Religious & Moral Education

Religious Education includes learning about Christianity and other world religions, and supports the development of beliefs and values. In Roman Catholic Schools, religious and moral education is taught from a Catholic perspective using guidance from Curriculum for Excellence but also supplementary guidance from “This is Our Faith” from the Scottish Catholic Education Service. The curriculum in a denominational school will reflect its particular faith perspective. In Roman Catholic schools, it will build on the openness of Catholic schools to other young people regardless of denominations and faiths.

Learning through religious education enables children and young people to:

  • develop their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith
  • investigate and understand the relevance of the Catholic faith to questions about truth and the meaning of life
  • highlight, develop and foster the values, attitudes and practices which are compatible with a positive response to the invitation to faith
  • develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking, and deciding how to act in accordance with an informed conscience when making moral decisions
  • nurture the prayer life of the individual and of the school community
  • understand and appreciate significant aspects of other Christian traditions and major world religions
  • make a positive difference to themselves and the world by putting their beliefs and values into action.

Teachers will remain faithful to the mission of promoting an understanding of the Catholic faith and they will also teach respect for persons of different religious convictions. Religious education in the Catholic school considers the significance of faith from the perspective of the life of the person and of the faith community.

In addition to developing their understanding of the Catholic faith, children and young people will also learn respect for, and understanding of, other Christian traditions. They will also come to an appreciation of significant aspects of major world religions, recognising and respecting the sincere search for truth which takes place in other faiths. Where appropriate, they will learn similarly about stances for living which are independent of religious belief.

In St. Mary’s we seek to fulfill our role in the total welfare of your child, body – mind – spirit. Thus, the Christian faith permeates the whole ethos of curriculum and school community. In holding to this view, we reflect the wishes of the Scottish Roman Catholic Hierarchy and Laity.

God’s Loving Plan is used in P1 – P7 inclusive.

  • Father Tom Boyle is a regular visitor to the school for religious services.
  • There is Sunday Mass for parents and children at 10.00 a.m.
  • Mass is held once a month for pupils and staff.
  • Staff and pupils attend Mass on Holidays of Obligation.

Our P6 and 7 pupils also take part in the Pope Francis Faith Award, as part of their preparation for Confirmation.

Parents enrolling their sons and daughters in denominational schools may be expected to follow the programmes of worship and religious education in these schools. However, they retain the right to withdraw their children from religious observance (as per Inverclyde’s Equalities Advice Note).

Children are encouraged to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly, with staff helping in the preparation. Father Tom ensures children have the opportunity to receive this Sacrament at specific times of the year.

Special services for children are held at Christmas, Easter and the beginning and end of the academic year, as well as various other times throughout the year. Details of these services are printed in the school’s Religious Events Calendar issued each year.

Parents from ethnic minority religious communities may request that their children be permitted to be absent from school in order to celebrate recognised religious events. Only written requests detailing the proposed arrangements will be considered. Appropriate requests will be granted on not more than three occasions in any one school session and the pupil noted as an authorised absentee in the register.

Sex and Relationship education is an integral part of a school’s health education programme. It focuses on the physical, emotional, moral and spiritual development of all children. In delivering this programme, we will be following God’s Loving Plan, which provides teachers in Catholic primary schools with updated guidance on teaching about loving relationships in the context of religious education and health education.

Parents/carers will be fully informed and consulted on the content and purpose of sex and relationship education in schools, and have the opportunity to raise concerns with school staff. On an occasion where a parent/carer wishes to exercise the right to withdraw his/her child from sex and relationship education they should discuss their concerns and alternative arrangements with school staff. (as per Inverclyde Council’s policy “Sexual Health and Relationship Education”)

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