Religious Education

Our Religious Education programme, Come & See, holds a central position with the school curriculum. Sacraments celebrated during the primary phase include:

  • Reconciliation
  • Holy Communion

Religious Education seeks not only to impart knowledge but also to develop understanding of religious experiences, feelings and attitudes. It is concerned with the spiritual growth of the individual, both in relation to the school and parish community.

The Aims of Religious Education

The school’s aim in providing Religious Education is the development of religiously literate and articulate young people through:

  • The promotion of knowledge and understanding of Catholic faith and life.
  • The promotion of knowledge and understanding of the response of faith to the ultimate questions about human life, its origin and purpose.
  • The development of the skills required in order to engage in the examination of and reflection upon religious belief and practice.

The Objectives of Religious Education

The objectives of Religious Education at St Ambrose Barlow School are:

  • The provision for each pupil, through comprehensive and systematic study, of knowledge and understanding of; the mystery of God, the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the teachings of the Church and the central beliefs that Catholics uphold.
  • To encourage children to reflect both independently and as group.
  • To develop appropriate skills; for example the ability to listen, to think critically, spiritually, ethically and theologically. (Age appropriate)
  • To foster appropriate attitudes; for example, respect for truth; respect for the views of others; awareness of spiritual and moral responsibility.
  • To seek opportunities to enhance community links both locally and further a field.
  • To promote and consolidate a free and informed response to God’s call in everyday life.

The Religious Education Programme

To fulfil our aims and objectives we use the ‘Come & See’ programme of Religious Education recommended by the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Overview of Content

The ‘Come and See’ programme has at its core, three basic questions that reflect the Church’s response to the Christian faith.

Where do I come from?              Life – Creation

Who am I?                                Dignity – Incarnation

Why am I here?                         Purpose – Redemption

In ‘Come and See’ these questions are considered in the light of the Scriptures and Tradition of the Church.

Topics

‘Come and See’ follows three themes based upon the documents of the Second Vatican Council.  The themes are Church, Sacrament and Christian Living.

For each theme there are clearly stated learning outcomes and objectives. These are matched to a variety of learning experiences thus ensuring cohesion and progression.  The programme is one which is ‘alive’ in our school as we deliver each topic not only in terms of theological learning, but also through practical application.  The ethos of our school is intertwined with the spiritual, moral, social and cultural outcomes for each year group thereby giving every child a fully rounded education through God’s light.

The Process

The process for delivering the topics in ‘Come and See’ has 3 stages that enables all pupils to develop the knowledge and understanding, skills and attitude of the Christian Faith. The stages are:

  • Explore
  • Reveal
  • Respond

Although all stages play important roles in delivering our aims and objectives, the Reveal stage is the heart of the process. It is during this stage that the children are introduced to the Christian understanding of the mystery of God and human life as expressed in the person, the life and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Planning

Long term planning is the responsibility of the head teacher, RE Coordinator and the SLT. It includes:

  • Monitoring timetables to ensure 10% curriculum time and ensuring appropriate slots within the timetable
  • Selecting the appropriate direction of Religious Education
  • Deciding on what element of Religious Education appears on SDP and Performance Management for that year.

Medium term planning is the responsibility of the RE Coordinator. It includes:

  • Providing staff with a yearly overview of topics to be covered, with start and finish dates for each topic. This overview will also include dates for the ‘Other Faith’ topics.
  • Ensuring all staff download the short term planning sheets from the Archdiocesan website and annotating where appropriate.
  • Ensuring all staff understand the time allocation for each key stage.

Differentiation

Differentiated activities are used to enable children to engage and succeed in their set task or activity; to challenge and stretch children; and to enable children to recognise their own achievements and celebrate them.

In ‘Come & See’, differentiation is provided through a variety of activities that the teacher can select from their Year group programme of study.  These activities can be altered to best support and challenge the learning of the children. All activities are differentiated by the class teacher to best suit the particular need of their class.  At times teachers may choose to deploy LSA and other adults to support children thus providing differentiation through support.

Formal Assessment

At St Ambrose Barlow School we use the formal assessment tasks designed by the Archdiocese.  Assessment judgements are made using the formal assessment tasks in conjunction with pupils’ work and class-based discussions.

Each formal assessment is kept in a class portfolio which moves up with the class throughout their time at St Ambrose Barlow. When Year 6 finish their portfolio will be passed up to our feeder secondary school (St Mary

Evaluation of teaching

  • Planning is evaluated by the RE Coordinator.
  • Teaching is observed and evaluated by the RE Coordinator and the Head teacher.
  • NQTs and supply teachers are supported by the RE Coordinator.
  • The Head teacher takes decisions about classroom observations based on the level of need. Judgements are made on the extent to which teachers have a secure knowledge and understanding of the faith and the programme in use. High expectations should be evident and appropriate planning is evident.
  • Teachers are encouraged to have high expectations of teachings and work produced, with appropriate planning in place.

Evaluation of Learning

Children’s work is evaluated and marked in line with the school’s Marking and Feedback Policy and with the guidance of the Come and See programme.  Children are encouraged to be reflective of their own work, both oral and written.  Every child is afforded opportunities to reflect on their learning at different stages of the topic being taught.

At the end of every topic, children take part in a celebration of learning which allows them to rejoice in God’s teachings and their own achievement.  A final activity takes place that is designed to focus children on how to apply their learning to everyday life in a practical way.

Staff Development

School has an ongoing CPD programme linked to the school development plan. Records are kept of all in-service attended and this is reported to the Governing Body in each term’s Head Teacher Report. Topic days are attended in a rolling programme by staff teaching RE. After each topic day staff then report back to the rest of the staff at the following staff meeting. This has enabled every permanent member of staff to access very good quality training along with the valuable opportunity to discuss the teaching of RE with colleagues. Courses on other faiths have also been attended. Twilight inset is arranged by the RE Coordinator and covers many different issues including most recently formal assessment. The RE Coordinator attends coordinator briefings and ensures staff are kept up to date and informed of any changes/developments.

Staff Induction

All staff are given copies of this handbook.

NQTs are introduced to ‘Come & See’ as part of their induction and are booked on the relevant CPD courses provided by the archdiocese. They are also given the opportunity to observe experienced colleagues.

The RE Coordinator is responsible for ensuring NQTs and Catholic supply staff are familiar with the planning, teaching and assessment requirements of ‘Come & See’

Staff Communication

The RE Coordinator is responsible for communicating and consulting staff on issues involving RE. Staff attending topic days always report back to him.

After Coordinators meetings, RE will always have a dedicated slot at the next staff meeting. Duplicated information/verbal feedback is provided during this time. This ensures all staff receive updates on new requirements/developments. Informal discussions with staff may lead to more formal discussions of RE issues at staff meetings.

Staffing for RE

Foundation Stage/Reception        Mrs Holden

Year 1                                       Miss Mulraney

Year 2                                       Mrs Yarwood

Year 3                                       Mrs Ogdon

Year 4                                       Mrs Mitchell

Year 5                                       Mr Alexander & Mrs McCann

Year 6                                       Mr Richardson

Come & See information

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