Why is Religious Education important in Catholic Schools?
Religious Education is the "core of the core curriculum" in a Catholic school (Pope St John Paul II). Placing RE at the core of the curriculum in Catholic schools helps the school to fulfill its mission to educate the whole person in discerning the meaning of their existence, since "Religious Education is concerned not only with intellectual knowledge but also includes emotional and affective learning. It is in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of what it is to be human truly becomes clear. Without religious education, pupils would be deprived of an essential element of their formation and personal development, which helps them attain a vital harmony between faith and culture." (Religious Education Curriculum Directory p4). Furthermore, religiously literate children and young people are able to engage in a fully informed critique of all knowledge, "leading, for example, to an understanding of the relationship between science and religion or history, and between theology, sport and the human body." (Religious Education Curriculum Directory p4).
Who inspects Catholic schools?
All Catholic schools are subject to a diocesan inspection (which for maintained schools is also a section 48 inspection) at least every five years. These inspections will be carried out by diocesan inspectors appointed by the bishop in whose diocese the school is situated. (Education Act 2005).
All maintained Catholic schools are also subject to Ofsted inspections at the intervals prescribed by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector.
Section 48 - RE Inspection Report
St James’s is an outstanding Catholic school because:
- "The school's very strong Catholic identity permeates all aspects of the learning environment of the school.
- Pupils are confident and articulate users of religious vocabulary and demonstrate excellent knowledge and understanding appropriate to their age and ability.
- Teaching is inspiring and actively engages pupils who demonstrate outstanding behaviour for learning across the school.
- Prayer and worship are central to the Catholic mission and ethos and are enhanced by the very high quality music and French provision.
- The school's commitment and contribution to the Common Good and Catholic Social Teaching are outstanding.
- The outstanding links between the school, parishes and parents lead to a strong partnership the benefits the whole community."
The full Section 48 Inspection Report can be read at the end of this page
Classroom RE at St James's
Religion is a core subject at St James's, and each class from Reception to Year 6 receives two RE lessons per week. In Nursery, the children receive one RE lesson each week. Our curriculum is mapped out against the Religious Education Curriculum Directory. At St James's, we follow our own scheme of learning called 'Put Out Into The Deep'. Through their Religion lessons, the children explore their faith, the teachings of the Church, and learn to retell and understand key bible stories. Children are assessed against the Age Related Standards in RE.
Information regarding what the children are learning each half term is shared in the year group topic map.
Please see the Children's Page, Year Group section for the R.E curriculum information. Click on the relevant year group and newsletters.
Religion is also taught throughout the day to day life at St James's, and links with Catholic Social Teaching and Gospel Values. Alongside this, the Catholic life of the school, through collective worship, liturgies and reflections also supports learning in the classroom.