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Religious Education is the "core of the core curriculum" in a Catholic school (Pope St John Paul II). Placing RE at the core of the curriculum in Catholic schools helps to fulfill our mission to educate the whole person, as embedded in the school motto “In God, we are, we know, we act”.
At Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, ‘The school clearly places a high emphasis on the centrality of the Catholic faith to its mission and life.’ (2016 Diocese Inspection Report)
The purpose of Religious Education in Catholic schools is to 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). This was reinforced by the Diocese, ‘There are very strong and sustainable links between the home, the school and the parishes the school serves.’ (2016 Diocese Inspection Report)
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).
We follow a religious education programme and strive to achieve the aims listed in our Religion Policy by following Jesus Christ as our role model.
As part of our Religious Education Programme the children are taught about other faiths. The teaching of other religions is important as:
- Learning about other religions and cultures enables us to fulfil our call to love one’s neighbour. As the Church says, “The love for all men and women is necessarily also a love for their culture. Catholic schools are, by their very vocation, intercultural.” (Congregation for Catholic Educationp61).
- The Catholic nature of our schools entails “a willingness… to try to understand better the religion of one’s neighbours, and to experience something of their religious life and culture.” (Catholic Bishops' Conferencep3).
- Many of the children in Catholic schools are practicing members of other faiths and our schools need to be places of hospitality for these children. It is an act of respect and courtesy that our curriculum helps them to reflect on the nature of their own religious identity.
As the Church says, “All children and young people [including those of other faiths in our Catholic schools] must have the same possibilities for arriving at the knowledge of their own religion as well as of elements that characterize other religions.” (Congregation for Catholic Education)
- It prepares the pupils in our Catholic schools for life in modern Britain, giving them an understanding of the beliefs of others.
Prayer, Worship and Liturgy
'Opportunities for prayer and liturgy are plentiful and pupils regularly plan and lead their own liturgies and acts of worship.’ (2016 Diocese Inspection Report)
Children participate in class based prayer at key times throughout the day. Every child has the opportunity to bring home a Lenten prayer bag to pray with their family. Children attend Key Stage assemblies and whole school Masses throughout the school year. Non-Eucharistic liturgies are also honoured.
The whole school attends a twice-weekly assembly involving collective worship and a celebration of pupil achievement.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School has established good relationships with local parishes and priests, with priests from three parishes visiting the school during the Liturgical Year. In each celebration, all year groups will be actively represented or involved by assuming a role of ministry.
The Prayer Room is our proudest resource. The Prayer Room is open and available to all members of the school community, with planned opportunities for meditation and prayer.
‘The “Prayer Room” on the first floor of the school is beautifully set out and a great asset to the school.’ (2016 Diocese Inspection Report)