As a Catholic school, we are committed to the Catholic Faith, recognising and valuing every individual as special and unique in the image and likeness of God. Religious Education at Holy Cross respects and promotes each child’s innate capacity for wonder, awe, reverence and spirituality. Our Religious Education curriculum leads our children to value Jesus as the centre of their lives, learning and friendships. Children are taught about God’s love; they learn about their Christian responsibilities in a safe, happy and caring community. 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.
At Holy Cross, we follow the ‘Come and See’ Religious Education Programme in line with guidance from the Diocese of Brentwood. This programme is followed throughout school from Reception 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.
• appropriate materials about other faiths.
• academic respectability as in other curricular areas – utilising appropriate stages from the National Curriculum.
The programme explores the religious dimensions of questions about life, dignity and purpose within the Catholic tradition. Links are made with the children's own experience and with universal experience. It will raise questions and provide material for reflection by the children on their own experiences. It will enable them to explore the beliefs, values and way of life of the Catholic tradition and where appropriate other faith traditions.
Overview of Content
'Come and See' is taught through a series of 9 topics exploring:
• Community of faith – Church
• Celebration in ritual – Sacraments
• Way of life – Christian Living
Other faith traditions are also explored through discreet topics. The process for delivering the topics in 'Come and See' has three stages - Explore, Reveal and Respond which enable the children with the development of knowledge, understanding, skills and the fostering of attitudes. 10% of teaching time is dedicated to the teaching of RE. This is 2 hours in Reception and Key Stage 1 and 2 ½ hours in Key Stage 2.
Explore (1 week) This is the introduction to the topic where the children's life experience is explored, the questions it raises are wondered at, shared, investigated and their significance reflected upon.
Reveal (usually 2 weeks) This is the heart of the programme where knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith is revealed through the Word, in Scripture, Tradition, doctrine, prayers, rites and Christian living.
Respond (1 week) This is where the learning is assimilated, celebrated and responded to in daily life. This reflective work is done using the Respond booklets for each topic.
OTHER FAITHS and RELIGIONS. Judaism is usually studied in the Autumn term. Hinduism, Sikhism & Buddhism are studied in the Spring Term in KS2 (excluding Year 6) and Islam is usually studied in the Summer Term.
Ongoing informal assessment against the Standard Indicators is used to inform planning and to identify areas for focus and support. Assessment is moderated internally and externally within cluster meetings.
The children at Holy Cross enjoy learning about their own, and other people’s religions. They have a secure understanding of Gospel values and try to incorporate these values into their learning and behaviour in and around school. Through their learning in RE, the children can make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and the wider world. The children develop an understanding of other people’s cultures and ways of life, which they are then able to communicate to the wider community. Through moderation of planning, lessons and books, we can be sure that progress is made across all year groups, and where needed, support is provided to ensure that all pupils achieve at their own rate and pace.
Evidence of impact is not just collated in books, children contribute to Collective Worship and Catholic Life through their liturgy planning and charity work. Religious Education is invaluable to our children as we feel it helps to shape and nurture them to become people who are confident in themselves and tolerant of others in the wider world.