Religious Education

Here at St. Joseph’s, we deliver our RE lessons with the support of the Diocesan recommended scheme, The Way, The Truth and The Life. This scheme teaches and supports the children with the principles of the Catholic faith.

 

Collective worship policy 2021-23

RE policy draft 2021 -23.docx

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upper-key-stage-two-end-of-year-expectations (1)

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interim-standards-for-primary-religious-education-3-to-5

Spiritual-Development-Policy

 

 

July 2022

As the summer term draws to a close, it is a good opportunity to look back over the year that has been and give thanks for all the learning and growing children (and adults!) have done, academically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

This newsletter shares some of the content children will experience in school throughout July and suggests ways for you to engage with them about it. We hope and pray that you will find the content illuminating and helpful in your shared family faith journey.

 

Our Only Need

 

The end of the school year is a very exciting – and busy – time! Children are busy finishing off work/projects, tidying up, meeting new teachers and seeing their new classrooms/schools ahead of September, enjoying lots of end-of-term parties and perhaps worrying about the changes that will come over the summer holidays and beyond. For parents too, this can be a busy time – not least, preparing for the change of routine and child-care arrangements that the longest school holiday of the year brings around!

 

The last assembly of the school year reflected on the busyness and worries of everyday life that can distract us from what is most important. First take a look at some scenarios children performed – perhaps these might be familiar to you!

 

 

Narrator        Tim was playing on his

computer game when his Dad asked

him to help.

 

Dad                Tim, could you give me a hand with the washing up?

 

Tim                 I’m too busy! I’ve got to get to the next level!

 

 

Narrator        Lekeisha was doing her

homework when the rabbit escaped.

 

Mum              Lekeisha, quick…Benji

has escaped again. Come and help us catch

him!

 

Lekeisha       I’m too busy! I have so

much homework and I need to get it

finished!

 

 

Narrator        Jade was chatting on the

phone when her Grandma arrived.

 

Auntie Jo     Jade, Grandma’s here.

Come and tell her all about your school trip.

 

Jade              I’m too busy! I’m talking

to my friend. I’ll speak to Grandma on the

phone tomorrow.

 

 

 

Through discussions around what was actually most important in these scenarios, children realised that sometimes we become busy with things we want to do and sometimes we become busy with things we think we should do. This helped children to better understand what was happening in the Gospel account of Mary and Martha, two sisters who had different responses to a visit from Jesus. Why not read the story again with your child:

 

 

 

Luke 10: 38 – 42 (Paraphrased)

 

One day Jesus and His disciples came to the village called Bethany where His friends Martha and Mary lived. They welcomed Jesus and His friends, and invited them to stay for a meal.

 

While Martha busied herself preparing and serving the food, her sister Mary sat beside Jesus, listening, and enjoying His company.

 

Martha continued to dash about making sure the food was good and her guests had everything they needed. She kept looking over at Mary who was calmly spending time with Jesus and His disciples. ‘I wish I had time to just sit around,’ she thought to herself, ‘but there is so much to do.’ After a while, Martha began to get annoyed.

 

Finally, she got upset and complained to Jesus, “Lord, must I do all this work on my own? Please tell Mary to come and help me!”

 

“Martha, Martha,” Jesus said, “Do not let these things upset you. They are not important. Mary has chosen to listen to me and that is the most important thing of all.”

 

 

 

 

In the Gospel story, children saw that the two sisters behaved very differently! Mary took the opportunity to sit and listen to Jesus, but Martha was distracted by things that she thought were more important.

Children learned that we all have things which take up our time, but Jesus shows in this Gospel passage that we can become so distracted by tasks or worries that we can forget or miss out on what is most important. When we realise that Jesus is our only need, we can surrender all our worries and put our trust in Him.

 

Like Mary, children are invited to put aside whatever else they have going on and be still in the presence of Jesus – because when we put Jesus first, above all things, we can trust Him to love us, help us and guide us.

 

To finish off this assembly and help children prepare for their time off over the Summer holidays, children listened to a guided meditation. Why not listen to it again with your child here:

 

https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/prayers-for-home/parent-newsletter/

 

Why not…

 

  • Ask your child what distractions or worries they may have, and how you can help them with these.

 

  • Come up with a family plan to put Jesus first over the holidays, e.g. scheduling in some family prayer times, or activities focused on loving others the way Jesus wants us to.

 

 

 

 

Our Pilgrimage to…?

 

The final stopping place on our Ten Ten Year of Pilgrimage for the 2021-2022 school year in the w/c 11th July was a bit of a mystery! See what the Pilgrimage Guides had to say here:

 

https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/prayers-for-home/parent-newsletter/

 

Ahead of this stopping place, schools were invited to go on their own special pilgrimage, to help children learn that we don’t need to travel far when we go on a pilgrimage. There are all sorts of special pilgrimage sites on our doorstep that we can explore, like our local Catholic church or diocesan cathedral, special shrines in a church or holy place, prayer gardens at school or church etc.

 

 

 

But through the well-known parable of ‘The Good Samaritan’ – in which an injured man is ignored by a priest and a Levite who passed by on the other side of the road, but unexpectedly helped by a Samaritan – children learned that any journey can turn into a pilgrimage when it has a holy purpose!

 

The characters in the parable (the priest, the Levite and the Samaritan) were all on a journey, but the Samaritan’s journey took on a holy purpose when he stopped to help the injured man.

Children learned that, whilst it is good to go on a pilgrimage to new places and see things that help us to get closer to God, the destination is not as important as the holy purpose. That means we don’t need to travel far, or even anywhere at all! As we journey through each day, if we keep our eyes open, God will show us opportunities to take on a holy purpose. 

 

Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, with all your strength,

and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”

Luke 10: 27

 

Children were encouraged that by listening to God, being obedient to Him and sometimes changing our own plans, our whole journey of life becomes a pilgrimage to heaven, where we can make each day a search for holy purposes!

 

See what the Pilgrimage Guides had to say at the end of this assembly:

 

https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/prayers-for-home/parent-newsletter/

 

Why not…

 

  • Discuss what kinds of ‘holy purposes’ you and your child/ren might have each day, e.g. trying to be kind to others, including someone you don’t usually play with or talk to, helping at home, remembering to pray throughout the day etc.

 

  • Ask God to send His Holy Spirit to help you and your child/ren to be like the Good Samaritan, and keep your eyes wide open for opportunities to love others.

 

  • Go on your own family pilgrimage over the holiday. This could be to a local religious site, or a community litter pick – just don’t forget your holy purpose!

 

  • Sing together the Pilgrimage Song.

 

https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/prayers-for-home/parent-newsletter/

 

 

Prayer

 

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself intended to go.

Luke 10: 1

 

In the Daily Classroom Prayers for the w/c 4th July, children learned that Jesus sent His disciples out to spread the Good News, knowing that they would not be welcome everywhere they went. But even when they weren’t welcome, Jesus taught them to respond with love!

 

The prayers that week were about having joy and praising God, no matter what. Children spent time thinking of and thanking God for any moments of joy they experienced each day.

 

Over the summer holidays, why not continue this daily practice of reflecting, finding joy and praising God as a family. After sharing these moments of joy and gratitude, you might like to pray this short prayer together:

 

Dear God,

Thank you for loving us and being with us every day.

Give us joy in our hearts and help us to keep praising you!

Amen