At St. Francis, we believe that Religion is a relationship, a relationship of love between the child and God, and between the child and other people: in a community. Religious Education fosters this relationship through daily prayer, Acts of Worship and Celebrations of Liturgy. As a Catholic school we feel it is important that children learn how to co-operate with others, respect others and forgive others. Scripture, teachings of the Church and the teachers’ own witness and example are the means by which these are taught in our school.

As a whole school we follow the national Catholic R.E. scheme entitled ‘Come and See’. The aim of this programme is to explore the religious dimension of questions about life, dignity and purpose, within the Catholic tradition. Links are made with the pupils’ own experiences and with universal experience. Links are also made with the experiences of other faith traditions to promote tolerance and mutual respect. The programme is therefore both ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’. It presents a systematic presentation of the Christian event, message and way of life, in contexts appropriate to the age and stage of development of each child.

Father Richard and Father Vincent, from our Parish church, regularly visit the school, and are a link with the wider community of the church. Our children, supported by the school, are prepared for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist in their parishes.

Prayer Life and Worship

The school holds collective worship regularly throughout the week; through school assemblies as well as in class. The collective worship includes a class assembly weekly which can be a religious theme, hymn practise,  head teachers assembly based on the Wednesday Word, and our Parish priest celebrates year group Masses with the children weekly. This liturgy happens both in school and in Our Lady of Sorrows church. The children are involved in preparing these celebrations themselves and parents/carers are warmly invited to attend and share the children’s work and worship with them.

Collective worship gives us:

  • A sense of special time
  • A sense of special place
  • The intention of focusing on matters of worth ‘beyond the everyday’
  • A sense of occasion.

Times of collective worship are educational, planned learning experiences. They contribute to the education of the pupils and facilitate spiritual growth and respect of each other’s religious beliefs and practices. This may be done by evoking the sense of beauty, awe, wonder or feelings of pride, pity, sharing or by exploring the spirituality of life and experience.

 

See also:

Come and See – http://www.comeandseere.co.uk/

Cafod – http://www.cafod.org.uk/Education/Education-resources

Parish Webpage – http://www.ourladyofsorrowspeckham.co.uk/index.htm

Wednesday Word – http://wednesdayword.org/

Policy for RE and Collective Worship

RE is the foundation of the entire education process and permeates all areas of the curriculum and school life. We are a Catholic school and we are committed to the Catholic Faith, recognising and valuing every individual as special and unique in the image and likeness of God. We are nurturing the spiritual essence of every child through an engaging curriculum that is centred around our Gospel Values.

Religious Education at St. Francis’ respects and promotes each child’s innate capacity for wonder, awe, reverence and spirituality. Our Religious Education curriculum leads our children to aspire not to have more, but to be more; children are taught about God’s love; they learn about their Christian responsibilities; children are provided with experiences of church, Catholic and Christian traditions, as well as being taught to be respectful and understanding of people and traditions from other faith backgrounds. Through Religious Education our children learn about their unique place within the home, school and parish community.

Our principal aim is that children leave St Francis with a wide range of happy and rich memories in RE formed through interesting and exciting experiences driven through an engaging and comprehensive curriculum which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, enabling them to develop a living and personal faith in Jesus Christ and allowing them to know and love God.

Our key aims include:

  • Children will meet the Diocesan Standards for Primary Religious Education, which will be taught by highly qualified staff who will engage children’s intellect, heart and imagination, inspiring enthusiasm and interest in RE.
  • Children will develop an awareness of God’s presence in their lives and the lives of others, developing the spiritual life of each child through prayer and reflection.
  • Children will develop a well-formed conscience allowing them to make sound moral judgements in the light of personal commitment to God.
  • Parents, family members, friends of whatever faith and parishioners will attend Masses and religious celebrations within the school and pupils will participate in parish activities outside of school time, promoting good links with the Parish of Our Lady of Sorrows.
  • Children, and their parents, will develop the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Sacraments.
  • RE will play a central role in the school’s work on spiritual, moral, vocational, social and cultural education.
  • Children will be prepared for life in a multi faith society by fostering respect for and understanding of rich cultural diversity.
  • RE is a core subject of the curriculum and all children will study RE for 2hrs 15 mins per week in Key Stage 1 and 2 hrs 30 mins per week in Key Stage 2.
  • Opportunities will exist for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom.  This will allow them to enrich their knowledge by, for example, visiting different places of worship, local parish church, etc. including other faiths
  • Children will develop a deep understanding of the RE unit they are studying. They will increasingly use their prior knowledge to develop into religiously literate young people.
  • In RE, children will develop the skills to make links and connections, engage and respond, analyse and evaluate using sources of evidence.
  • Skills in other subjects will be applied in RE and children will be encouraged to investigate the faith with enthusiasm and rigour.

Children will develop a real understanding and appreciation of the world learning from a range of sources and experiences.

At St. Francis’ we follow the ‘Come and See’ Religious Education Scheme of Work in line with guidance from the Southwark Archdiocese. This programme is followed throughout school from Nursery through to Year 6.

This programme provides:

  • opportunities for celebration, prayer and reflection in implicit and explicit ways.
  • children with the language of religious experience – a ‘literacy’ in religious activities, places, stories, symbols and rituals, people and objects.
  • a ‘systematic presentation of Christian event, message and way of life’ in ways appropriate to the age and stage of development of the child.
  • that for its implementation and production it requires the adults involved to understand the underlying theological as well as educational principles.
  • appropriate materials about other faiths.
  • academic respectability as in other curricular areas – utilising appropriate stages from the National Curriculum.

‘Come and See’ is an invitation to exploration and a promise of life for everyone. The invitation is open to all. In response to the question; ‘where do you live?’ which was asked by the disciples, Jesus invited them to; ‘Come and See.’ (John 1:39) The disciples went with Jesus ‘and spent the rest of that day with him.’

Central to the programme are three basic human questions and the three Christian beliefs that are the Church’s response in faith.

  • Where do I come from? Life – Creation
  • Who am I? Dignity – Incarnation
  • Why am I here? Purpose – Redemption

In Come and See these big questions are considered in the light of the Scriptures and Tradition of the Church, as expressed in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Come and See is developed through three themes based on the above documents of the Second Vatican Council, which are gradually explored each time at greater depths. They are Church, Sacrament and Christian living. The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses the human search for meaning, God’s initiative in Revelation who comes to meet us and our response of faith.

The process for delivering the topics in ‘Come and See’ has three stages – Explore, Reveal and Respond which enable the pupils with the development of knowledge, understanding, skills and the fostering of attitudes. 10% of teaching time is dedicated to the teaching of RE.

Explore(1 week)The teacher helps the children to begin to look at and focus on the experience within their own lives – concerning themselves, their relationships and their world. In this way the children are led to a deeper understanding, clearer vision and the discovery of significance and value of the experiential events of everyday life.

Reveal(usually 2 weeks) – Reveal is the heart of the process. The teacher and the children together discover the Christian understanding of the mystery of the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They explore the mystery of human life as revealed in the person, life and gospel of Jesus Christ Christians. It will involve learning about Scripture, the teaching of the Church, prayers, rites, psalms, hymns and other expressions of Christian faith and the lives of outstanding Christians.

Respond(1 week)Remember is the first part of this section. The children will respond by remembering and celebrating all that they have learnt.

Rejoice is the second part of the section. There will be the opportunity to plan and take part in a celebration.

Renew the teacher helps each child to make an individual response, to hold on to and make their own, what they have understood of the topic.

Other Faiths

As part of the ‘Come and See’ R.E. programme all children will study for two weeks of the year, Judaism and one other World Religion.

EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism on a 3 yearly cycle
Year 3 Islam
Year 4 Sikhism
Year 5 Buddhism
Year 6 Hinduism

This enables the children to have an understanding of what life is like for a child of another faith by the time they leave us.

Assessment

Ongoing informal assessment against the Diocesan Assessment Descriptors and Formal Assessment Tasks are used to inform planning and to identify areas for focus and support. Assessment is moderated internally every term and externally within cluster and coordinator meetings.

Wednesday Word

Every Wednesday, each family are given a Wednesday Word newsletter which carries the Sunday Gospel into school family homes. The children receive the leaflet in school each week for them to take home with them to read with the rest of the family. This creates a new opportunity for the Word to be present in the homes of all school families connected to participating primary schools.

Through the complete and rigorous Religious Education at St Francis, children are given the opportunity to develop and become brothers and sisters in Christ. They talk openly and deeply about their Faith and reflect this in their everyday life. They show this learning through deep questioning, reflective responses, respect for all and treating others as God would want them too. Children are happy and confident in their place in the community and have a clear understanding on their impact in it.

It is intended that when pupils leave St Francis they will have met the attainment targets in the RE programme of study.

Matthew 22: 34-40 “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbour as yourself.”