At Holly Mount, we follow the The Way, The Truth and The Life RE Curriculum. We ensure that this programme of study is enriched with a variety of activities that include history, geography and art. Giving a historical perspective of the time in which Jesus lived, and the traditions followed, allows us to give the children a greater and deeper understanding of the stories we study in the bible. The children will also examine famous paintings that can give a fresh insight into Jesus's time and teachings. We study maps, for example of Egypt and Israel, to gain a better insight into where these stories took place.
The principles of Catholic Social Teaching are at the heart of everything we do to live out the social action mission of the Church.
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).
Catholic schools, with RE at their core, exist in order to "help parents, priests and teachers to hand on the Deposit of Faith in its fullness to a new generation of young people so that they may come to understand the richness of the Catholic faith, and thereby be drawn into a deeper communion with Christ in his Church." (Religious Education Curriculum Directory pvii). With this as their primary aim, Catholic schools serve diverse populations of pupils and within this context the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (RECD) makes the aims of Religious Education explicit:
The outcome of excellent Religious Education is religiously literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life (Religious Education Curriculum Directory p6).
Yes, all Catholic schools are required to teach about other religions as part of the Religious Education curriculum. This is a feature of Catholic RE in all stages of a child's development, from the beginning of primary school until the end of secondary school.
Teaching about other religions is important for several reasons:
All Catholic schools and academies (including Catholic independent and special 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 or academy is situated. (Education Act 2005).
All maintained Catholic schools and academies are also subject to Ofsted inspections at the intervals prescribed by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector. Catholic independent schools will also be inspected by an independent schools’ inspectorate.
Catholics teach that God is the creator of all things visible and invisible. By this we mean that everything that exists has its ultimate source and origin in God.
Catholic schools however are not “creationist”. A “creationist” is someone who believes that the theological truths expressed in the first books of Genesis are also literal scientific and historic descriptions of the beginnings of the world. Some creationists would also insist that the earth is only approximately 6000 years old. This is not the position of the Catholic Church which rejects the creationist interpretation of Genesis. That is, Catholic schools do not teach that God’s creation of the world implies anything about how this creation occurred. The Catholic Church is clear that evolution is currently the best explanation of the origin and diversity of life on earth and that the earth is as old as current scientific orthodoxy suggests (approximately 4.54 billion years old). The Church would say that the doctrine of creation expresses a theological truth – that all existence derives from and depends upon God, whilst evolution expresses scientific truths about the history of the physical universe.