Catholic schools are committed to educating the whole person, providing a curriculum and total educational experience which is focused on the person and message of Jesus. The Religious Education Program has as its core document the Source of Life, written for schools in the Sandhurst Diocese (2005).
Classroom Teachers present the Christian message to foster an understanding of the teachings of the Gospel, the nature of Christianity and the way Catholics are called to live their lives within the Catholic tradition. Classroom-based programs provide systematic and comprehensive units of work, using a wide range of educational strategies, to encourage the learner to reflect on self, the world and God in the light of personal experience, sacred Scripture and Tradition. Students are encouraged to explore links between other subjects and their own personal experiences.
EXAMPLE OF A LEVEL ONE UNIT –
‘I am Special, So are You.’
I am precious and unique and loved by God.
God invites me to love and care for myself and others.
My choices and actions affect myself and others.
Read story eg: Koala Lou (Mem Fox) to illustrate how we are special. Children discuss aspects of the story, relate to themselves. Questions like: “When did you feel special?” “What made you feel special?” Who made you feel special?” “What makes you special?”
Teach a song such as “I am Wonderfully Made” Jack Miffleton or “I Have Called You by Name” by Andrew Chinn. Make up actions to go with the song, use instruments to add impact.
Create a’ Star for the Day ‘book. The focus child leaves and the class thinks of three very special things about that child. Later the child is presented with a ‘Star of the Day Certificate’ and the special qualities listed by their peers are acknowledged in front of the child.
Introduce children to the Bible and the verse within Ps 139:14. Allow them to dwell on the fact that God made them so wonderfully. Spend time talking about this and what it means for us.