At Saint Joseph's, the Borough, we prepare children to be part of a community in which they develop their faith and the Gospel values with understanding, dignity and freedom of the whole person as created in the image of God.
The primary purpose of Catholic Religious Education is to come to know and understand God’s revelation which is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. The Catholic school is ‘a clear educational project of which Christ is the foundation’. In the person of Christ, the deepest meaning of what it is to be human is discovered through awe, wonder, reverence and spirituality. This is the example that every child at Saint Joseph’s is taught to follow through our RE curriculum. RE is also central to the wider curriculum as a key element in an inter-disciplinary dialogue. We believe that RE underpins, activates, develops and completes the educational and catechetical activity of the whole school. For this reason, RE is a core subject in the Catholic school, whilst the wider dimensions of learning through liturgy and outreach also remain integral. We believe that RE serves the most important role for the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, vocational and cultural development. The whole life of our Catholic School, not solely in class, is an expression in practice of Catholic belief and Catholic tradition, presenting an authentic vision of the Church’s moral and social teaching. We believe that our children are not only ‘taught’ their faith, it is ‘caught’ from home and from around the school. As they grow, the pupils at Saint Joseph’s are always encouraged to put their faith into practice in their own lives. We also aim to make sure that the RE curriculum is delivered in a creative, active and engaging way that caters to different children’s learning needs and provides them with compelling learning experiences. We intend to stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of Catholic faith. Additionally, we consistently promote a mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths, beliefs and practices.
During their time at Saint Joseph’s, the Borough, children will experience a weekly timetable with 10% devoted to RE as outlined in the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (RECD 2012). These lessons are frequently rooted in scripture. We aim to learn together with Catholic Gospel values at our heart using the programme ‘Come and See’ which takes us through the Liturgical Year. This is personalised according to different learners’ needs, providing a range of engaging learning experiences that challenge and stimulate higher achievers and appropriate help and differentiation for lower achievers. RE makes use of a repertoire of appropriate teaching methods such as writing, drama and creative arts that expose children to a variety of significant Christian artworks. The children’s output is a constant source of eye-catching display. At the same time, teaching in RE at Saint Joseph’s introduces key concepts to develop pupils’ understanding of Catholic belief including; scripture, the liturgy, the Creeds, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the traditional prayers and devotions of Christian faith. Teachers employ high quality resources and have high standards for the accurate use of Christian vocabulary. We also provide children with the opportunities to respond to ultimate questions about life and religion through ‘Big Questions’ – classroom discussions recorded in large portfolios. During these lessons and in the pupils’ books, teachers provide systematic verbal and written feedback to ensure that children make progress and that learning that is taking place. We also dedicate two weeks of our year to learn about two other major faiths (Islam and Judaism) in order to raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities to respect and understand them.