as successful as possible. Our main concern is to make the school, in every sense a Christian community where all parents, pupils and staff are working together for the good of each other.
St. Edward’s School is a learning community with a Catholic ethos founded on Gospel values. Through religious education, our prayer life and the general life of the school, our young people will be prepared to serve as witnesses to moral and spiritual values in the wider world:
- Children and adults are seen as made in God’s image;
- Everyone in the school is encouraged to fulfil their unique role in creation;
- We recognise, develop and value every person – celebrating and encouraging their individual talents;
- Success is celebrated and is a frequent experience;
- In partnership with home and parish, we prepare our children for their lives as good citizens in the world community;
The Wednesday Word is used in all year groups to further support the pupils’ spiritual development and to encourage strong home, school and parish links. The Catholic life of the school is enriched with whole school attendance at Mass to celebrate the beginning and end of terms. Children from different year groups take it in turn to prepare the readings and lead the Mass.
Non-Eucharistic liturgies are prepared by pupils from year 2 to year 6.
The Head Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher lead weekly key stage assemblies to promote the spiritual and moral development of pupils and staff. All class assemblies have a strong religious focus and are shared with parents as well as the school community. The school is supported by our Parish Priest, Fr Denis McGillycuddy.
Children have the opportunity to receive three sacraments during their time at St. Edward’s Catholic Primary School.
The preparation for each sacrament takes place during religious education lessons and there are also meetings between school, parents and the parish priest.
At St. Edward’s we follow ‘Learning and Growing as the people of God’’ scheme of work which helps the children to prepare to receive the Sacraments. We also have a special book: ‘I belong’ which help us to keep a record of our preparations.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ.
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:21-23).
After a period of preparation our Year 3 children receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Spring term, before Easter.
The children learn the Act of Contrition:
O my God, because you are so good,
I am very sorry that I have sinned against you,
And by the help of your grace, I will try not to sin again.
Fist Holy Communion
Once the children in Year 3 have made the Sacrament of Reconciliation, they receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion. This usually takes place on a Sunday during May. The children work very hard at home, in school and in the parish to ensure that they are fully prepared to receive Jesus into their hearts.
The children study all of the parts of the Mass in detail over the year but focus particularly on the Liturgy of the Eucharist leading up to the celebration of First Holy Communion. By exploring each of the parts of the Liturgy of the Eucharist in detail, the children learn that the Mass is a celebration of thanksgiving and that during the Eucharistic prayer, the priest asks the Holy Spirit to change the gifts of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus.
Alongside their lessons in school, the children attend Mass with their families each week and pray at home as a family. The children are encouraged to read Bible stories together and discuss their Religious Education lessons. The children are given various tasks to complete at home linked to their First Holy Communion.
Confirmation is one of the Holy Sacraments. It is a process that begins at Baptism. Through this sacrament, Christians are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to use and develop their gifts to love and serve God and others in our everyday lives.
Confirmation is celebrated at a special ceremony in our church, officiated by the Bishop and our Parish Priest. During the Confirmation ceremony, the Bishop annoints the sacred oil of chrism on the forehead of each nominee. With the laying of the hands, the candidates are then invited to go out into the world, just as the Apostles did, with the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
When preparing for the sacrament, students reflect on the fruits of the Holy Spirit by investigating the lives of saints and people in the community. Then, at Confirmation, they accept the challenge and responsibility of nurturing God’s gifts to the world.