These are indeed exciting times for Catholic Education and especially for Religious Education. The publication of The Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland places Religious Education on the same firm foundation as all other subject areas in our Catholic primary schools. More importantly it offers a unique opportunity to re-engage, re-imagine and re-commit with our staffs to the way in which we teach Religious Education as a core subject in our Catholic Schools, with parents as the first and best of teachers in the ways of faith and with parish as the community that nourishes and supports our faith journey.
Grow in Love, A new Religious Education Programme for Catholic Primary Schools from Veritas
This programme is a resource to support the Curriculum and is being rolled out by Veritas over the next four years. The implementation begins with the introduction of Junior and Senior Infant materials in September 2015. As you are aware Bishop Denis has decided that parishes will pay the majority, and in a lot of cases all, of the cost of the Teacher Kits as a sign of their commitment to Religious Education in our schools. The diocesan order for these kits has now been processed and parishes will receive delivery of them during the week beginning August 24. Parishes will then arrange for them to be distributed to schools.
The publication of The Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland (2015) that was approved by the Irish Episcopal Conference and granted the Decree of Recognitio by the Holy See in March 2015.
The aim of the Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum is: ‘To help children mature in relation to their spiritual, moral and religious lives, through their encounter with, exploration and celebration of the Catholic faith’.
The content of this curriculum is divided into four interrelated strands: Christian Faith; Word of God; Liturgy and Prayer; and Christian Morality. Together, these four strands outline the knowledge and understanding, skills and processes that make up the learning to be achieved at each level of the curriculum. The curriculum also outlines skills of religious literacy which should be developed in students from preschool right up to Sixth class. These are divided into five categories: understanding, communicating, participating, developing spiritual literacy and developing inter-religious literacy.
Conscious of the needs of teachers working with children with moderate, severe and profound general learning disabilities, the Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum also includes Guidelines for teachers in Special Schools. The Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland is an important document for every primary school teacher.
Bishop Denis has decided that a copy of the curriculum will be given to all teachers, priests, parish pastoral workers, parish sisters and deacons. These will be distributed to teachers at a series of Gatherings of Principals which will take place in November 2015. Parishes will receive these books as part of a diocesan delivery of resource material during the week beginning Monday, August 24.
In-service Strategy to Support the Implementation of the Curriculum and Programme
In-service of the New Curriculum will begin with gatherings of all our principals in three venues in the diocese in November 2015. The option for principals to be accompanied by another member of staff will be offered. These gatherings will be hosted by Bishop Denis as Patron. They will offer the space to update the leadership of our Catholic Schools on the content and methodology of the new Curriculum, to listen to the challenges that they experience in their leadership roles and to enable planning for whole-school in-service of the RE Curriculum that will take place from September – December 2016. An in-service session will also be offered to priests, parish staff, deacons, diocesan staff and other interested people during the same time frame. Information sessions for Boards of Management will be offered after the formation of the new boards. Opportunities to engage with parents are also being developed.
For More Information
Maeve Mahon – firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith Development Services
Cathedral Parish Centre,
College Street, Carlow