Religious Education in St Bartholomew’s takes place within the context of the wider Catholic faith community, in partnership with home and parish. It is designed to increase our pupils’ ability to make an informed and mature response to God, in faith, and to support individual pupils in nurturing their own personal faith, whatever stage it is at.
This is Our Faith is the Religious Education syllabus used throughout Catholic schools in Scotland. Using This is Our Faith as its basis, St Bartholomew’s Religious Education programme offers opportunities for both catechesis (the deepening of pupils’ existing knowledge, understanding and commitment to the Catholic faith) and evangelisation (proclaiming the Gospel message to others) and aims to help pupils:
- 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.
This is our Faith is organised under ‘Strands of Faith’ which outline the aspects of Catholic theology underpinning Catholic Religious Education.
Mystery of God
- exploring situations of wonder and mystery in life
- in the light of the Word of God as expressed in the Christian scriptures and the teachings of the Catholic Church, considering how these situations can affect the way that we understand ourselves, our lives and the world around us.
In the Image of God
- reflecting on the Christian belief that all our lives have meaning and that our gifts, talents, background, experiences, family and faith can help us value the vocation which God reveals in our life.
Revealed Truth of God
- reflecting on the Christian belief that God who made us and invites us to fullness of life is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit through personal relationships with Him and one another
- expressing our thoughts and feelings about how it affects the way that we understand the inner experiences of our spiritual life in particular conscience, will and prayer.
Son of God
- reflecting on the Christian belief that God is revealed in Creation in a particular way through special events and people in the unfolding history of salvation, and that this revelation was made complete when God became human in Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man
- expressing our thoughts and feelings about this in the light of the words and actions of Jesus
- reflecting upon the extent to which the words and actions of Jesus can affect the attitudes, values and behaviour of ourselves and others.
Signs of God
- reflecting on the Catholic Christian belief that the Risen Christ is present in the Community of the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit and that its members are nourished by sharing in the life of the Trinity through the Seven Sacraments
- understanding that the Sacraments are encounters with Jesus who continues to guide us on our journey of Faith
- having considered examples of prophetic and missionary church witness we can describe our thoughts and feelings about the impact Sacraments and witness can have upon our lives and our world.
Word of God
- reflecting on the Catholic Christian belief that God speaks to all peoples of all times and speaks to us in a distinctive way in the Word of God, expressed in Sacred Scripture and in the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church
- having applied the Word of God to everyday situations in life, we can express our thoughts and feelings about its effects on people’s lives.
Hours of God
- reflecting on the Christian belief that the People of God respond to God’s invitation to communion through Prayer and the Sacred Liturgy of the Church
- expressing our thoughts and feelings about this and describing how our understanding and experience of prayer and liturgy can affect our lives and those of others.
Reign of God
- reflecting on the Ten Commandments and on Jesus’ New Commandment
- responding to the call to grow in holiness in this life and forever as expressed by Jesus in the Beatitudes
- examining the need to respond to moral issues in the light of Catholic teaching
- considering how our response to Christ’s proclamation to build God’s kingdom of justice, love and peace can affect ourselves and others.
The process of learning in Religious Education should be seen as a journey of faith, a quest for personal growth and response within the community of faith. To ensure that pupils can participate fully and actively in this journey, they are accompanied by a variety of adults (parents, Father Doherty, their Class Teacher, the Head Teacher, parishioners, etc.) who can engage, question and explain the Catholic faith in such a way that all children are able to reflect, understand and respond in a way appropriate to their age and stage of development.
In addition to developing their understanding of the Catholic faith, St Bartholomew’s pupils also learn respect for, and understanding of, other Christian traditions. They 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.