At St James’ Catholic Primary School, Religious Education is a central and vital part of our school community. The beliefs and values of our faith permeate throughout the day to day life of our school as we walk in the footsteps of Christ together. Religious Education is fundamental to the purpose of St James’ as our Christian faith informs all aspects of our life together. Religious Education is taught so that pupils at St James’ are inspired to explore, develop and affirm their own faith. It provides an environment in which the children can grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Faith, developing their own relationship with Jesus. It also allows pupils to value and have the respect for the faith, belief and values of others.
The Religious Education Curriculum Directory states that “the outcome of excellent Religious Education is religious literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life.”
In Religious Education, St James’ aims to:
- Help the children to grow in the love of God
- Develop knowledge and understanding of their Catholic Faith
- Promote and respect the child’s innate capacity of wonder, awe, reverence, imagination, mystery and spirituality
- Expand the children’s positive attitudes of appreciation, reverence, care and respect for others, nature and property
- Assist the children in their use of prayer, in all its forms to develop their personal relationship with God
- Encourage study, investigation and reflection by pupils
At St James’, we follow “The Way, The Truth, The Life” Religious Education programme throughout the whole school; a syllabus is based on the Religious Education Directory for Catholic Schools implementing a scripture-based scheme which develops through the different year groups.
Religion is also taught according to the religious calendar, i.e. the coming of Jesus through Advent, devotion to Mary, the mysteries of the Rosary through May and October, Saint feasts as they occur throughout the year, the sufferings, the death and the resurrection of Jesus during Lent. The great feasts of the Ascension, Pentecost and the Assumption will be given emphasis at the relevant times of the year.
At St James’ we also recognise the importance of raising our pupil’s awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities. Therefore, each year group, from Year 2, will study a different faith throughout the year in order to help foster respect and tolerance of other faiths and beliefs.