Religious Education

​​As a Catholic school, Religious Education is a Key Learning Area within the curriculum. The children participate in daily prayer, regular class liturgies and Masses to celebrate significant Church, liturgical and school occasions. The children will undertake a learning of Catholic heritage and teachings through the examination of Sacred Texts, Beliefs, Church and Christian Life.
 
The content of formal Religious Education lessons is guided by the Archdiocesan Religious Education Curriculum. The lessons are year level appropriate to each age and according to the needs of a particular class.Each day begins and ends with class prayer.
 
Each week, at School and Morning Assemblies, the school community gathers together for prayer.  Class Liturgies are held with the Parish Priest attending and leading and all family members are invited to attend.  Whole School Masses are celebrated at the opening and conclusion of each school year and for special occasions such as Mothers’ Day and St Ignatius Day.
 
Each week in our Pastoral Care program, we honour the Ignatian charism we follow and all children and teachers take part in "J-Time". This is a reflective prayer time when each group uses the Prayer of the Examen as part of this weekly ritual. This is an opportunity for students to pray, reflect and make connections with other students and teachers.  
 
St Ignatius Parish provides instruction and guidance to help children prepare for the initial reception of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist.  The school’s Religious Education Program complements, supports and enhances these Sacramental preparations for children from our school.Our school also combines with the St Ignatius Parish once a term for a special Mass where the children lead the Mass and extended family are invited to attend.
 
The values presented at the school are those of Christ. We also acknowledge the work and teachings of St Ignatius, Catherine McAuley and Mary Mackillop. Staff and students are encouraged to live by these teachings.  This is highlighted each week at the School Assembly where Christian behaviour is acknowledged through the presentation of various awards.
  • 'Lift Up Our Hearts' award presented by class teachers weekly
  • St Ignatius Award - given to a student each month and voted by teachers.
  • Circle of Mercy Award - given once a month to a class and voted by specialist teachers for the class showing outstanding coopeation and particiaption in their lessons.   
  • Student of the week Award - one per week per class. 
 
The school has two sacred spaces which is available for classes and small groups to use for prayers and special gatherings. 
  •  "Jesus and the little kid" is the centenary statue that is placed at the corner of Coram Play Space. The children enjoy engaging with this statue as part of their play.   
  • "Mary and Jesus" is the space dedicated to Mary the mother of Jesus and a space where classes can gather for quiet reflection. 
  • The St Ignatius Church is also available for school use at any time. 
 
We are also blessed to have religious iconography throughout the school. This is a subtle remind of the importance our school places on its Catholic identity and the influence that these religious figures have on our school community.
 
We hold steadfastly the need to help children become aware of the wider community and the needs of society. Teaching our children how we can bring the values of Christ to daily life is a fundamental aspect of the school’s mission and curriculum. The children are asked to consider the lives of those who are disadvantaged or less fortunate in a number of ways and participate in school outreach programs. Social justice activities such as Project Compassion, St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal and Day for Daniel enhance the school’s teaching of social justice and widen student awareness of community issues. Staff and parents also model this value through their commitment to outreach projects each year.
 
Staff formation is also paramount to our Religious Education program and formation opportunities are provided annually.

Religious Education Curriculum
 
The following topics or content areas are explored and developed within each year level. Further information regarding classroom content is distributed to parents via class letters each term.
 
Prep
In Prep, students learn about some Old Testament and New Testament stories that tell of a God of love, the creator of all, the goodness of God’s creation, God’s special relationship with all of creation and God’s plan that people help each other to live safely and happily together, for the good of all.
 
Students listen to, read and view stories of and about Jesus in the Gospels that tell of Jesus’ life as a Jew, his mother Mary, his friends and family; of Jesus praying and teaching others to pray; of his teachings about love, compassion and forgiveness that challenged people about the way they were living; and of his suffering, death and resurrection. They learn that Christians believe God created people with the freedom to choose between good and bad, right and wrong. They explore examples of times, from familiar texts and their personal experience, when people make these choices.
 
Students understand that prayer helps believers follow the teachings of Jesus; to live according to God’s plan. They learn about ways in which believers pray, either alone or with others, including the Sign of the Cross and Amen. They observe ways in which believers pray together during special celebrations and rituals that mark important times in the life of believers and in the Church year. They learn about the Church building as a sacred place for believers and the Bible as a sacred book for believers.
 
Year One
 In Year 1, students explore the Christian teaching that all people are created in God’s own image, with dignity and natural rights. They learn about living in accordance with God’s plan for all creation: living safely and happily in community and in loving relationship with God, with a responsibility to care for all creation and using God’s gift of freedom to make choices responsibly. They engage with a variety of Old Testament texts to learn about God’s presence in the lives of individuals and communities and make connections to their own experiences. They explore the words, actions and symbols used in the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist to communicate God’s presence and action. They learn about the different roles in the local parish community.
 
Students learn about the nature of Jesus’ mission and ministry. They explore aspects of Jewish daily life at the time of Jesus. They listen to, view and read accounts from different Gospels of key events, places and characters in the life of Jesus and explore similarities and differences in these accounts. They explore the many ways in which Mary, Mother of Jesus, is honoured by Christians past and present and develop their understanding of the Hail Mary, a Catholic prayer honouring Mary. Students understand that prayer was an important part of Jesus’ life and is important in the lives of believers. They continue to learn about ways in which believers pray, either alone or with others.
 
Year Two
In Year 2, students learn about aspects of God’s nature and God’s relationship with people, as they engage with a variety of New Testament texts depicting the teachings and actions of Jesus and Old Testament texts that describe God’s relationship with the Jewish people. They explore contextual information about the first century Mediterranean world, to better appreciate the life and times of Jesus. They learn about Jesus’ mission and ministry and explore ways in which Jesus’ teachings and actions continue to guide the life of the Church community today. They explore, recognise and appreciate the history of a parish community as it is revealed in many ways.
 
Students learn about the sacredness of all creation, especially human life; the call to be co-creators and stewards of God’s creation; and the responsibility to pursue peace and justice out of respect for human life and all creation. They develop their understanding of the loving relationship God unconditionally offers to people; and their understanding of sin, as evident in the free choices that harm the individual and their loving relationships with God, with others and with all creation. They explore ways in which believers seek to heal these relationships through reconciliation and prayer. They investigate ways in which believers celebrate reconciliation with God and with others in the Sacrament of Penance.
 
Students examine ways in which prayer and the wisdom of the saints help believers to nurture their loving relationships with God, with others and with all creation. They develop their understanding of prayer in the Christian tradition through an exploration of prayer for forgiveness (acts of contrition and Penitential Act) and meditative prayer.
 
Year Three
 In Year 3, students develop their understanding of God’s relationship with people as individuals and as community, and the presence and action of God in daily life experiences, as they engage with a variety of texts (including key stories from the Torah, images of God used in Old Testament texts, and the wisdom of prayers attributed to the saints). They develop an appreciation of the order and harmony of creation. They learn about the cultural contexts in which the Gospels were written and the text types used in the New Testament to develop their understanding of the life and teaching of Jesus and the Christian belief that Jesus is the Messiah
 
Students develop an appreciation of the Scriptures as a basis for Christian moral living, including respect for basic human rights and acknowledgement of responsibilities, in particular to the poor and disadvantaged. They develop an appreciation of the collaboration of clergy, religious and laity as they learn about significant features of a parish and diocese, past and present. They learn about the significance of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) for the Church community. They investigate prayers of thanksgiving and prayers of praise, including psalms and doxologies, to facilitate an appreciation of the significance of these forms of prayer for Christians.
 
Year Four
 In Year 4, students develop their understanding of God’s Word in Scripture as they use the Bible’s referencing system to locate books, people, places and things in the Bible and engage with a variety of books and text types in the Old Testament and New Testament. They listen to, read, view and interpret Scriptural passages that express God as Father, as Son and as Holy Spirit, to learn about the Christian belief that God, as Trinity, is relational in nature.
 
Students begin to appreciate the significance of community for Christians: of living in loving relationship with God, others and all of creation. They develop their understanding of community through an exploration of different texts, including the Decalogue and the writings of St Paul, and the experiences of different communities, including Jewish communities in first century Palestine, early Church communities in Australia (c.1788 CE - c.1850 CE) and contemporary parishes and dioceses. They examine how free choices result in actions that affect the individual and their community. They broaden their understanding of the significance of the Sacraments for Church communities through an exploration of the Sacraments of Healing, including Anointing of the Sick and Penance. They examine prayers of blessing, petition and intercession to facilitate an appreciation of the significance of these forms of prayer for Christian communities.
 
Year Five
 In Year 5, students begin to appreciate the significance of community for sharing and strengthening the faith of believers, past and present, including the Church in the Australian colonies (c.1850 CE - c.1900 CE). Using a range of Biblical tools, they begin to see how the Gospel writers shaped their Gospels for particular communities. They learn about the action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers as they engage with a variety of texts, including Scriptural references to the Holy Spirit and the Catholic Rite of Confirmation. They develop their understanding of Christian charity and informed moral choice through an exploration of the experiences of individuals and communities, past and present. They broaden their appreciation of the significance of personal and communal prayer and worship (including the Eucharist, the Psalms, Sabbath rituals and prayers); and the wisdom of the Saints (including St Mary of the Cross MacKillop) for communities of believers. They learn about the significance of Marian prayers (including the Hail Mary, the Rosary and the Litany of Mary of Nazareth) in which believers praise God and entrust cares and petitions to Mary as mother of Jesus and mother of the Church.
 
 
Year Six
In Year 6, students are introduced to the Christian understanding of faith and the term ‘communion of saints’. They develop their understanding of the many ways in which faith is lived out and celebrated in the lives of believers past and present. They learn about the contexts and key messages of some Old Testament prophets and the contribution of some key people (laity, religious and clergy) to the shaping of the Church in Australia (c. 1900 CE to present). They understand the significance of Jesus’ New Law for the way believers live their faith, including an exploration of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. They develop their understanding of the role of celebrations in the faith life of believers, including the commemoration of High Holy Days by Jewish believers and the Church’s liturgical celebrations (including the Eucharist). They develop their understanding of prayer in the Christian tradition through an exploration of the Our Father, The Examen, and meditative prayer practices including prayer journaling.
 
They are introduced to the Church teaching that the Holy Spirit guided the formation of the New Testament. Using a range of Biblical tools, they engage with a variety of Scriptural texts that describe Jesus’ relationship with God the Father and with humanity and proclaim Jesus as fulfilling all of God’s promises in the Old Testament.