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RE Policy

                     

Religious Education Policy

for

St Patrick’s Primary School

 

 

 

 

Ethos                    The ethos of the Catholic school represents the very essence of why the school exists. This ethos is firmly rooted in the Gospel and being Christ centred, endeavours to develop the full potential of every child, staff member and parent(s) within the school faith community. There is a clear spiritual hallmark that is pivotal for the ethos and instils and encourages the Christian values vital for life.

 

           

   
   

Role     and

   

Position     of

   

Teaching     RE in a Catholic

   

School

   
   

Christianity has made a significant contribution towards the formation of society and this Christianity is expressed by Catholics within the spiritual realm of home, school and parish. Religious Education becomes the main channel through which faith is fostered thus ensuring that pupils acquire and develop the essential knowledge and skills to understand their faith and so engage in and contribute to society. The Catholic school embraces every member of staff, pupil and the wider community and shares in the mission of the Church.

The teaching of Religious Education is essentially catechetical thus furnishing the child with knowledge about God and directly encouraging the progressive growth of a relationship with God, therefore the appropriate amount of time given to RE must be safeguarded.

           

   
   

 

   

Mission Statement

   

In St Patrick’s Primary School     we challenge, motivate, and inspire in a happy, safe and stimulating     learning environment where all members of the school community are valued,     grow in the Catholic faith, develop their self-esteem and achieve their     full potential as a unique individual so that they can play a valuable role     in society.

       
   

 

 

w  To actively foster Catholic faith within the whole school community.

w  To develop a language of faith through a clear knowledge of doctrine.

w  To investigate and promote in a progressive manner the moral development of the child.

w  To build tangible links between the school, home and the parish through which the school realises its very identity.

w  To encourage the development of skills and knowledge that will enable the child to make the right decisions in life and deepen their understanding of what it means to be committed to the Catholic faith.

w  To have an innate respect for other faiths.

           

   
    Aims   
   

Religious Education seeks to achieve its aims through the spiritual encounters of:

           

   
    Objectives   
   

w  The fostering of faith through the Eucharist, daily prayer, prayer services, assemblies, meditations as well as a deep reverence and knowledge of the Bible.

w  The companionship on the journey of initiation into the Catholic community namely the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation as well as a steadfast revisiting of the Sacraments when they have been celebrated.

w  Enhancing their doctrinal, moral, spiritual knowledge and understanding through the mediums of discussion, story, music, art, mime, poetry, journeying, bible search, written work, drama and questions and answers.

w  Activities which actively link the school with charities such as Trocaire.

  1.       
       
       

    Legal     Position of Religious Education     & Timetabling

           
       
    The Irish Bishops have stipulated that there should be teaching of RE in primary schools and that this should be a half hour every day for Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and 2; this is confirmed by the Reform Act 1988 … Religious Education will retain its statutory basis in the new revised curriculum.
  1. Religious Education is compulsory for all pupils, even those under the age of five according to the Education Reform Act of 1988. There is the right of withdrawal under this act thus enabling parent(s) to withdraw their child/children only from Religious Education.

           

   
   

Curriculum    

       
   

The Catholic School uses the National catechetical series Grow In Love P1 –P4 and Alive-O 5-7 produced by Veritas. It has a thematic approach to faith development which in itself is clearly progressive.

Grow in Love 1:      Our World & My Family and Me

Grow in Love 2:      Our World & We Belong

Grow in Love 3:   Belonging

Grow in Love 4:   Called and Chosen

                                Grow In Love 5:   God and God’s Covenant

                              Grow in Love 6:   Jesus, the Church and Building God’s Kingdom

                            Grow in Love 7: God is Always with Us, Conscience and Social Justice

Clearly Religious Education contributes to the school’s PDMU, RSE, Emotional Intelligence, WAU, PE, ICT and Literacy programmes.       (Religious Education is the main vehicle for delivery of RSE), Citizenship and Religious Education are not the same, nevertheless Religious Education already teaches certain traits of citizenship but from a clearly Christian perspective any citizenship is Christianised. The Curriculum is also significantly enriched by the spiritual life of the school through assembly, prayer etc.

Within the context of the school Religious Education as part of the curriculum policy states the broad and balanced education for all the children. Religious Education in its implementation provides opportunities to assist the faith development of children with special needs and have augmented resources to achieve this.

           

   
    Teaching     of Special Educational Needs   
   

 

           

   
    Assessment     and Monitoring   
   

         

   
    Staff     and Management   
   

The pupil’s work is assessed through class observation, marking of written work and pieces of artwork with an appropriate comment given. The RE Co-ordinator monitors standards by book-looks and in planning. There is the monitoring of the pupil’s spiritual growth by the teacher each half term in terms of the pupil’s knowledge, attitudes and understanding. Religious Education is also the reported on the child’s report for parent(s). The Diocesan Adviser visits the school every year.

The school provides opportunities whereby the staff has in-service through the support of the Diocesan Advisers and Education Authority. This includes the faith formation of staff through retreats (half-day based), Life to the Full or other experiences. The RE Co-ordinator forms a crucial anchor within the area of Religious Education and supports staff, keeping the school up-to-date on recent developments. It is part of school policy that the RE Co-ordinator meets with staff at regular intervals.

           

   
   

Relationship     with the Principal

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

 

   

Non     –Catholic

   
   

 

The Principal as a person who is responsible for the implementation of the ethos in conjunction with the Board of Governors assumes a spiritual role, thus Religious Education is encouraged and supported not only through resourcing but by close links with the RE Co-ordinator and parish. His/her role has implications for the faith formation of staff and the realisation of that Catholic ethos. The Board of Governors is fully informed about the implications of any curricular review such as the new revised Curriculum and the impact on Religious Education.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child from R.E. Where parents see     wishing to exercise this right, they should meet with the Principal to discuss their concerns. If the matter cannot be resolved, parents need to apply to withdraw their child from RE lessons. Arrangements will be made for the child(ren to be supervised or engaged in another activity during this time.

           

   
    Chaplaincy     and Liturgy   
   

 

The school chaplain and Parish Priest, Father Brown liaises with the school community and supports staff in their faith. Visitation of classes forms an essential part of the ministry as well as involvement in the liturgical life of the school and parish. Liturgy as worship is expressed through prayer services, Eucharist, pilgrimage, meditations and assistance on the sacramental journey.

           

   
    Resources   
   

 

The Grow in Love Programme is available for P1-7. There is an annual requisition which is essential for the buying of new resources.

           

   
    Outside     Agencies   
   

It is crucial that outside agencies invited into the school must agree with the ethos of the school. If an outside agency does not agree with the ethos then they should not be given permission to come to the school.

           

   
    Review     of Policy   
   

 

Once ratified by the Board of Governors and thus legally binding, it is crucial that the policy be reviewed at least every two years.

Reviewed: March 2019