The primary content of all religious education material is the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church and their implications for the lives of people today, and particularly for the lives of the pupils. Religious education material must, therefore, always present the three key elements of the Christian faith:
- - that every human event is marked by the creative activity of God which communicates goodness to all beings;
- - that the reality and power of sin limit and numb every person;
- - that the life, death and resurrection of Christ, communicated by the Holy Spirit, give believers the hope of a definitive ‘fulfilment’.
- - Material not incorporating those three elements “cannot be authentically Christian”.
Other faiths are addressed as a consequence of, and in the context of, Catholic teaching. Catholic teaching about the action of God in the world requires an informed and respectful approach to other faiths. By a study of the action of God in these faiths, Catholics can come to a deeper appreciation of the revelation of God in Christ. Catholics can also learn from the practices of other faiths (e.g. patterns of prayer, fasting, pilgrimages etc. cf. GDC para. 200).
The syllabus incorporates attainment targets: learning about the Catholic faith (AT1) and learning from the Catholic faith (AT2). These are set out in the form of specific key learning objectives for each module.
F1 – God’s World – children will have the opportunity to learn that God loves and cares for each one of us and to reflect on this. They will hear about and respond to the things God created for us and know that God has asked us to care for the world. Think of ways in which we can help to do it.
F2- God’s Family – children will have the opportunity to become aware that God made them to be part of his family and that everyone else is part of it too. God made us to know and love him and to show our love for God by helping one another
F3 – Getting to know Jesus – children will be given the opportunity to learn that Jesus loves each one of us and to think of ways in which we can show our love for Jesus. To hear that Jesus cured people who were ill and to think of ways in which we can show our love for people who are ill. Children will also hear the story of the Wedding at Cana and begin to know that Jesus shows us a God of love and compassion.
F4 – Sorrow and Joy – children will have the opportunity to understand that we should always try to be kind to each other and to understand that sometimes we forget to be kind to each other. They will learn that we can say sorry when we hurt someone and Jesus can help us to do this – we need to ask Jesus to help us to be kind to others.
F5 – New Life – children will hear that because Jesus rose from the dead we experience Easter joy. They will have the opportunity to know the story of Jesus meeting with Mary Magdalene when he rose from the dead and to begin to understand why this story is important. The children will hear about the joy and peace Jesus gave to his disciples and to know the story of Jesus going back to his Father in heaven.
F6 – Church – children will be given the opportunity to know that we call the Church the family of God and that a church building is a holy place where we can all pray and are welcome. They will learn that Jesus is present in a special way in the tabernacle and we can visit him and why Sunday is a special day for Christians.
Year 1 will be following VINE AND BRANCHES from September 2023
1.1 Creation and Covenant - This branch focuses on Revelation, starting with Creation, leading to God's covenant with His people. Pupils learn about the world's existence and its origin. They explore Christian beliefs in God as Creator and our duty to care for His creation, following Catholic Social Teaching principles like stewardship and human dignity from 'Laudato Si'' (2015).
1.2 Prophecy and promise - This branch helps pupils understand that God's love is shown through Jesus, His Son. Jesus makes the invisible God visible, symbolised by His birth in Bethlehem. After learning about Creation, this branch focuses on encountering Jesus. Pupils explore Jesus' life from St. Luke's Gospel, emphasising the story's sequence, Mary's 'Yes,' and the significance of angels as God's messengers and Christ's divine nature.
1.3 Galilee to Jerusalem - This branch helps pupils grasp the early Christian belief that Jesus' ministry revealed his divinity. Despite familiar accounts, the profound revelation is often overlooked. After exploring Creation, this branch delves into God entering human history. Teachers encourage pupils to contemplate the narratives. Mary and Joseph's humble offerings contrast with Simeon's recognition of Jesus as salvation. Anna, devoted to the temple, sees more than a baby; she perceives an extraordinary event. Pupils reflect on Jesus' divinity and his mission to society's margins. St. Luke's Gospel showcases Jesus' care for the oppressed, especially children, revealing his character of love and kindness.
1.4 Desert to Garden - This branch teaches pupils about Lent, preparing for Easter, and Jesus' last week, death, and resurrection. It concludes with the women encountering an angel by the empty tomb, emphasising Christ's divinity. Pupils learn the significance of Lent beyond chocolate-focused Easter. The lessons expand through school prayer and charitable activities. The branch also covers Jesus' Temptation in the wilderness, aiding understanding of Lent. Teachers can adjust its position based on Lent's timing.
1.5 To the Ends of the Earth - This branch covers the Road to Emmaus, Ascension, and Pentecost stories, completing a cycle of Jesus' life, death, and Resurrection. Pupils also learn about the Holy Spirit's influence on the Apostles and the early Church. Scripture passages are condensed, helping students consolidate Jesus' narrative and connect it to the apostles' mission empowered by the Holy Spirit.
1.6 Dialogue and encounter - In 'The Identity of the Catholic School for a Culture of Dialogue' (2022), the Congregation for Catholic Education emphasises the global consistency of Catholic school identity. While acknowledging diverse pupil backgrounds, the document advocates fostering dialogue through a strong Catholic identity. The aim is a universal Catholic culture that integrates Christian values. Starting with tangible experiences, younger pupils meet local Christians, including the priest, and explore what being Christian entails. Potential visits to the parish and sharing different Catholic traditions enrich understanding. Teachers can tailor the approach to their location, embracing both local and global Christian perspectives.
2.1 The Chosen People - helps the children appreciate that they are chosen and gifted by God to do him some definite service: to help others. It also develops the children’s knowledge of Abraham, Moses and Daniel and gives some understanding of their faith and trust in God.
2.2 Mysteries - develops the children’s knowledge and understanding of the term ‘mystery’ and of the Christian understanding of God as ‘Trinity’. The topic goes on to outline the story of Jesus’ birth and the role played by the Father and the Holy Spirit through the characters of Mary and Joseph.
2.3 The Good News - develops the children’s knowledge and understanding of the joy that Jesus brings and to reflect on how we can bring joy to others. The children will learn that Jesus brings the good news of God’s love through his miracles and so turns sadness into joy.
2.4 The Mass - develops the children’s knowledge and understanding of the celebration of the Mass. The children will learn about the readings at Mass and why they should listen to them. They will know what happens at the Offertory and that the bread and wine are changed into Jesus.
2.5 Eastertide - develops the children’s knowledge and understanding that Jesus rose from the dead at Easter and is present with us today. The children will learn about the appearance of Jesus to his disciples and his Ascension to heaven. They will learn about Pentecost and the symbols of the Holy Spirit.
2.6 Birth of the Church - develops the children’s knowledge and understanding of the beginning of the Church. They will learn that the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to spread the Good News and about what the early Christian community was like. The children will reflect on how they can spread the Good News.
Year 3 will be following VINE AND BRANCHES from September 2023
3.1 Creation and Covenant - In this branch, pupils revisit the Genesis Creation story, exploring its depth. God's Spirit hovers, words create order, pointing to the Trinity. Pupils note Creation's goodness and God's rest. People's rest signifies appreciation and gratitude. Humanity is made in God's image, male and female, promoting equality discussions. Theological term 'imago Dei' is explained, and CAFOD's video clarifies it. Laudato Si' passages are not age-appropriate, but Pope Francis highlights Creation's importance and broken relationships due to sin. He calls for ecological virtues. This understanding aids pupils' appreciation of Creation, relationships, and responsibility.
3.2 Prophecy and promise - Sometimes, we step outside the liturgical year to focus on themes like the Mass and St Matthew's gospel. This branch has two parts: understanding the Mass and St Matthew's nativity account. The Eucharist's importance is explored later. St Matthew's gospel highlights Jesus as the Messiah, fulfilling Jewish Scriptures. Though St Matthew's nativity differs, the angel's message and Magi's visit reveal Jesus' divinity. Bethlehem's meaning is also significant as 'Beth' means house and 'lehem' means bread, linking to Jesus as the 'bread of life'. Teachers can teach the Mass continuously or separately.
3.3 Galilee to Jerusalem - In this branch, pupils learn about the Gospel of St Matthew, divided into seven books. The first and last books cover Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection, while the five in between show his life and ministry. St Matthew groups similar stories to convey the same message. The branch focuses on ten miracles and parables. Although Jesus didn't perform them in order, they all teach about the Kingdom of God.
3.4 Desert to Garden - Lent and Holy Week events aren't covered in this branch, which focuses on the Eucharist's institution at the Last Supper. The miracle of feeding the multitude, present in all gospels, foreshadows the Last Supper. Pupils explore the Liturgy of the Eucharist, connecting it with Jesus' death and Resurrection. A resource like YOUCAT for Kids explains the Eucharist's significance as a meeting point with God's kingdom. Pupils learn about Mass and its prayers, with St. Teresa of Avila's prayer highlighting communion's transformative nature and deepening the relationship with Jesus.
3.5 To the Ends of the Earth - In this branch, pupils explore how today's Mass resembles the first disciples' Mass. St. Paul's letter to Corinthians offers a glimpse into early Mass practices, aligning with the modern Catholic Church's pattern. The Emmaus story illustrates Mass's structure, with the disciples recognising Jesus through blessing and breaking bread. Pupils connect Jesus' words in Matthew's gospel and the priest's words at Mass's end. They also delve into the Holy Trinity's mystery, recognizing its communal nature during the epiclesis, symbolised in church art and symbolism. Mary's role before Pentecost and her intercession in prayers are discussed, mirroring her guidance of the early disciples in prayer.
3.6 Dialogue and encounter - When exploring Islam, pupils delve into a religious law or belief and its practical application. Teachers have flexibility to choose topics aligned with the Islamic calendar or central beliefs. Fasting and pilgrimage, associated with specific months, are popular choices. Beyond beliefs, pupils learn about Islam's cultural facets: art, music, poetry, architecture, and beliefs. This approach ensures a holistic understanding of Islam's richness and diversity.
Year 4 - WAY, TRUTH, LIFE
4.1 The Bible - In this topic, the children will learn that the Bible tells us about God and his love for us. They will learn some Old Testament stories and be introduced to some important religious themes like trusting in God and prayer. They will be given the opportunity to develop their research skills by looking up Bible references.
4.2 Trust in God - In this topic, the children will learn Jesus’ teaching on the importance of trusting in him. They will explore the importance of trusting in God as well as the difficulties it brings through the stories of Zechariah, Mary and Joseph.
4.3 Jesus, the Teacher - In this topic, the children will learn that Jesus was a teacher who came to show us how to live. They will explore Jesus’ early life and learn about his presentation in the Temple. The children will know that Jesus used parables in his teaching and reflect on the meaning of the Parable of the Sower and Unforgiving Servant.
4.4 Jesus, the Saviour - In this topic, the children will learn that Jesus came from God to share our life so that we can share in the life of Jesus. They will reflect on how Jesus is like us and how he is like God. They will consider ways in which they can share in the life of Jesus. They will learn about the events of Holy Week, particularly Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
4.5 Mission of the Church - In this topic, the children will learn about the mission entrusted by Jesus to his followers to tell everyone the good news. The children will focus on Peter who was chosen by Jesus to be leader of the disciples, the first Pope. They will also learn about Stephen, the first Christian martyr and St. Paul. The children will learn about Pentecost and reflect on the importance of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
4.6 Belonging to the Church - In this topic, the children will learn what it means to belong to the Church community. They will explore the nature of community, the importance of identity and commitment, and relate this to the Sacrament of Baptism and the Creed.
5.1 Gifts from God - This topic outlines some of the key beliefs about the creation of the world and the creation of human beings. The children are encouraged to reflect on the meaning of being made in God’s image as well as the story of ‘The Fall’. They will reflect on their stewardship of creation and on their care for others through work on St. Francis and St. Vincent de Paul.
5.2 The Commandments - In this topic, the children will be introduced to the Ten Commandments. They will learn that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses as a gift to help us to live as God wants. In the latter part of the topic the children will learn how God sent Jesus, his only Son, to help us live the commandments.
5.3 Inspirational People - In this topic, the children will learn about the qualities possessed by followers of Jesus through the theme of inspirational people. They will be introduced to inspirational followers of Jesus like Fr. Damien and be encouraged to reflect on how they can follow Jesus in their own lives.
5.4 Reconciliation - In this topic, the children will learn that God heals our friendship with him and others through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
5.5 Life in the Risen Lord - In this topic, the children will understand the Jesus is risen from the dead and is present to us in different ways. They will hear the story of Jesus appearance to Mary of Magdala. They will have an opportunity to learn about different ways of praying and Jesus’ teaching and example of prayer.
5.6 People of Other Faiths - In this topic, the children will learn about some of the similarities and differences that exist between Christianity and other world faiths. They will have an opportunity to learn about beliefs, behaviour and places of worship.
Year 6 - WAY, TRUTH, LIFE
6.1 The Kingdom of God - In this topic, the children will be introduced to the concept of the Kingdom of God. They will explore the concept of the Kingdom of God through some of the parables and miracles of Jesus and ways in which people respond to Jesus’ invitation to belong to his Kingdom.
6.2 Justice - In this topic, the children will learn what justice is and know that they are called to work for justice in the world. They will explore the concept through work on the prophet Elijah and John the Baptist as well as more modern day Christians like Oscar Romero. In the latter part of the topic the children will explore the meaning of Advent and the customs associated with Advent and Christmas.
6.3 Jesus, the Bread of Life - In this topic the children will learn about the different parts of the Mass, particularly the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. They will learn about the first Passover and show an understanding of the links between it and the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples. They will reflect on the importance of the body and blood of Christ for Catholics.
6.4 Jesus, Son of God - In this topic the children will learn that the miracles Jesus performed led many to believe that Jesus was God’s Son. They will reflect on the reactions of people to the miracles and come to know that opposition to Jesus’ actions led to his arrest. They will learn about the events of Holy Week and consider their importance for us.
6.5 The Work of the Apostles - In this topic the children will learn that the apostles of Jesus were ordinary people who answered the call to follow Jesus. They will reflect on their own calling to be a follower of Jesus. They will know how the apostles changed when they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and reflect on how they can be changed. The children will know something about how the early Christian community lived and learn that the life of the first apostles was not easy.
6.6 Called to Serve - In this topic the children will learn that they are called to serve God by loving one another. They will reflect on their own calling to follow Jesus and explore how they can use their gifts in the service of God and other people. The children will learn about the Sacrament of Confirmation and how the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given through it. They will explore how Marriage and Holy Orders are ways through which people can serve God.
Relationships and Health Education (RHE)
The Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019, made under sections 34 and 35 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, made Relationships Education compulsory for all pupils receiving primary education They also make Health Education compulsory in all schools except independent schools.
At Our Lady's, the content of RHE taught as part of a broader PSHE curriculum, will enable us to promote the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, at school and in society. We have chosen 'Life to the Full’ by Ten:Ten to provide our RHE curriculum. This program allows us to implement RHE within the morals of the Church's teaching. It emphasises the central importance of marriage and family whilst acknowledging that all pupils have a fundamental right to have their life respected whatever household they come from, support will be provided to help pupils deal with different sets of values.
DfE guidance states that the focus of RHE in primary school should be on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults. The Life to the Full Program fully supports the DfE guidance.
For further details about the program, please use the Parent Portal:
and use the username: ol-star-sea65