At St Joseph’s, Religious Education is at the core of all aspects of the curriculum and is fundamentally important in developing the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils. Delivery of the subject is integrated with our SEAL (Social Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme to ensure that the statutory element of the PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum is comprehensively covered.
We have undertaken to follow the ‘Come and See’ Scheme of Work, which allows children to be inspired to use relevant and user-friendly resources that can be accessed on line.
Our most valuable resource is the teachers who provide creative, interesting and engaging lessons to provide first-class Religious Education at St Joseph’s.
The ‘Come and See’ programme is developed through three themes – Church, Sacrament and Christian Living. Each theme is explored through a different topic in each year group so that children’s knowledge and understanding is deepened as they progress through the school.
Targets for each topic are set and the pupils’ work is assessed in line with national expectations. Parents are informed of their child’s attainment and levels are recorded and tracked to ensure progress is being made. The RE Subject Leader attends an annual moderation meeting with other schools in the local Deanery to share good practice and check that levels allocated to pupils are accurate.
Whilst St Joseph’s teaching is underpinned by Catholic principles, the school is committed to providing a balanced education, whereby the diversity of the subject is studied and how this influences national life. To this end, a range of faiths are studied and ‘difference’ is respected by pupils who are taught to embrace our rich and culturally diverse society, and most particularly they are taught to respect people of all faiths and of no faith.
All pupils are encouraged to explore and share their own beliefs; this helps them to build a strong sense of identity in the light of what they learn. Circle time and discussion periods are vital so that pupils explore issues what is right and wrong whilst having the confidence to express personal views in a safe and secure environment.
Our Catholic children are also given the opportunity to develop their faith and commitment in a series of Sacramental Preparation classes (Reconciliation and the Eucharist) that are run as an extra-curricular course by the RE Subject Leader.
At St Joseph’s, we promote community links by attending Masses at our local Catholic Church, St John’s Catholic Church in Gravesend. In addition, our children visit other local places of worship to broaden their knowledge and understanding. Religious clergy and other faith leaders are welcomed at St Joseph’s.
We express our responsibility to the wider community by fundraising events that support the work of The Sisters of Mercy (our Founders), CAFOD, the hospice movement and numerous other local, national and global charities. We believe that everyone at our school must put their beliefs into actions by showing love, empathy, compassion and generosity to others especially children who are less fortunate than themselves. Lastly, matters of global significance are considered and how religious beliefs impact on world issues.