As a Catholic school, Saint Joseph’s has a special role to play in the education of young Christians. Our approach to religion does not seek to ‘compartmentalise’ but rather tries to develop children’s ability to see God at work within the context of everyday lives. Our RE teaching (approx 10% of teaching time) uses the ‘Learning and Growing as the People of God’ programme (produced by the Archdiocese of Birmingham) which is based on Scripture, the Liturgical Year, Sacraments and the practices and beliefs of Catholics. This programme is taught between Years 1 to Year 6.
Years 1 to 6 also learn about two other faiths – Judaism and Islam. This is to help deepen the children’s understanding of different beliefs and knowledge of the similarities between faiths. Year 5 visit a synagogue to support their learning.
In the Foundation Stage, the children’s knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith and Catholic traditions are developed through cross-curricular topics with the RE learning planned using the Curriculum Directory for RE (as produced by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales).
Within the school we place great emphasis and value on the opportunities we have to worship as a community. A member of staff has responsibility to co-ordinate our liturgies and there is a planned timetable of Liturgies of the Word, assemblies and Mass throughout the school so that each class has the opportunity to prepare and lead these. Children in KS2 are given the opportunity to experience time for silent prayer and reflection based around a Gospel passage. During Lent and Advent we celebrate each week with a Liturgy of the Word which helps us prepare for major Church feasts as we journey through these liturgically important times of year. Families and visitors are always welcome to join us. Parish Priests from Our Lady of La Salette and Precious Blood often join us for our celebrations.