St. William of York is a Catholic school and we are committed to the Catholic faith; recognising and valuing every individual as special and unique in the image and likeness of God.
At St. William of York, we believe that RE is the core of the curriculum; influencing all that we teach and enabling us to develop the whole person. We provide our children with a Religious Education that:
- Encourages understanding of themselves, others and the world around them.
- Provides each child with the opportunity to develop their relationship with God.
- Promote knowledge and understanding of Catholic faith and life and provides opportunities for children to ask questions.
- Develops awareness and understanding of the impact of faith upon our daily lives.
- Foster attitudes of respect towards all who live in our society.
- Develop skills linked to the reflection upon and practice of religious belief; not only learning about the Catholic faith, but inspiring awe, wonder, reverence and spirituality.
At its core, our intent through Religious Education is for children at St. William of York to develop their understanding of themselves and their relationship with God and others and to become religiously literate during their time with us.
At St. William of York, we follow the Come & See programme of study from Nursery to Year 6. Following RECD requirements, 10% of the curriculum timetable is dedicated to delivering Religious Education to our children. RE is taught individually but plays a central role in all areas of school life. The ‘Come and see’ curriculum offers the opportunity to search, to explore, to discover, and to respond. The ‘Come and See’ document supports the central belief of Christ being at the centre of all that we do. In each of the terms it addresses 3 key questions to be explored through the teaching and learning in the different topics:
Where do I come from? (Autumn term)
Who am I? (Spring term)
Why am I here? (Summer term)
The units in Come and See are developmental, building on previous knowledge and experience and taking into account the children’s age and stage of development and understanding. Come and See is taught through a series of 9 themes which look at the Church and its teachings, the Sacraments and Christian Living. Each year group covers this theme through a different topic and two other faith traditions (Judaism and either Islam, Hinduism or Sikhism) are taught through discreet topics.
Each of the 9 themes is explored over a 4 week period, with time dedicated to exploring the basis of the theme, revealing the meaning of scripture and the Church’s teaching and reflecting on the child’s learning and experiences. The exploration of other faiths lasts for 2 weeks at a time and is rotated over a 3 year cycle.
Come and See also provides opportunities for celebration, prayer and reflection. The programme explores the religious dimensions of questions about life, dignity and purpose within the Catholic tradition. Links are made with the children’s own experience and with universal experience. It raises questions and provides opportunities for reflection on children’s personal experiences. It enables them to explore the beliefs, values and way of life of the Catholic tradition and, where appropriate, other faith traditions. It provides children with the language of religious experience – a ‘literacy’ in religious activities, places, stories, symbols and rituals, people and objects. It also provides a ‘systematic presentation of Christian event, message and way of life’ in ways appropriate to the age and stage of development of the child.
The themes of each season are:
The three autumn time themes are developed in the light of an understanding of
- Family- Domestic Church focuses on life as a gift, myself as a unique and loved creation, the love and care that can be expressed in family groups.
- Belonging- Baptism/Confirmation focuses on the call to belong, the creative potential that belonging develops; and Baptism and Confirmation, sacraments of the gift of God’s life and friendship.
- Loving- Advent/Christmas focuses on the capacity for entering into loving relationships and the perfect gift and revelation of God’s love, Jesus, born of Mary, born as one of us.
The three spring time themes are developed in the light of an understanding of
- Community- Local Church focuses on the people of God gathered in Christ, united in the journey of faith, in care for one another, in sharing their story and in celebration.
- Relating- Eucharist focuses on the invitation to know Jesus, to live in communion with him and with one another.
- Giving- Lent/Easter focuses on Jesus’ loving self-giving on the cross, the Father’s love that raises him to new life and the challenge to Christians to follow Jesus’ example of self-giving.
The three summer themes are developed in the light of an understanding of Redemption
and the work of the Holy Spirit:
- Serving- Pentecost focuses on the on-going mission of Jesus Christ in the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Inter-relating- Reconciliation focuses on the love, compassion and forgiveness of God the Father revealed in Jesus and poured out by the Spirit to bring forgiveness and reconciliation in the sacrament of Reconciliation.
- World- Universal Church focuses on the same love revealed in the diversity of the world and its people, and in the gifts of the Spirit that bear fruit in love, joy, justice and peace for all people. Each theme is explored in the different year groups as a different named topic.
Children are highly engaged in RE lessons through the use of a variety of sources such as religious stories, scripture, religious artwork, songs, music, dance and religious signs and symbols. RE is taught through different approaches including whole class teaching, group activities and individual work. Children are given opportunities to work individually as well as cooperatively and collaboratively, developing their own knowledge and expertise as well as sharing experiences with others. Where possible, we use visits and invite visitors to school in order to enhance the RE curriculum.
The impact of our Religious Education curriculum is measured through a variety of different strategies.
We have a robust, whole school monitoring system for RE and the impact of our curriculum on the progress and attainment of children in RE is measured through ongoing teacher assessment in lessons, lesson observations and book studies. In addition to these, assessment in RE shows the impact of our RE curriculum. Ongoing assessment of each topic against the End of Year Standards, in addition to formal assessment tasks set by the Archdiocese, are used to identify areas of strength, areas for focus or support and to inform planning. Assessment is moderated internally and also externally at termly, local RE cluster meetings.
Importantly, the impact of the RE curriculum is also shown through our children and their deepening appreciation of their faith and God-given talents. Children can talk openly about their faith and the role they play in the community and wider Catholic Church. Children at St. William of York will live out their faith in an active and positive way, always aware of the presence and love of Christ guiding them.