Religion Curriculum Overview
As a Catholic School, we want to work closely with the home and parish to create an atmosphere where, through teaching and example, our children will be helped to enter into a loving relationship with God our Father and with each other as members of God’s family. Our children will be strengthened by their academic knowledge of the Catholic religion and it's practices in Mass and in daily life, but perhaps more importantly, their spirituality will be nurtured as they question, understand and apply the Catholic teachings to their every day lives.
RE curriculum overview
At St Clare's R.C. Primary School, we believe that a child’s spiritual, moral and social development is every bit as important as their academic development. This means, in Religious Education, we are not just teaching a curriculum subject but also a living faith.
The following aims and objectives are taken from the Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools published for the Bishops’ Conference by the Catholic Education Service.
Religious Education in Catholic schools aims to promote:
- Knowledge and understanding of Catholic faith and life
- Knowledge and understanding of the response of faith to the ultimate questions about human life, its origin and purpose
- The skills required to engage in examination and reflection upon religious belief and practice
The objectives of Religious Education in Catholic schools are:
- to develop knowledge and understanding of the mystery of God and Jesus Christ, of the Church and the central beliefs which Catholics hold
- to develop awareness and appreciation of Catholic belief, understanding of its impact on personal and social behaviour and of the vital relationship between faith and life, life and death
- to encourage investigation and reflection by pupils to develop appropriate skills; for example, ability to listen, to think critically, spiritually,
- to acquire knowledge and organise it effectively
- to make informal judgements
- to foster appropriate attitudes for example: respect for truth, respect for the views of others, awareness of spiritual and moral responsibility and of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life, especially the challenge of living a multicultural, multi faith society. (Curriculum Directory P.10)
The outcome of Religious Education is religiously literate young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to think spiritually, ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life. (Curriculum Directory P.6)
We ensure that all our pupils are engaged in RE lessons and adapt our teaching and learning using a graduated response to help ensure inclusivity.
Our school policies related to Religion and the Religious life of the school are below.
RE policies 2023
Prayer is an integral part of our school day at St Clare's. All children pray each morning, before lunch, after lunch and at the end of each day. Prayer is an important part of our worship as it provides us with the opportunity to communicate with God. During prayer, we raise our hearts and minds to God. Praying helps us to develop spiritually and we know that God has the power to grant our prayers.
Below is a document detailing prayer progression at St Clare's. Children will continue to pray the prayers from previous year groups as they progress through the school.
Whole School Prayer Progression
Belonging: Baptism and Confirmation
Our second topic is centered around belonging and the Sacraments that we take to be a part of God's family. Children learn that a Sacrament is God's way of being present at special moments in our lives. They begin by learning about the fact that God welcomes everyone and that Baptism is an invitation to belong to the church family. They learn about the Rite of Baptism, godparents and the signs and symbols used. As they progress in the school, they look at the Sacrament of Confirmation, how the Holy Spirit works in our lives, the Sacrament of Marriage, the ministerial priesthood and the Sacrament of Ordination.
See the gallery below for some examples of our work throughout the school linked to this topic.
We live in a multi-cultural society where it is important that we have respect and understanding of other people and their beliefs. This is part of our mission as Catholics and part of our British Values. God gave us the world and we need to learn how to live in peace and harmony with each other. Understanding what and why people have different beliefs plays an important role in this. We are all part of God's family, though we are many parts we all make up Christ's body. Jesus himself was brought up in the Jewish faith following their customs and traditions.
Below are some examples of what our learning of Judaism focused on.
We started off September 2023 by re-visiting our School Mission Statement, its meaning and how we can live it every day. We also learnt about our class saints, our class Scripture quotes and class hymns.
Following this, we began our first topic in our Come and See scheme of work. This centred around families and love. It started off with our younger children knowing that they are loved by God and by our families. It also incorporated looking at Jesus's family and the role Joseph played in his life. At the higher end of the school, the topic progressed onto how God's love is unconditional, we do not need to do anything special to earn it and this was related to the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
See the gallery below for some examples of our work throughout the school linked to this topic.
Collective Worship in Spanish
Praying at Home
We would encourage children to carry on daily worship at home with their families . Here are some useful links to help you if you need any resources.
Mrs Cohen Visit
Mrs Cohen came to visit St Clare's today to share her Jewish faith with the Year 3 children. She told them all about her beliefs and about how she celebrates her religion at the synagogue and at home. She discussed some of the similarities and differences between Christianity and Judaism and she answered all of the children's questions.
Mrs Cohen visit
This week in Year 1, we have been learning about Judaism. We learned all about the stories of Moses and Abraham. It was very interesting.
RE Judaism Year 1
Year 6 have also explored the festival of Yom Kippur
Year 1 visits St Clare's church
baptismy1 church visit
Over the last half term, Year 1 have had the opportunity to visit St Clare's church to learn more about Baptism. They asked Fr Jeremiah some interesting questions all about what happens at a Catholic baptism. They were able to explore the Font and find out more about some of the symbols depicted on the sides.
Reception visit Church
On Monday our reception children visited church. We met with Father Jeremiah, who showed us some key features of the church, such as the font, altar and tabernacle. Father Jeremiah spent time talking to the children and answering any questions they had. We had a great time and it was a lovely introduction for the children, who will be attending their first whole school mass next week for Harvest.
Reception's visit to church
Year 3 religion
Today, we worked together to build a church. A church is not just a building - it's the community behind it that is important. We worked together to think of the important physical elements of a church and to design and build them.
Some of us built the building - we chose a cross shape because Jesus died on a cross. We also added a steeple so that it could be seen for miles around.
Some of us built the furniture inside it. We thought of all of the important features of a church like the altar, the pulpit, the baptismal font, and the pews.
Some children designed stained glass windows: they decided that our church would be 'St. Patrick's' and the stained glass would tell St Patrick's story of enslavement and evangelisation.
Other groups wrote prayers and made the congregation and the priest to enjoy our church building. Well done.
RE work 3m
As part of Year 3's curriculum, we have been learning all about baptism. Today, we went outside and re-enacted baptisms using dolls. We divided the roles of priest, parents and godparents between us and we discussed each person's role in the baptism and in the child's religious journey. Watch and listen to us reenacting the baptism ritual.
Stations of the Cross
Today, KS2 visited church to honour the Stations of the Cross. Year 5 led our reflections with a description of each station, a drama to help us understand what happened on Jesus' journey to the cross, and a prayer. We took part in singing some taizes to help us reflect on the solemnity of the week.
Lent is one of the most important times in the Catholic year, as we prepare to commemorate Jesus' sacrifice to save us. This year, all of the classes have had the opportunity to explore Lent through their Come and See lessons, and this has been supplemented by masses, collective worships and other religious experiences and activities.
Have a look at the photos below to see what Nursery, Year 2, Year 5 and Year 6 have been discovering and exploring during Lent. Miss Howard led a collective worship in the prayer garden for her class, Year 5 have been using their artistic skills to analyse key messages in the Easter story, Year 2 have looked at symbolism in Easter and Nursery have learned the story. Year 3 have begun to analyse the story. Year 1 used their acting skills to act out the story.
Lent - Nursery
Y1 Holy Week
Year 2 Easter Snaps
Year 3 Holy Week
Y5 Holy Week Wreaths
Y5 Holy Week Stained Glass windows
Y6 Holy Week
KS2 Holy Week
Palm Sunday in Nursery
Today, Nursery learned all about Palm Sunday. They listened to the story of Palm Sunday and joined in dancing to 'Cloaks and Branches'.
Nursery palm Sunday
Odd clothes day
As part of our social justice mission, the Mini Clares decided to hold an 'odd clothes day' to raise money for St Joseph's Penny. Well done!
Nursery odd clothes
Over the last few weeks of the Summer half term, most of our Year 3 and 4 Communion classes were able to celebrate their First Holy Communions. The remaining children will make theirs in the Autumn term, due to a COVID lockdown. Despite all of the COVID restrictions still in place, the children had a lovely day completing their next step in their Catholic journey. Congratulations to all children and parents involved, and may God bless you all.
Holy Communion 21
The Year of St Joseph
This year has been declared the Year of St Joseph, and as a school, we are celebrating each month. It has been 150 years since St Joseph became the Patron Saint of the Universal Church, and after our difficult year, Pope Francis has recognised the need for everyone across the world to band together and help each other. St Joseph, like so many people during the COVID-19 crisis, was patient and kind and loving. He was just an ordinary person, not in the limelight, not particularly important, but doing his best to make the world a better place, to be a good leader for his family, and to help where he could. St. Joseph loved Mary and Jesus very much and we can look up to him as a fantastic father figure in the church. St Joseph worked hard, loved his family and helped everybody. We celebrated St Joseph on Fathers' Day in school.
Because he was a carpenter, we decorated wooden bookmarks whilst we learned about what an inspiration he is.
Holy Week at St Clare's
Leading up to the most important dates in our Liturgical Calendar, Holy Week was full of solemn and joyful reflections here at St Clare's. The children travelled with Jesus to the cross and beyond, and celebrated the sacrifice he made for us.
As a whole school, we made crosses to reflect Jesus' sacrifice. You can see those in our galleries below.
Each class also participated in a range of activities to help the children reflect on the story, the message and the signs and symbols of Holy Week.
National Day of Reflection
Today, on 21st March 2021, it was the National Day of Reflection for Covid 19. Each class held a minute's silence and led a collective worship to give thanks for God's grace and mercy in helping us through this difficult time. Year 3 made a prayer flag each and we made a prayer circle in the garden. We each read out our prayers and offered our thanks to the Lord.
national day of reflection
We have been learning about the importance of Catholic social justice. Today, we thought about how life can be unfair and how we can help to make things better. We reflected on 'What would Jesus Do?' in different situations and tried to think of solutions for different problems we might face.
We thought about what we might do if people are struggling with their work, what we can do to intervene when people are fighting, how we can intervene when people are stealing, and how we can make sure that nobody feels lonely or left out.
Today, we came together to celebrate the Harvest festival. Each year group prepared a separate celebration to give thanks to God for his wonderful world.
We have spent a few weeks collecting dried goods and tins to share our good fortune with those who have less than we do. We have helped to sort and deliver our donations to the parish food bank so we can help those in our local community
All through October, the Mini Clares have been leading a Rosary celebration in honour of Mary. They prepared and organised their own reflection of the Rosary and invited our wider school community in to worship with us. The Mini Clares also led collective worships based on the Rosary throughout the school.
Crazy Hair Day
As part of our social justice campaign, the GIFT team decided to hold a crazy hair day to raise money for St Joseph's Penny.
Nursery charity hair day 2020
As apart of our Global Religions program, Reception learned all about Diwali. They made Diva Lamps and created play doh henna designs to celebrate the Festival of Light
Home learning Rosaries
As part of our home learning, some children created Rosaries. They did a fabulous job and taught their classes how to pray a decade of the Rosary.
Year 3 debate
Today, Year 3 had a debate lesson about the Good Samaritan. They argued what was best to do when faced with a situation where a stranger was hurt. Should you help or should you move away because they don't like you?
3S RE Lesson
The children decided that ultimately, Jesus would want us to try to help everybody, even if they didn't like us very much. We must always help everybody as much as we can.
Home learning - Easter Tree
As part of our home learning, some students made an Easter Tree and wrote Easter prayers with her friends.
Chinese New Year
As part of our Global Religion celebrations, EYFS celebrated Chinese New Year. We tried Chinese food and joined in with a dragon dance. Happy New Year!
Reception Chinese New Year
Nursery dragon dance
Caritas - Lambwe School for the Deaf
As part of our social justice campaign, we have been learning about a small school in Kenya called Lambwe. It is for deaf children, who are often shunned by their community. They do not have a steady connection to electricity or a water source close by. Inspired by one of our families, St Clares decided to raise money for Lambwe School for the Deaf. We really wanted to help our global neighbours to have clean water. We raised enough money to buy a huge water tank for the school. The Aloo family went over to Kenya to oversee it's installation and to send cards to all of our global friends.
Christmas Carol Concert
Today we celebrated our Christmas Carol Concert in church with our family, friends and parish. Merry Christmas, everybody!
Christmas Carol Concert
Today, EYFS performed their nativity for all of their parents. Well done, EYFS!
Reception Nativity 2018
Today, we dropped off our harvest bounty at Cornerstones.
Harvest drop off