May we learn to listen to your word in the silence of our hearts
and rise to serve you in good works toward our brothers and sisters.
Lead us toward the Kingdom of God.
We ask for you to accompany us as we begin our important work
Of teaching in Your name.
Give us the courage to continue to learn from your example.
In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
Religious Education Overview
At Stella Maris, the Sacred Landscape is designed to support the pursuit of excellence in learning and teaching within the central vision of the school and parish.
Young people today are immersed in an Australian society that is increasingly pluralist and secular, one that is marked by rapid scientific and technological growth.
Our society is both blessed and challenged by a growing diversity of cultures and faiths. This way of life brings much richness and blessing, but also brings challenges that impact on religious learning and on maintaining a living Catholic identity. This allows for a process where the student and teacher are engaged in inquiry, deep learning, evaluation and response to the mysteries of life.
The challenge: How to engage students in making sense and meaning of this everyday life in the light of the teaching of the Catholic church and the traditions of the Catholic community?
Religious Education Curriculum
Religious Education Curriculum Framework
The Learning Centred Schools, a Sacred Landscape: Learning and Teaching strategy provides a comprehensive response to the contemporary challenges of learning and teaching in the Catholic school. Drawing on a broad range of research, the Strategy describes the distinctive characteristics and challenges of contemporary learning and teaching environments, identifies emerging issues and priorities and details actions to support schools in successfully crafting their response.
In a Catholic school the curriculum expresses the educative vision of the school community and an authentic understanding of Christ and His teaching. The curriculum is designed to ensure that all students gain the knowledge, skills and habits of mind required for success in a globalised, 21st century society and economy. This includes not only the core disciplines of English, Mathematics and Science which are increasingly sought by employers globally and are a key source of technological innovation and growth, but also a range of skills that enable people to perform effectively in the workplace and contribute as members of their communities (e.g. innovation, collaboration, problem solving, self direction, and a capacity to relate to others in different cultural contexts and to manage change).
In the discipline of Religious Education students form religious knowledge and understandings and ways of thinking and responding.
In order for students to form deep understandings of key church beliefs and practices in the context of everyday life it is necessary to integrate the content strands in one unit or topic.
Inquiry topics, questions, understandings and key concepts in the classroom religious education program will integrate two or more of these content strands. In this way students make links between these significant areas of church life and teaching and use these to construct meaning around their relationship to God, self, others and their world.
Pedagogy of Religious Education Curriculum Framework
The Religious Education curriculum framework is designed to assist schools in the further implementation of the series of religious education texts To Know, Worship & Love and the Good Shepherd Experience (F-2).
Religious Education Curriculum has been developed with a focus on the particular ways young children learn. The curriculum draws on the research and work of Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi.
The Religious Education Curriculum, Foundation to Year2, lays the foundations for later learning and for life-long engagement with the mystery of God. A key part of laying the foundations is telling the stories of the Catholic Church: stories from Sacred Scripture and stories about how the Catholic community celebrates, prays and lives the Christian life.
Story is a key part of our faith tradition. The activity of God in the lives of people and in all creation as recorded in the scriptures has been handed on to us, firstly through the oral tradition and then in the written Word.
Young children particularly are able to learn and make meaning through story and symbol. Stories carry deep insights which young children are often unable to verbalise.
The key elements of storytelling adopted in this curriculum are:
- Telling the Story
- Praying the Word
The Inquiry Approach and Religious Education
The learning and teaching approach in Years 3–6 is inquiry integrated based. In this approach students form understandings about God, themselves and their world through the ongoing exploration of religious truths and through the development of processes and skills that enable thinking, reflecting and acting as a result of this knowledge. In religious education inquiry learning is concerned with engaging with different perspectives of the Catholic tradition to form deep religious understandings. It is concerned with exploring how we can come to know the mystery of God in our lives, and how others in the past have come to know and express this mystery.
The learning process in Coming to Know, Worship and Love involves providing and encouraging students with opportunities to name and build upon the personal experience and knowledge they bring to a topic question through the implementation of the Religious Education Curriculum Frameworks. They are also given opportunities to wonder about, and name, some of their own questions.
Prayer & Liturgy
At Stella Maris we believe that formal & informal prayer is an integral part of our children’s education in faith. Prayer enables us to establish, build and express a relationship with God that is constant and ongoing.
Participation in official prayer of the Church (liturgy) is encouraged through attendance at masses and prayer services.