Curriculum Leader: Mr L Mythen
Mr R Matthews (Associate Senior Leader Catholic Life)
Miss T Walmsley
Miss A Taylor
Mr D Garnet (Chaplain)
We believe that every person is equal and unique. This is a principle deeply rooted in the Catholic belief that all humans are lovingly created by God. As a department we promote excellence in all of our pupils and the education of the whole person.
Our aim is to develop a sense of faith that will ignite students’ appreciation of the world around them just as Jesus did through his mission; by nurturing students’ gifts and talents and making learning interesting and challenging.
It is our intent that pupils are immersed in the values of the gospel both in the content of the subject matter they are taught but also in their interactions with staff and other pupils in Religious Education. As a department, we endeavour to be models of compassion, humility, respect, integrity, service and tolerance. We aim to ensure that there is a culture of respect and compassion which allows pupils to fulfil their potential and feel valued as individuals. As such Religious Education lessons are places where pupils can feel confident and safe so that they are comfortable in discussions about their beliefs and those of others. We want pupils to engage with and respond to big questions associated with religious belief and practice, philosophy and ethics, whilst developing skills of evaluation by reflecting on the topics they study.
By following and engaging with the learning journey that has been mapped out we hope to deepen a pupils knowledge of religion and how it is lived out by people of faith.
Catholic schools, with RE at their core, exist in order to “help parents, priests and teachers to hand on the Deposit of Faith in its fullness to a new generation of young people so that they may come to understand the richness of the Catholic faith, and thereby be drawn into a deeper communion with Christ in his Church.” (Religious Education Curriculum Directory pvii). With this as their primary aim, Catholic schools serve diverse populations of pupils and within this context the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (RECD) makes the aims of Religious Education explicit:
To present engagingly a comprehensive content which is the basis of knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith;
To enable pupils continually to deepen their religious and theological understanding and be able to communicate this effectively;
To present an authentic vision of the Church’s moral and social teaching so that pupils can make a critique of the underlying trends in contemporary culture and society;
To raise pupils’ awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them;
To develop the critical faculties of pupils so that they can relate their Catholic faith to daily life;
To stimulate pupils’ imagination and provoke a desire for personal meaning as revealed in the truth of the Catholic faith;
To enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Religious Education to their understanding of other subjects in the curriculum;
To bring clarity to the relationship between faith and life, and between faith and culture.
The outcome of excellent Religious Education is religiously 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 (Religious Education Curriculum Directory p6).
The curriculum hours for RE are 10% of a normal timetable. This is insisted upon by the Archdiocese and is non-negotiable. The staffing and resourcing devoted to RE is of the highest standard
The Curriculum Leader for RE will meet the designated line manager to evaluate provision in order to ensure that teaching and learning in RE is good or outstanding. Where necessary, staff will receive coaching and training in RE.
Each year group will study a number of units over the year. The units are developmental, building on previous knowledge and experience and taking into account the child’s age and understanding.
The topics covered by each year group are as detailed on the curriculum overview.
The RE curriculum will include guest speakers who are specialists in their area and guest speakers from Catholic charities will also visit schools such as CAFOD and local clergy.
RE is taught individually but plays a central role in all areas of school life.
Spiral learning is a key focus of all formative and summative assessment.
The life and work of key figures in the History of the people of God will be studied for example, lives of the saints (St Francis Xavier).
Approaches will include whole class teaching, group activities and individual work. Pupils will have pportunities to work individually as well as cooperatively and collaboratively, developing their own knowledge and expertise as well as sharing experiences with others.
The use of visits and visitors in school will enhance the RE curriculum.
It is hoped that Religious Education at St Francis Xavier’s College develops pupils’:
knowledge and understanding of, and their ability to respond to, Christianity, other principal world religions, other religious traditions and world views
understanding and respect for different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life choices), through exploring issues within and between faiths;
understanding of the influence of faith and belief on individuals, societies, communities and cultures;
skills of enquiry and response through the use of religious vocabulary, questioning and empathy;
skills of reflection, expression, application , analysis and evaluation of beliefs, values and practices, and the communication of personal responses to these.
It is hoped that Religious Education at St Francis Xavier’s College encourages pupils to:
consider their own thoughts and opinions on the challenging questions of the meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, their own self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human;
understand the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures
learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring questions of meaning and their own beliefs;
learn about religious and ethical teaching, enabling them to make reasoned and informed responses to religious, moral and social issues;
develop their sense of identity and belonging in the world, preparing them for life as citizens in a multi-cultural global society;
develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.
It is hoped that Religious Education at St Francis Xavier’s College enhances pupils’:
awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression;
ability to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.
Religious Education at St Francis Xavier’s College offers:
preparedness for life in a multi-cultural global society where they can exist in harmony with others and live life to the full.
Trips to local churches, synagogues and mosques in KS3.
Speakers from organisations such as CAFOD in KS4
Encourage discussion about religious belief and tolerance.
Watch news items that might have a religious theme.
Google drive: All lessons are stored on google drive. Each year group has its own folder. Encourage your son to revisit the lesson they have studied to consolidate their learning.
- Church of England – includes its history, liturgy, relations with other faiths and current news. Particularly useful are the church’s views on a range of issues, from abortion and euthanasia to animal welfare and capital punishment.
- ChristianityToday.com – more an online community than an information resource, Christianity Online has a search engine, links to Christian organisations and churches, and Christian publications. Very American.
- The Bible Gateway – a tool for reading and researching scripture online in the language or translation of your choice.
- The Holy Father – The Vatican Online. Includes the Bible, Catholic Catechism and the Pontificate.
- rejesus.com – concentrates on the life and teachings of Jesus as they apply to modern Christians. The colourful and well-laid out pages have plenty of up-to-date photographs and not too much ‘churchy’ imagery. You can read and download the gospels, find quotes about Jesus from contemporary to present day sources and find a variety of images of Jesus from many cultures and traditions.
- gospelcom.net – has articles about Christianity, the Bible, religious philosophy, aspects of Christian living, science and technology, relationships and Christianity in the arts.
- Explore Jewish Thought, Literature & Humor – a bit text heavy, but has an interesting article about Jewish food laws.
- Jewish Questions Answered Jewish Calendar
- Judaism 101 – a great place to start exploring Judaism, its history and observances.
- Kosher.com: Passover on the Net – Passover is explored. Includes links to other Jewish holidays, including Purim and Chanukah.
- Totally Jewish – gives concise explanations of Jewish faith and tradition.
- United Synagogue
- Hindu Resources Online – A directory of links to Hindu resources.
- Hindu Kids Universe – Learn about different aspects of Hindu culture.
- The Hindu Universe – An excellent guide to the major deities with their characteristics and links to more resources.