“The outcome of excellent religious education is religiously literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life.”
Religious Education Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools (2012).”
As a Catholic school, our focus is on nurturing and developing the whole child. Religious Education underpins our curriculum and the message of God is lived throughout our school.
Our aim is to embrace all elements of our Mission Statement:
Learning and Growing with God by our side.
Our learning objectives will take into account the religious and educational needs of our children whilst recognising the variety of starting points. We understand that our children come into the school community from a variety of backgrounds and we take into account the religious and educational needs of all of our children.
Religious Education is viewed as a subject for all children – a collaborative activity, which respects and promotes the child’s innate capacity for wonder, awe, reverence and imagination. Through this approach, we aim to help our children to recognise and appreciate the religious and spiritual dimensions of life. We aim to lead our children into a deeper understanding of the Catholic tradition and where appropriate, other religious traditions and the ways in which they seek to express the significance of human life.
To achieve these aims we will:
• Create a caring happy environment where the school reflects a living Christian community.
• Provide opportunities for celebration, prayer, praise and reflection in implicit and explicit ways.
• Expect and encourage a high standard of positive behaviour.
• Provide children with the language of religious experience.
• Present a systematic presentation of Christian events, their relevance and meaning in ways appropriate to the age and development of the child.
• Encourage children to become independent, self-motivated and self-disciplined.
• Support Home and Parish in preparing the children for the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation.
• Ensure that parents are kept informed regarding the Religious Education curriculum.
• Provide an environment of continued development and growth for pupils and staff.
• Give children an understanding of and a respect for other faiths.
• Implement the Archdiocesan Religious Education programme ‘Come and See’.
Come and See
To fulfil our aims and objectives, we use the ‘Come and See’ programme of Religious Education. This is directly linked to the Religious Education Curriculum Directory which is statutory for all Catholic schools to follow. The programme has been developed to respond to the needs of children today in their faith journey, to enable them to grow in their religious literacy and understanding in a way that is coherent with current educational principles.’Come and See’ is also designed to support teachers in their delivery of religious education. It integrates the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Levels of Attainment and the Religious Education Curriculum Directory. At the heart of the programme is the mystery of God’s self-revelation of love through Jesus Christ. ‘Come and See’ gives pupils the opportunity to explore the mystery of faith through Scripture and Tradition. Throughout their time at St Alban & St Stephen, the children will be encouraged to develop and deepen their faith and to ask some ‘big questions’
Our Religious Education lessons follow a four week cycle where the children will be invited to explore a theme and relate it to their own experiences, link their learning to scripture and respond through an act of worship.
Come and See is developed through three themes. They are Church, Sacrament and Christian living. The basic question – belief for each season time is explored through three kinds of themes.
• Community of faith – The Church
• Celebration of Ritual – Sacraments
• Way of Life – Christian Living
The document below explain the themes and topics that are taught across the school through the year.
The interim Catholic Education Age-Related Expectations document outlines the standards that our pupils are expected to achieve by the end of each age-related phase.
We also work closely with parents to ensure that they can support our Religious Education Curriculum at home, providing them with termly Religious Education newsletters and regular updates in our School Friday newsletters.
Why teach about other Faiths or Religions?
“In Meeting God in Friend and Stranger” an article produced by the Bishops of England and Wales, it outlines that;
“Within our schools we are seeking to educate all pupils of whatever religion to be able to live a way of life that integrates their beliefs with all other aspects of what it means to be human. As part of this, they must learn to live alongside others who are different and hold alternative views, including religious views.”
In school we refer to Judaism as another faith because of our shared Christian and Jewish heritage. Jesus was Jewish. We refer to Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism as other religions. These are studied because they have a belief in one God. Judaism is studied for one week every year whilst the other religions are taught for one week annually in rotation.
2021- 2022 – Sikhism
2022-2023 – Islam
Our school prayer was composed by the Chaplaincy Team and is used at the start of every school day and act of worship:
Bless all the children and staff in our school.
Bless all our loving parents, our school community and parishioners.
Let us follow the shining examples of St Alban and St Stephen.
Help us to be the best that we can be and guide us as we stay connected to you and Jesus in all that we do.
As a school, we are learning and growing with God by our side.