Religious Education

The Curriculum

We are very proud of our Catholic School and the fact that it was founded by the SMG Order (Poor Servants of the Mother of God http://www.poorservants.org/), who believed that an education was important for all, regardless of their circumstances.

Today we welcome all children into our school, knowing that each one is unique and special.  We underpin everything we do by Gospel Values:

                              • Respect for each other,
                              • Honesty,
                              • Compassion,
                              • Forgiveness,
                              • Equality,
                              • A sense of community,
                              • Fairness,
                              • Justice and peace. 

When children leave St. Mary’s, we want them to be prepared for lifelong learning and good citizens who know how to treat others with respect and tolerance.

Religious Education is a core academic subject at St Mary's and we track progress and attainment in RE in the same way as we do for maths and English.

There are two strands to the teaching: ‘Learning about religion’ and ‘Learning from religion’.

Such activities in class will involve children learning about the parable of The Good Samaritan.

Younger children will be asked questions like: ‘Which of the passers-by helped the injured man? Is it always easy to help others?

Older children will explore themes of prejudice and minorities, relating it to discrimination and world issues. They may think of the actions of some key figures such as Martin Luther King and discuss how religion shapes a person’s life.

All year groups will also learn about other religions as part of the themes for the year.

This year, we are ensuring that we build structured reflection time into lessons, so our feedback to children will help to deepen learning.

Our whole curriculum is based on our Mission Statement:

Every child will be encouraged to develop as a whole person. We will strive to be a positive force in the life of the church by creating a community whose relationship with Jesus Christ is at the centre of all that we do and where the principles and values of the Gospels are evident. St Mary’s children will experience Christian values, accept them, make them their own and take them to the wider community.

We are all children of God, one family working together to develop a community of shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunities through knowledge and understanding of the Gospels, with Jesus Christ as our teacher.’

 

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

As with every school in the country, we teach RSE in line with the National Curriculum. We follow the diocese approved scheme of work.

For more information regarding this, and to view the resources used in class, please click here.

 

 Prayer Life

The prayer life of St Mary's School is based on the Church’s Liturgical Year.

Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Pentecost are all focal times, as well as the other important dates in the Church calendar.

We have annual whole school retreats for Advent and Lent and whole school Masses.

Class Masses take place regularly. 

We encourage children to take an active part in planning and organising worship, which they do with increasing independence.

Our Prayer Council has been commissioned as young chaplains (further information can be found on the Prayer Council page), and we look forward to developing their role in school this year. 

Our aims this year are to ensure that we give our children plenty of opportunities to explore their learning at depth and make links with prior knowledge and understanding, linking to scripture. 

 

Collective Worship

Assembly and class time is used for collective worship, and to support and encourage Christian values. Assembly time is also used to share and celebrate success, special occasions, e.g. outside of school achievements, presentation of certificates and awards.

Parents are invited into school on regular occasions to share Class Masses, Liturgies and Whole School Masses. They are also invited to specially prepared productions and to services for special occasions e.g. Christmas and Easter.

           Notice of such events is given in advance, either by a general letter of invitation, or through individual class invitations.

The children are taught and say each day the traditional prayers and also write and read their own prayers on different topical themes (further information can be found on the 'Our School Prayers' Page)

Children are also invited to write reflections on different aspects of the liturgical year and children are actively encouraged to lead class prayers, acts of worship and class liturgies.

There is a close co-operation between the school and our Catholic Church 'The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary'. So much so that this church is always referred to as 'St Mary's Church'.

                       Further information and mass times can be found at http://www.stmaryschippenham.co.uk/ 

We are incredibly blessed to have Canon Desmond Millett as our Parish Priest. He visits our school on a regular basis for assemblies, Class Masses, Whole School Masses and continues to point us all to God.

The Sacraments

The children of St Mary's School start preparing for their First Holy Communion in Year 3. This of course is precede by the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

A few members of St Mary's Staff act as Catechists and lead the groups in weekly after school sessions and there is great involvement from the parents. Our First Holy Communion celebrations are a highlight of the school year and a time of great jubilation when our choir and instrumentalists attend the mass as well, to ensure a joyous time is had by all on this special day.

Also, it is lovely to see past pupils choosing to make the Sacrament of Confirmation in Year 8 onwards. Once again there are close links with the school as some St Mary's Staff members also act as Confirmation Catechists.

 

We are all children of God, one family working together to develop a community of shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunities through knowledge and understanding of the Gospels, with Jesus Christ as our teacher.’