At St Mary's, we follow the curriculum strategy – Learning and Growing as the People of God - provided by the Archdiocese of Birmingham for teaching RE in a Catholic primary school. The Strategy was written using the Learning Outcomes provided in the Bishop’s Conference document the Curriculum Directory as a basis.
The Strategy provides teachers with a range of suggested cross-curricular activities which can be differentiated to suit the learning needs of the children in their class in order for them to explore the Catholic faith and achieve the learning outcomes. There is a strong emphasis on pupils engaging with and responding to questions of life in the light of religious teaching.
This flexible approach enables teachers to incorporate their own creative teaching ideas into the delivery of the Strategy. The Strategy is divided into a number of units for each year group, usually 12, which cover four main areas of study:
- The Liturgical Seasons of the Church’s Year: The children find out about the significance of each season, its particular signs and symbols and the different liturgies celebrated in each season.
- Scripture: The children study both Old Testament and New Testament Scripture in order to give them familiarity and knowledge of Scripture as well as enabling them to explore and understand how Catholic beliefs are rooted in what Scripture reveals to us.
- The Sacraments: There is a strong Sacramental focus in each year group. The Year 3 and Year 6 books fully prepare the children to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in Year 3 and Confirmation in Year 6.
- Living as Christians including Prayer: The children learn about what it is to live as Christians today, how the Church is organised from global to parish level and also the opportunities which exist for them to participate in the life of the Church.
In each unit, there are additional planned opportunities to pray and time to reflect.
RE underpins our whole curriculum, and lessons in RE often touch upon subject areas, as vice versa. There are also numerous opportunities for extended writing in RE and to enhance RE learning through the use of ICT.
In addition to the diocesan strategy we have dedicated themed masses, as well as individual class mass and Marian devotions for each class. There are also a number of both Christian and multi-faith trips that take place throughout the year.