As a Catholic School Religious Education is at the very heart of our ethos and we recognise Religious Education as a core subject, ensuring that it contributes positively to our broad and balanced curriculum.
In our school we use The Way, The Truth and The Life (WTL) programme as the main resource to support the teaching of Religious Education.
We follow the guidelines set by the Diocese of Southwark, which includes 10% of the timetable each week devoted to the Religious Education curriculum. Our aim is to foster caring and understanding in our pupils. There is a particular focus on the Christian faith, but we also recognise the value and richness of a multi-faith community, promoting a positive school environment full of compassion and understanding.
Pupils are encouraged to think and reflect on the meanings of the Church’s teachings in a respectful manner and how they are relevant to our lives. Topics taught give children an opportunity to relate key beliefs of the Catholic faith to their own feelings, inspiring an atmosphere of respect and reflection.
Our programme mainly focuses on Christianity; however, we do study other world faiths to promote understanding and mutual respect. Children are encouraged to see that the world needs people who can appreciate religious and cultural differences of others, and who are able to contribute to a cohesive and compassionate society. As such, children are also taught about two other religions at specified times in the year to broaden their experience of what it means to have faith.
In addition to weekly RE lessons, children engage in collective worship, which plays an integral role in our school life. Year groups and classes gather throughout the week to worship together in prayer and celebrations. Moreover, we have strong links with the parishes in the local community with regular visits from Fr. Anthony, Fr. James and Fr. Luke throughout the liturgical year.
Current affairs closely link to our RE curriculum and children are encouraged to relate topical events to our Christian beliefs and think about ‘What would Jesus do?’ Supporting our local and global community is a key part of our school’s ethos. We nurture children to think about the difference they can make to the wider world. Through our ‘Enterprise’ topic, children set up their businesses and donate 50% of their profits to their chosen charity. Children learn about ethical enterprise and the importance of being responsible for their fellow human beings.
Pupil voice is a strength and children write a letter of application to become ‘Apostles of Mercy’ They are pupil representatives and responsible for delivering assemblies, organising fundraising events and supporting the spiritual development of the school.
Our school is ethos is based on Christ’s values and teachings and this is an integral part of our lives. Values of respect, tolerance, and forgiveness are not only key to our RE curriculum but are an integral part of our lives at St Joseph School.
Mrs J Swain & Miss F Langford-Jackson
Joint RE Leads