Learning at a Catholic School
Our school has a Special Character which is the Catholic Character. This is defined in the Integration Agreement as follows:
"The School is a Roman Catholic School in which the whole school community, through the general school programme and in its religious instructions and observances, exercises the right to live and teach the values of Jesus Christ. These values are as expressed in the Scriptures and in the practices, worship and doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, as determined from time to time by the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese."
Catholic Schools therefore have the added dimension which leads to an extra learning area - Religious Education.
The National Religious Education programme is taught in our school. This provides a systematic way of enabling children to understand, appreciate and grow in the Catholic Faith.
The Catholic Character of our school draws strength from the families who are part of it. The Religious Education programme needs the support of our families. Some suggestions for ways families can help are listed below.
How can Family - Whanau support the new Religious Education Programme at home?
* show interest in the children's activity work when they bring it home, and praise their efforts.
* spend time with the children on the Home activity, and involve other family members.
* read the Family - Whanau Summary page for each strand and ask your children questions about their lesson for the day.
* use the Family - Whanau book you have purchased.
Try to attend class and school liturgies when your children are involved. Some Suggestions for Family - Whanau Faith Activities
- have a place where the Bible and a candle are kept, and a place which could be used as a family prayer table or shelf - add a family photo or some natural things which remind you of God.
- Invite family members to share faith experiences with the children especially grandparents and older whanau.
- read Bible stories as part of bedtime story rituals.
- start family rituals such as a special prayer to mark milestones in children's lives e.g. first tooth to come out, starting pre school or school.
- bless your children as they go to bed or when they leave the house.
- ask for God's blessings for a safe journey when travelling.
- try to attend Eucharist regularly and take part in Parish activities.
- include books, posters, stackers and religious objects when buying birthday and Christmas presents for children.
Further suggestions are be included in the Family – Whanau Book.
From 2010, a new digital R.E. resource is being used in Catholic schools. Pupils no longer have an R.E. activity book, but may be given photocopied activity sheets on occasions.
School Liturgy Procedure:
The school and Board of Trustees recognise the need for children to develop an awareness and love for liturgical celebration e.g. Mass, Reconciliation.
1. In consultation with the Parish Priest, School Staff, and the Director of Religious
Studies, arrange liturgies on special and Holy days and for each class at least once a term.
1. Each term there will be a School Mass in the church.
2. Parents will be notified through a newsletter about liturgies and they will be encouraged to participate with the
3. The support of parents is paramount in the practice of an explanation of liturgy.
4. The Parish Priest will be informed and presented with written format of the Liturgy before it takes place. At the
beginning of each year he will be consulted about a timetable of proposed dates for liturgies.
Through the experience of celebrating the Eucharist and other liturgical and devotional exercises, children will develop a rich spiritual awareness of our Catholic faith and Sacramental life.