St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School
Religious Education Policy
At St. Winifred’s Catholic Primary School, we believe Religious Education (hereafter RE) to be the
‘core of the core curriculum’. It is not to be seen as one subject among many, but the foundation of the whole educational process. Children learn about God’s unbounding love for them. We believe the values Christ imparted, which we endeavour to follow and teach, will help the children to lead more fulfilled and happier lives. Such an approach will help the children in their spiritual, emotional and intellectual well-being and help to provide a foundation for true moral values and a sense of justice.
Our mission statement highlights the school’s role in providing a synthesis of faith and culture. We hope that God is experienced as reality in the school and Christ’s gospel comes to life.
As a Right Respecting School, we strive to respect the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (article 14): every child has the right to think and believe and practise their religion and to respect other people from enjoying their rights. We foster love for each other through the teachings in the Gospel and we learn to respect how other faiths worship God.
Learning objectives and intentions
By following ‘The Way the Truth and the Life’ the teaching of RE will:
- encompass the formation of the individual responding to God’s action in his/her life,
- encompass instruction into the truths of our faith,
- focus on revelation.
‘A Catholic School which promotes the best possible teaching of religious education is fulfilling its true purpose.’
Bishops’ Statement Jan 2000
The elements of RE will be reinforced through:
- scripture, saints and feast days
- liturgy ( including the format of the mass with the parish priest and liaison with the First Holy Communion catchiest)
- moral values (refer also to policies on PSHE, SRE, Bullying, Inclusion, Race Equality, Gifted and talented, collective worship).
We strive to:
- help the children establish a personal, living relationship with Jesus and the Father;
- provide an ethos within the school that enhances the spiritual and religious life of the children.
- nurture in our children the same convictions and values that animated Jesus as he proclaimed the Father’s kingdom;
- provide opportunities which promote children’s innate capacity for awe, wonder, joy, reverence, imagination and sense of ritual;
- develop ways of leading our children to be reflective, open and enquiring;
- encourage in our children a recognition of their own value and importance as individual regardless of gender, ability, ethnic origin, and respect the uniqueness of others in their lives;
- prepare our children for life in a multi-racial community and actively to promote tolerance, understanding and harmony among all ethnic groups whether Christian or non- Christian.
- assess the progress of the children so that our teaching can adjust to their needs.
At St. Winifred’s, we endeavour to implement our learning objectives within the context of
- Home – parents are the first educators of the faith of their children.
We seek to support and develop the primary task of parents who are the first teachers of their children in the way of the faith.
Governors, priests and parishioners are invited to support and come together to celebrate the experience of the children as they move through each stage of their catholic education.
RE will be taught in the light of the church’s liturgical year and takes into consideration the fact that growth in faith is related to the children’s age, mental, psychological and emotional development.
RE should be taught for approximately 2 hours per week.
The children are grouped according to age in mixed ability classes. Their religious experience and background vary considerably. The governors strive to appoint Catholic staff (non- Catholic staff will receive any necessary support) so their example and instruction can bring the life of Christ into every aspect of school life.
Provision for the Spiritual Development and Prayers
Through the teaching of religion, teachers will provide opportunities for the spiritual development of the children. They will extend opportunities for prayer in a variety of forms of adoration, thanksgiving, intercession, meditation, as well as learning formal prayers. Children will learn about the person of Christ through reading the Gospels. Children will be encouraged to explore their relationship with God through their senses (e.g. use of music) and the prayer areas in classrooms. Children will be given opportunities to experience the traditions of the church in each of the liturgical seasons attending Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. The children will be taught about and encouraged to celebrate the sacraments.
- Each class has a reflection and prayer area.
- Children are encouraged to sit and pray in the Peace Garden.
- Children’s own prayers are shared in assemblies and special prayer promises are displayed in Advent and Lent.
Organisation and Methodology
(Please see 2014-2016 plan in the curriculum teachers shared area- RE).
Class teachers are expected to timetable RE lessons each week. This can be done as a block or organised flexibly within the week.
To provide a broader approach to multi-faith teaching, the whole school will focus on a non -Christian faith each year and, to acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew, Judaism will also be studied each year.
The children will explore history of religion, historical figures, festivals, religious ceremonies and rites of passage. This will encourage empathy and respect within a multi-faith society and ( see attached )
‘address the need to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people from different racial groups’ The Commission For Racial Equality, Guide for schools
Each class should have a prominent area of the classroom where RE is clearly identified. The display should show the term’s RE topic’s key words and multi-faith religion or themes of the liturgical year.
There must be an accessible area for individual reflection containing a candle and prayer box.
Curriculum and planning
Medium term RE plans, showing learning objectives and clear differentiation, are available for teachers on the curriculum teachers shared area- RE. Class teachers are expected to print out these plans and use in year group planning meetings.
Parents are informed of RE topics each term in class newsletters.
Record Keeping and Assessment
All RE work should be:
- of the highest standard demonstrating a range of teaching and learning activities.
- marked regularly in accordance with the school’s marking policy.
Assessment happens all the time and is integrated into teaching and learning. Teachers are supported in their summative assessment of the children through the use of TWTL end of topic assessment materials.
Formal teacher assessment is carried out termly and children in line with The Education Commission guidelines. Children’s knowledge and understanding is levelled as being secure, hesitant or confident in RE on the tracker sheet. These are shared with the Re coordinators and SLT.
End of year levels are agreed, recorded and updated by the RE coordinators for tracking purposes.
Any member of staff seeking support in the teaching of RE should be given the opportunity to attend suitable courses when they become available. This should be arranged with the RE and INSET coordinators. NQTs should attend special INSET provided by The Education Commission . RE coordinator will model RE lessons for inexperienced colleagues. The RE coordinator and Head teacher will arrange regular INSET including staff meetings.
The Role of the RE Coordinator
- To oversee and develop the RE policy within the school and review it every 2 years.
- To oversee the teaching and learning of RE across the school: working with the SLT to monitor RE work through regular sampling of work, observing displays and lessons. (see attached)
- To lead and support staff through good practice and team teaching.
- To be responsible for resources.
- To keep informed of new ideas and changes in RE curriculum with the School Development Plan.
- To attend coordinator meetings at the Education Commission .
- To laisse with coordinators in the Lee
All planning and assessment materials can be found on the curriculum teachers shared area- RE (only Junior site)
In each classroom there should be:
TWTL children’s text books (appropriate to the age of the class), God’s Story 3, a set of Children’s bibles, Graphic Bible, age appropriate story books, a crucifix, liturgical a prayer/story candle, worry box and prayer box.
RE resource area (upstairs B Block)
A class set of ‘Good News’ Collins’ Bibles
Liturgy box- runners/cloths for the correct season to go on the class display
green=ordinary time, purple=Lent/Advent, White=Easter/Feast days, red=Pentecost
Advent wreaths and candles, rosary beads and other appropriate items which will be distributed by the coordinator.
Topic books posters, DVDs
Artefacts boxes for Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Christian Initiation, Lent/Easter
A2 Prayer posters kept in a plan chest.
Multi -faith posters kept in a plan chest.
There are several hyper-links to www.tere.org on the medium term plans for teachers to use in their lessons.
Teachers are encouraged to make use of IT to enhance RE work including religious clipart, cd roms, CAFOD web site, www.cafod.org.uk links to Espresso on the LGFL web site.
It is desirable for class teachers to arrange RE visits to places of worship once a year. The RE coordinator will liaise with staff and religious leaders in the local community.
Policy On Collective Worship
Introduction: The Law
St Winifred’s recognises the legal requirements for collective worship and provides collective worship in accordance with the law (DFES Circular 1/94). St Augustine’s regards collective worship to be of benefit to the whole community.
In accordance with the Law:
- There will be an act of collective worship every day in which each pupil can participate. (From Foundation Stage to Y6)
- Collective worship may take place at any time of the school day.
- Schools may decide on the age or grouping of pupils and these may vary from day to day.
- It should generally take place on school premises. However, schools with a religious character may have collective worship in Church on any particular day.
- All pupils are required to attend unless their parents have contacted the Headteacher and agreed that they want their child withdrawn.
- Teachers may withdraw from Collective worship.
- Collective worship will be “wholly or mainly of a broad Christian Character, reflecting the broad traditions of the Christian belief”.
- The content should always have regard for the family backgrounds, ages and aptitudes of pupils.
- The responsibility for managing the provision of collective worship is with the head teacher after consultation with the governing body.
Purposes and Aims of Collective Worship in St Winifred’s:
- To ensure all children attending the school have the opportunity to worship as a collective body with staff and as individuals.
- To celebrate God’s word through prayer and a caring attitude to each other, based on the gospel values of faith, hope, love and forgiveness.
- To celebrate and affirm the values and ethos of our school: Everyone should feel included, valued, listened to and able to contribute with confidence. To develop a sense of belonging to the school and Parish Community.
- To develop an understanding of the different forms of worship and to support the work of the family at home, by helping children learn how to pray and develop spiritually in line with our Mission Statement.
- To encourage pupils to become aware of the universal principles of right and wrong, justice and fairness and to be concerned for others and the world – to encourage them to be effective world citizens.
Organisation of Collective Worship.
|Junior site||Infant site|
|MONDAY||Whole school liturgy led by Head/Deputy||Merit Assembly Year 1|
|TUESDAY||Class based act of worship||Class based act of worship|
|WEDNESDAY||Lower /Upper School assembly led by teachers (including Good work SEAL)||Year 1 Themed|
|THURSDAY||Lower /Upper School assembly led by teachers (including RRS and World religion)||Year 1 Themed|
|FRIDAY||Lower /Upper School liturgy led by Head/Deputy (Lower /Upper School Hymn singing done separately)||Singing assembly|
** Reception classes joining assemblies in the summer term.
- Head Teacher
- Assistant Head Teachers
Places of Worship:
- School hall
- Prayer Area
Children’s Participation: Where appropriate children will be actively encouraged to participate fully in all collective worship opportunities.
Assemblies: At the beginning of each Term, the SLT meet to plan the content of assemblies.
Gospel message, reinforcing gospel values and school rules, celebrating individual achievement both in and out of school.
Good work Assembly
Celebrating the successes and achievements all children. Structured to include both the academic curriculum and Religious Education.
Upper/Lower key stage school assembly
UNCRC awareness SEAL themes, CAFOD, Saints, Famous people Bible stories – parables/miracles, Liturgical Calendar
Class act of Worship
Led by Class teacher on days where there is not a whole school collective worship session. Candles are lit and prayer from the prayer box are shared. Liturgy, story, Drama or Music are prepared in class by the children.
Assemblies provide children and adults with opportunities to:-
– gain a deeper knowledge of God;
– appreciate their own talents and to respect the talents of others;
– join together in a prayerful atmosphere with other children;
– experience the wider worshipping Community of the St Winifred’s School.
From Year 2 onwards
Masses: In Church and in line with Liturgy of the day. Formal services, joining the Parish Community. The Head teacher liaises with parish priest and music teacher. Organises children and they prepare, hymns, Gloria, Alleluia, bidding prayers, offertory procession, and the readings. Children have access to printed mass booklets to learn responses.
Liturgical Services: These follow the Liturgical year. Staff prepare collaboratively. Children form their liturgy through, prayer, music, drama, dance and good works.
Parents are invited and depending on the liturgy are sometimes asked to help with preparations at home – learning lines, providing costumes etc.
The Parish Priest is present and depending on the service will usually lead the liturgy for holy Day of Obligation and themed Masses throughout the year.
Children learn how to pray and Teacher’s encourage the children to develop their own spirituality. Prayers are used within RE lessons.
The Way, The Truth, The Life Scheme is supplemented with additional teaching through Bible stories, RRS work, teaching of world issues through organisations such as CAFOD.
Prayer focus area
This is focal point of every class and must be accessible to all pupils. It should contain a candle, a prayer box and provide some stimulation for reflection (picture, poem, rosary, crucifix, flowers etc.)
These are shared daily at beginning and end of day and Grace before meals.
Resources: Coloured cloths for each class (to show the season of the church) are distributed by the coordinator when necessary. Altar cloths, cruets, chalice and paten and candles are kept in a mass box: in the RE resources in the hall.
Key Liturgies and Masses: From Year 2
- Mass of Welcome at the start of the school year.
- Service of readings and carols
- New Year Mass
- Ash Wednesday (term time)
- Lenten penitential service
- First holy communion mass (for Yr3)
- Leavers mass (for Yr6)
- End of Academic year mass.
Through worship we aim to .join the work of home and parish in developing the Spirituality of the children and to develop the concept of worship as an integral part of School life.
We also aim to develop an understanding of different forms of worship and to reflect the multicultural nature of our children in various acts of worship.
Ways in which we provide opportunity for different forms of worship:
*Careful preparation of and involvement in class and school masses.
*Special liturgical services to celebrate feasts of the Church’s year.
* Classroom Worship supported by focal areas where the children can reflect and pray.