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 Religious Education

Every learner is created in the image and likeness of God and, inspired by the Spirit, responds with passion and creativity to life. (Brisbane Catholic Education Learning and Teaching Framework 2012)

Brisbane Catholic Education is working closely with the schools of the Archdiocese to ‘reconceptualise’ the Religious Education curriculum in order to make it contemporary and more relevant for today’s generation of learners in our Catholic schools. As a result of this, Sts Peter and Paul’s have now engaged the implementation of the BCE Religion Curriculum for Prep to Year 12.
 
This new Religious Education Curriculum more closely aligns two very important dimensions of a Catholic school, namely, the classroom teaching and learning of Religion (the curriculum taught in the classroom), and teaching people to be religious in a particular way (the religious life of the school and how it is lived and experienced each day through classroom prayer, liturgies and Masses, involvement in Social Justice activities such as Caritas, Catholic Mission and St Vincent de Paul, and so on).
 
At Sts Peter and Paul’s, people who are learning about Religion and learning about how to be religious draw upon the Catholic Christian tradition in ways that are mindful of local contexts and the ecumenical and multi-faith realities of contemporary culture.
 
 
This school community seeks to understand and utilise the distinctiveness and complementarity of these two dimensions of Religious Education in the holistic education and the formation of our students. The first dimension, focused on Religious Education as an educational activity, utilises a range of teaching and learning processes and resources. The second dimension is reflected in the religious life of the school. Sts Peter and Paul’s acknowledges that the educational dimension and the faith formation dimension are inextricably linked.
 
Life at Sts Peter and Paul’s School community is based on Catholic values and Catholic beliefs about learners and learning. We begin from the premise that we are made in the image and likeness of God, particularly embracing the values of the Good Samaritan charism including compassion, hospitality, welcome, and listening with the ear of the heart.
 
We recognise every person as being a lifelong learner, who is like others in some ways but is unique in other ways. We believe that: Jesus gives meaning to life and learning; every person can learn successfully; learning is the active, social construction of meaning; and opportunities for learning encompass the richly diverse aspects of all life experience.
 
The Vision for Religious Education gives voice to what Sts Peter and Paul’s hopes for our students in terms of their religious literacy and faith formation. We aspire to educate and form students who are challenged to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and who are literate in the Catholic and broader Christian tradition so that they might participate critically and authentically in faith contexts and wider society.

Learning about Religion (Religious Literacy)

The classroom teaching of Religion is one element in a complex web of experiences that have the potential to nurture the faith life of young people. In the schools of the Archdiocese of Brisbane the classroom learning and teaching of Religion aims to develop the religious literacy of students to enable them to participate critically and effectively in the life of their faith communities and the wider society. At Sts Peter and Paul’s we use the Religion Curriculum developed by Brisbane Catholic Education in 2013. The Religion Curriculum P-12 describes core content that is to be taught and that students should learn, and is therefore the starting point for planning for teaching, learning and assessing of Religion in schools.
 
At Sts Peter and Paul’s formal learning and teaching in the Key Learning Area of Religion takes place from Prep to Year 6. Students study Religion under the four strands of Sacred Texts, Beliefs, Church and Christian Life. These strands are interrelated and their content is taught in an integrated way.
 
In Sacred Texts, students become familiar with the Old and New Testaments, learning to understand the authors and intended audiences of these texts. They are assisted to comprehend how the texts relate to modern day living.
 
In Beliefs, students learn the significance of Christian and Catholic beliefs and their relevance to contemporary life.
 
In Church, children learn to create and engage in a variety of forms of prayer, liturgy and rituals. In conjunction with the candidates’ families, the Sacramental Program for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Communion is run by the Parish, and it is strongly supported by classroom Religion lessons.
 
In Christian Life, students are led to develop moral understanding and reasoning. They are assisted to recognise that the Bible is the Catholic guide to moral living and to acknowledge the importance of prayer and sacraments in the development of moral life.
 
Of particular interest for Sts Peter and Paul’s students, is the focus on the rich history and tradition of the Good Samaritan Sisters who pioneered our school. We also explore the past in our local area, in particular the role the Parish has, and continues to have, within the school community.
 
When teaching Religious Education teachers are required to use an inquiry model and pose Fertile Questions for students to explore and answer. This process helps students become more active in the process of learning. Here is a snapshot of what students are learning about in Religious Education:
 
2015 RE Fertile Questions
 
 

Learning to be Religious

The church of Sts Peter and Paul’s is situated centrally between the school, the court play areas and the oval, providing a unique awareness of our membership within the Parish, and a constant reminder of our daily living out of Catholic, Christian relationships.
 
Students engage in a variety of prayer celebrations throughout their time at Sts Peter and Paul’s School:
 
In each classroom, the day begins and ends with a prayer. Grace is said before meals. Students and teachers engage in a few minutes of Christian Meditation at different times throughout the week. Sacred spaces are created in each classroom and in the staff room. A cross or a crucifix is situated in each room and there are many sacred pictures displayed throughout the school.
 
Weekly school assemblies begin with a series of set prayers and often include highlights from classroom activities e.g. reading student-composed peace poems, or showing scarves they have knitted for the homeless people.
 
Lenten Assemblies are celebrated in the church and they culminate with a whole school Holy Thursday liturgy.
 
Year level masses and liturgies are held in terms 2, 3 and 4, with classes celebrating alongside parishioners, parents and friends. Other whole school masses include: our Sts Peter and Paul’s Feast Day Mass, which is celebrated on the last Thursday of Term 2; Catholic Education Week Mass and the beginning and end of year Masses.
 
Many other class prayer celebrations are held throughout the year, e.g. Mother’s and Father’s Day liturgies. The students take active leadership roles in these celebrations, acting as readers, altar servers, gift bearers, etc.
For a more detailed overview of how faith formation is reflected in the religious life of the school and parish, refer to the Religious Life of the School.