“As the primary educators of their children, parents have special responsibilities regarding Catholic schools. Chief among them is to help ensure that the school’s life and practices are consistent with a distinctively Catholic environment.”
(Mandate Letter, Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia, para. 57)
An important part of our school curriculum is Religious Education. Learning about religion promotes the holistic development of the students with an emphasis on the spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional and aesthetic dimensions of life. It can help students, whatever their individual religious beliefs and backgrounds, to develop their knowledge, understanding, values and skills thereby assisting them to participate effectively in Australian society. The Religious Education Units of Work mandated by the Bishops of Western Australia give our students the opportunities to understand, explain and justify the Christian message as it is handed on by the Catholic Church to those who follow Christ in today’s world. The content and processes of this learning area are intended to ensure that students learn the teachings of the Gospels and understand what it means to be a Christian and how Christians live their lives.
At St Kieran Catholic Primary School we believe that the values and beliefs component of Religious Education is of crucial importance to the achievement of success, especially in terms of confidence, getting along with others and positive attitude. These virtues and values form a constant benchmark that permeate throughout everything we do at St Kieran and are apparent and visible in the day to day life of each and every learner.
Learners are encouraged to; develop a positive attitude towards Religious Education, work co-operatively with others, value the contribution of others, gain confidence in the application of RE concepts to practical situations as well as knowing when and where to seek assistance, persist when faced with difficulty and develop the awareness that creativity and initiative are encouraged and valued. We believe that these programs truly allow us to “bring home” the gospel values for the learner of today.
Religious Education lessons are taught daily. In Pre Kindy and Kindergarten Religious Education is woven throughout the day in the form of prayer, God talk and biblical storytelling. The aim of the Religious Education program at this level is to introduce students to the person of Jesus and some of the basic teachings of the Church (e.g. how to make the Sign of the Cross, to love one another).
In all other year levels, the prescribed time allocations are as follows:
The Religious Education Program also includes class and Whole School Masses and Whole School Prayer services, to which the school community, parents and friends are invited to attend. The school community regularly attends Liturgical Singing practice and all classes have a class visit with the Parish Priest.
Students in Years 3, 4 and 6 have the opportunity to prepare for, and receive, the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Year 3), First Holy Communion (Year 4) and Confirmation (Year 6). The sacramental program is run jointly run by the St Kieran Parish Sacramental Team, with the units of work taught by the class teacher.
Students in Years 3 and 5 complete the Bishops’ Religious Literacy Assessment. This is a curriculum-based assessment which reflects and supports the progressive nature of the Religious Education Units of work. It focuses on students’ ability to recall content about the Catholic religion and to assess students’ knowledge and understanding of Religious Education. It does not measure students’ faith.
St Kieran Catholic Primary School and All Saints Catholic Church have a strong relationship in supporting the children’s and families’ faith and Religious Education knowledge. We are fortunate to have regular class visits with our Parish Priest and classes prepare whole school Masses and prayer services to be conducted in the Parish.