At St Bernard’s, we believe Religious Education is a lifelong process. Our school is one contributing element within this process. We hold aspirations for our students in the areas of religious literacy, faith formation and authentic transformation. We nurture the dignity of the whole individual within a diverse religious, social and cultural environment. We recognise that parents/carers are the primary educators of our students and embrace the evangelical role of our school to spread and witness the Gospels to staff, students and parents.
The aim of the Religious Education Curriculum is to develop in each student the knowledge and understanding, skills and values and attitudes needed to lead informed, responsible and socially fulfilling lives. In doing so, the curriculum will form the basis for students to adopt a responsible and productive role in society and contextualise our school’s vision and mission. At St Bernard’s, we adopt the Archdiocesan vision for Religious Education which emphasises the complementary nature of the two dimensions of Religious Education: Teaching and Learning of Religious Education and; the Religious Life of the school.
In line with the Archdiocesan Vision, at St Bernard’s we believe that teaching people Religion and teaching people to be Religious draws upon the Catholic tradition in ways that are mindful of our local context and the multi-faith reality of our community. We believe that the experiences for the learning and teaching of Religion and the Religious Life of the School are responsive to religious diversity, while being faithful to the Catholic identity of the school (Moran, 1991).
At St Bernard’s, we believe that Inquiry Learning encourages our students to take responsibility for their learning in an environment that is both challenging and supportive. The new Archdiocesan Religious Education curriculum invites a ‘Conceptual Inquiry’ framework to teaching and learning. Educators have traditionally taught through topics and students learn a broad range of facts about the chosen topic. By approaching a topic with a conceptual lens, however, staff are providing students with meaningful connections and purpose for their learning. When teachers position curriculum content within an overarching conceptual framework, they are providing a context for the facts (Tania Lattanzio & Andrea Muller, 2017).
At St Bernard’s, we believe that;
- Parents, as the children’s first and principal educators, provide an introduction to the Sacraments by word and example. Parent attendance at Mass, school prayer and celebrations gives witness to the importance they place in these gifts of grace.
- The development of the child’s faith is a shared responsibility with parents/carers working in partnership with teachers, the parish priest and parishioners
- On special celebrations such as St Bernard’s Day parents/ family/ friends are invited to share recess or celebration lunches in the school grounds
- Introductory interviews Yrs K-6 are conducted at the beginning of the school year so that staff and families have an opportunity to ‘get to know each other’
- Kinder parents and staff meet at an Information evening, Orientation and Kindergarten EXPO
- Parents are kept informed of events and invited to participate through the School Calendar, Newsletter, Skoolbag App, Sacrament information letter (REC), Curriculum Notes, and through personal contact by staff.
Sacramental programmes are coordinated by the REC in partnership with the Parish Priest and the Leadership Team. Parents and carers who wish their child/ren to receive a sacrament are invited to attend a meeting to register their interest. An information evening, led by the REC and Parish Priest follows. As part of our K-12 Pathways, students are engaged in a Retreat Day led by Carroll College CSYMA (Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia) students and teachers at Carroll College. In addition, families are invited to attend a Commitment Mass prior to the Sacrament, whereby children and their family are formally welcomed to the parish and take part in a commitment ceremony. The Sacrament is celebrated as a parish community at a weekend Mass.
The schedule for Sacraments is as follows;
Term 1 Reconciliation (Years 3 and above)
Term 2 Confirmation (Year 6 who have made their First Eucharist)
Term 3 First Eucharist (Year 4 and above who have made their Reconciliation)