Parents are the primary educators of their children and the school’s Religious Education program is only as effective as parental example and support in the home environment. Family prayer and attendance at Sunday Mass and other Parish liturgies help children in their faith development. Being a Catholic School, Religious Education is our first learning area and underpins all curriculum content. The school’s Religious Education program is a systemic and sequenced program of helping children relate the Catholic faith with their daily lives.
The Religious Education Units of Work are mandated by the Archbishop and religious instruction occurs on a daily basis in accordance with the content of the Units of Work.
The Religious education learning area focuses on the knowledge and understanding of the Gospel as it is handed on by the Catholic Church to those who follow Christ in today’s world.
The five outcomes in the Religious Education learning area are interrelated and describe learning that occurs from Kindergarten to Year 12.
- Discovering God
Students understand that people come to discover God through experiences in creation.
- Drawing on Human Experience
Students understand the content of the Christian message and its significance by relating it to examples drawn from human experience.
- Knowing Jesus.
Students know the person of Jesus, the model for living out the Christian mission in the world.
- Living Like Jesus.
Students understand that Catholics are empowered to live like Jesus the Saviour as they draw on the power of God’s Spirit.
- Catholic Practices.
Students demonstrate the skills necessary in order to read and apply Scripture to life and to participate in Catholic ritual and prayer.
Whole school and class masses occur throughout the school term. Masses celebrate special Feast days such as the Assumption of Our Lady or special themes. Liturgies are celebrated throughout the school; the Rosary, class prayer and other Catholic traditions are also celebrated during the school year.
Making Jesus Real
Jesus used to spread his message through stories. The Making Jesus Real (MJR) format aims to reflect on the at least 50 of the Good News stories that are going unnoticed in your school yard every day. Jesus’ message was “Love God by loving your neighbour” – the MJR message is very similar – “The way you greet and treat people”. The main aim is for students to recognise their own growth in attitudes and values through MJR.
For the teachers the Good News is that it is not a programme, but the Christian way of life reflected each day. There is no preparation or correction. Our Lady of Mercy Primary School is trialling the program in 2010 with our Year 6 and Year 5 students. MJR program will be reviewed annually as to its suitability for specific cohorts of students.
The 63 attitudes and values are set out with questions for the students to reflect on their own growth as a person.
At the end of the year the students are given a card. From the 63 values and attitudes they prioritise down to 15, then 10 and then they list their top 5 in order. The most important attitude is written down and then the student presents a short talk on why it is important for them. Then they write 3 people skills and 3 life skills they wish to take into life with them as they finish primary school. This is an excellent way for children to recognise attitudes and values as they complete primary school and are preparing for secondary.