At St Bernadette’s Catholic School, we believe Religious Education is the cornerstone of our catholic school, enabling the faith and spiritual development of all. We provide opportunities for our school community: the students, their families and the staff, to integrate faith with life, by making Jesus real and relevant through our actions and interactions with each other.
It is important that our students develop the notion of being a “good” friend, building dispositions like kindness and empathy, which in turn build strong relationships. This enables us to embrace and action our faith, to be Jesus for each other and the wider community, to bear witness to the gospels, being examples of love, respect, compassion and faithfulness, strengthening our Catholic identity as a community.
During planning for learning and teaching, educators are encouraged to make links between the Religious Education Program and the Inquiry units that the students are studying. This assists students to make stronger connections between faith and life. Provocations are used to stimulate the student’s wonderings, generate their thinking and deepen their understandings.
Daily opportunities are given to students to be involved in prayer. Throughout the term the whole school gathers with the Parish community to pray and celebrate our faith. Each Friday a year level also attends the morning Parish Mass. This maintains links with the St Bernadette’s Parish community.
In the learning spaces, students are encouraged to explore the Principles of Catholic Social Teachings. The Social Justice Group, established since 2013, work together to highlight the importance of the Principles of Catholic Social Teachings within the school and wider community. They create and participate in activities, to demonstrate these principles. One of our actions, to encourage and foster students to be socially just and respect the dignity of all people as Jesus did, is for the Year 6 students to visit the residents at the St Bernadette’s Aged Care Facility. It is a valuable experience for the students as they become aware that beyond the school walls they can be of help and support to others.
The residents also love having the students visit.
Students, from Prep to Year Six, learn about the Sacraments. The school community participates in the Sacramental Program, with the baptised Catholic students celebrating the Sacraments. First Reconciliation is received in Year 3, First Eucharist in Year 4 and Confirmation in Year 6. Sacraments are special occasions where the students encounter God’s presence. They are embraced by God, nourished by God and experience God’s unconditional forgiveness and love.