At St Bede’s, Religious Education is at the heart of all that we do. As a Catholic school, we embrace the teachings of the Catholic Church and work closely with the local Catholic community. In partnership with families and parishes, we support the children’s faith journeys and we ensure the Gospel values are central to our daily interactions as well as being the foundation of all our policies.
Our Aims and objectives
Our Catholic faith is central to the day-to-day life of our school and all aspects of the curriculum and pupils are encouraged to recognise the importance of their faith and respond to all forms of liturgy and collective worship with respect and reverence.
In particular, we support children:
- To foster a love of God through knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Faith.
- To encourage the development of a personal relationship with God.
- To help our children be aware of and respect other faiths.
- To encourage children to study, investigate and reflect.
- To develop respect for truth and for the views of others.
- To develop thinking and listening skills.
Teaching and Learning in Religious Education
Our curriculum and ethos are designed to instil Gospel values in our children, teaching them to be kind, caring, forgiving and respectful young people. Links are made between the teachings of Jesus and how we behave and treat others in our own lives.
The RE curriculum we follow is based around the ‘God Matters’ scheme, the Portsmouth Diocesan Religious Education programme, which forms the basis of the school’s Catholic RE curriculum. The “God Matters” curriculum is followed throughout our school and is split up into ten themes which are revisited and developed each year to support the faith development of the children. It makes learning about our faith lively, interactive and relevant.
We embrace the culture and heritage of all children and follow a planned programme of work to raise multi-cultural awareness. The children at the end of each unit will cover other religions such as Hinduism, Judaism and Islam.
Children will have opportunities to work individually as well as co-operatively and collaboratively, developing their own knowledge and expertise as well as sharing their experiences with others.
All work will involve thought provoking reflection and discussion, encouraging the children to develop their moral and spiritual consciences.
Teachers are encouraged to make cross curricular links when planning R.E. incorporating opportunities for speaking and listening, art and design, computing and extended writing where appropriate.
See below for a God Matters programme overview on what each class covers.
Prayer is an integral part of school life. In school we pray in lots of different ways:
- During the week pupils from all year groups gather together in collective worship and services.
- Prayer at regular intervals throughout the day e.g. for morning offering or grace before meals.
- There are regular circle times and prayer services in classrooms.
- Each classroom has a dedicated prayer table area which includes words from Scripture, Liturgical images, artefacts and prayers.
- Time and opportunities are given for personal prayer.
- Weekly participation in Mass for a different class each week.
- Lunchtime prayer groups are held for pupils e.g. Rosary group, Adoration group.
- During Lent, our Priest leads prayer sessions in our school.
- We use our Prayer Garden so we feel close to nature with God.
- All children have opportunities to lead prayers, readings and singing.
We work hard to include families in the prayer life of our school by encouraging them to attend assemblies and prayer services throughout the year.
Please see our Prayer booklet.
We believe that the school alone cannot undertake a child’s religious education. Religious Education begins at home at Baptism; the parents are the child’s first teachers and support their child with his/her first religious experiences. The school works in partnership with parents and our parishes to enrich the lives of our children.
We have regular assemblies, Masses and liturgies to which parents are always welcome. Each class has regular visits to explore our own parish church and attend Mass.
We distribute a school weekly newsletter to inform parents about school life which also includes the weekly Gospel and we notify parents of Masses and liturgies too.
We have a rich liturgical life in that the experiences we provide are wide ranging and take place in school, out of school, in Church and the wider community, and engage and involve pupils, parents, staff, governors and the parish. Our School regularly supports Parish events and fund raising e.g., CAFOD, SVP, Harvest and Advent appeals, Lenten appeals.
The Celebration of the Eucharist and prayer are central in our school. Our Parish Priest regularly celebrates Mass in St. Bede’s Church. In addition, we celebrate whole school Masses at the beginning and end of term.
By working together for the children; parents and teachers make this school a place which we can truly live out our Mission statement: ‘Love one another as I have Loved you’
In order to develop the faith life of the school, we have a beautiful Prayer Garden that all children and adults are welcome to use when they would like time to reflect and pray.
The garden is located within our school environment and our children helped with the design of the mosaic’s. There are lots of different things to look for which represents God’s wonderful world. The staff and parish community are also able to access the garden as a choice when they would like some quiet time.
We have a house point system, which involves four houses. These houses were named after the four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Upon entry each pupil is allocated to a house which is represented by a different colour.
A pupil can obtain house points for excellent homework, good attendance, being polite, showing kindness, being a good example, trying their best in class, good manners in the dining hall, just showing a little extra effort and good behaviour in and out of the classroom.
Each week the points are counted and, during Assembly, children are told the scores to date. At the end of each week the winners earn rewards, such as extended playtime, and at the end of the year the winners have the House Points Trophy placed on their shield, which is on display in the Hall.