What RE means at St Thomas…
RE is a journey of, to and around faith. As a Catholic school we look to the example of Christ and the Gospel values which we see through the lens of our Golden Threads, always trying to be the best that we can be. Our ultimate goal is to treat ourselves and others how we would like to be treated as Jesus taught us. RE helps us develop understanding, respect and appreciation of each other’s differences.
RE at St Thomas
The teaching of RE pervades all of school life at St Thomas. Firstly, there are discrete RE lessons, during which we follow the “Come and See” religious education programme as promoted by the Diocese (Arundel and Brighton). In these lessons, children explore the life and teachings of Jesus, the Sacraments, they learn about the Church (the community of faith) and Christian living.
As well as these lessons, Gospel Values are at the heart of our School and its ethos. They drive our Mission Statement and children learn more about their faith and themselves through worship times, prayer and reflection. We encourage all of our children to develop skills to be thoughtful and responsible and to live our Golden Rule: to treat others as you would like to be treated.
Our objectives in the teaching of RE are:
- To provide a structured and balanced programme of Religious Education that helps to develop the knowledge and understanding of the mystery of the Trinity, of the Church and the central beliefs, which form the Catholic Faith.
- To encourage the children to appreciate, through their own experience of life, a love and sense of wonder and awe of the Gospels, Revelation and Tradition.
- To promote enriching opportunities for prayer and worship, and to help the children to understand and appreciate the value of the Sacraments on their journey through life.
- To promote the growth of sound personal relationships, including an awareness of the nature and importance of human sexuality, as part of God’s plan for them and an appreciation of the values of the family.
- To foster appropriate attitudes by showing regard and respect for the views of others, a tolerance and some knowledge, as led by ‘Come and See’, of the beliefs and traditions of other faiths.
- To appreciate that living as a Christian involves a commitment to peace, justice, care and concern.
Our school recognises that we live in a diverse society – multi-cultural and multi-faith – and we seek to reflect and celebrate that diversity. We try to develop the child’s understanding of the self and to encourage attitudes of openness and sensitivity towards people whose religious beliefs and customs may be different to their own. We look to invite visiting speakers, look for suitable resources concerning the variety of celebrations and festivals, and seek opportunities in topics, music etc. to widen our children’s awareness of other Faiths and cultures. Two other religions are taught from EYFS to year 6 following the programme of study in “Come and See”. These are Judaism, which is usually taught in the autumn, and Islam, which is taught in the summer.
The school gathers for whole school, Key Stage or class Collective worship each day, as follows:
|Monday||Whole School Worship led by Mrs Carter|
|Tuesday||Praise worships, led by Dr Mather|
|Wednesday||Foundation Stage and KS1 & 2 Collective Worship led by Senior Leaders and class teachers|
|Thursday||Class Assembly, Prayer Services or class based worship led by the children and Class staff teams|
|Friday||Key Stage Celebration Worships led by Senior Leaders|
Each Act of Worship focuses upon prayer and reflection, taking either a ‘Come and See’ theme or a current school focus, Diocesan or Parish development, local, national or world issue. Each week we also look at S=P+A+CE and our Golden Threads.
In addition, Monday’s whole School Worship reflects on the Gospel of the preceding weekend. The Celebration worships at the end of the week reflect on the week and the application of the themes from the Monday worship. They are also opportunities for the children’s learning and behaviour to be celebrated and rewarded with certificates of achievement.
As part of the School Council, children from year six apply to be a part of the “Worship Team”. These children help to plan and lead Worship and have a voice in the development of the prayer and spiritual life of the school. They also run our very popular Prayer Club!
At St Thomas of Canterbury School we guide our children to grow in the love of God and build relationships that will enable them to make a positive contribution to the school and society. We have developed an exciting, challenging and creative R.E. curriculum that produces confident and successful learners who are the best that they can be. Rediscover challenges and opportunities for Going Deeper with their learning enables every child to develop their own talents and be lifelong learners. Our teaching and learning environment encourages everyone to enjoy, to achieve, to be inclusive, to be healthy, and to stay safe.
We embed a strong partnership between home and school, helping our children to become responsible citizens and good role models. Above all, our Golden Rule of ‘treating others as we would like to be treated’ is paramount further embedded by our Golden Threads of Love, Forgiveness, Honesty, Thankfulness, Wonder, Kindness, Friendship, Hope, Respect and Tolerance. Our S=P+A+C+E for Me and S=P+A+C+E for EVERYONE ethos is especially important within RE further exploring our Golden Rule and Threads.
We encourage all children to appreciate, through their own experience of life, a love and sense of wonder and awe of the Gospels. We provide daily opportunities for prayer and worship so children can understand and appreciate the value of the Sacraments on their journey through life. We teach our children to show respect and tolerance for the views, beliefs and traditions of other faiths.
At St. Thomas of Canterbury we follow the Religious Education ‘Come and See’ programme which is developed through three themes based on documents from the Second Vatican Council. These themes are: Church, Sacrament and Christian Living. The whole school explores each religious theme at the same time through different topics following a yearly teaching cycle.
Each topic is opened up through: EXPLORE, REVEAL AND RESPOND.
Each RE topic is taught through the process of:
Search – Explore: This is the introduction to the topic where the children’s life experience is explored, the question(s) it raises are wondered at, shared, investigated and their significance reflected upon.
Revelation – Reveal: This is the heart of the programme where knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Faith is revealed through the Word, in Scripture, Tradition, doctrine, prayers, rites and Christian living. The Golden Threads are encouraged and explained with links made to the Gospels in RE lessons.
Response- Respond: This is where the learning is celebrated and responded to in daily life.
Children are given quality time to evaluate their work using learning reflections both independently and collaboratively. Next steps are also encouraged to enhance a deeper knowledge and understanding of RE and the importance of exploring people’s beliefs and cultures.
From September 2022 EYFS are following a new updated RE Curriculum from the diocese of Arundel and Brighton.
At St. Thomas of Canterbury we know that every child is unique and at a different stage of their faith journey. We know that this may not always take place in an R.E. lesson, but will occur in other aspects of school life. We want all of our children to experience, understand, celebrate and live their faith in ways suited to their age and development. Above all, we want to promote to everyone the Gospel values of care, commitment, acceptance and respect and for all to recognise that God loves us unconditionally.