St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

The Way, The Truth, The Life

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Religious Education

Religious Education at St Joseph's 


Religious Education is a core subject and is planned, taught, assessed and monitored with the same rigour as other core curriculum subjects.
The outcome of Religious Education is religiously literate and engaged young people who have the knowledge, understanding and skills – appropriate to their age and capacity – to reflect spiritually, and think ethically and theologically, and who are aware of the demands of religious commitment in everyday life. (Religious Education Curriculum Directory, Catholic Bishops’ Conference, 2012, p.6)

RE is split into three important strands: Catholic Life, Teaching and Learning and Collective Worship.


Catholic Life



I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)


Our mission at St Joseph’s is to offer the community an encounter with the living God - Jesus Christ: The Way, The Truth, The Life.  Our vision is to capture hearts to follow His way, enlighten minds to seek His truth and awaken souls to embrace His life.  We believe in an education for the whole child - heart, mind and soul.


Spiritual Council

The Spiritual Council comprises two  representatives from each class from Years 3,4, 5 and 6. This group of children focus on developing the spiritual life of the school.  They meet to evaluate the collective worship being delivered by the school. In addition, they reflect on the liturgical season and ways in which the school can develop its Catholicity, collective worship and prayer life and charitable contributions. The children feed their ideas back to their class and, in turn, gather suggestions and ideas for their next meeting. Our current projects are developing the Willow Tree Garden to reflect the School Mission and introducing and being champions for The Oscar Romero Award.


Charity and Fundraising:
To live in an atmosphere of love and mutual respect, it is fundamental that we work to achieve the common good for everyone, locally and globally. At St Joseph’s we strive to help others through charity work and fundraising: each term, we participate in whole school fundraising to donate time, goods and money to a variety of charities. 

Parish and Liturgical seasons:

At St Joseph's we work in partnership with home and parish to make sure all children are rooted in our Catholic values. The seasons of Advent and Lent are times of preparation for Christmas and Easter, but need to be given their own importance. A focus is given to both of these seasons by raising money for certain causes and providing prayer/activity groups for the children to attend, run by volunteer staff. Newsletters are sent home to explain the importance and encourage participation. Please find our RE Autumn Newsletter below:

Teaching and Learning


RE Syllabus: 
St Joseph’s uses the Religious Education Programme ‘Come and See’ by Victoria Hummell. This programme follows the Diocesan Syllabus approved by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and adopted by the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. 


Time Allocation: (This does not include times of Collective Worship.)
Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 - 10%                                   Key Stage 2 - 10% 


The ‘Come and See’ programme is developed through three themes based on documents from the Second Vatican Council: Church, Sacrament and Christian Living. The whole school explores each religious theme at the same time through different year-appropriate topics following a yearly teaching cycle. Each of the three themes is taught per term and consists of three topics, thus totalling in nine topics per year. We also study two other religions: Judaism in the Autumn Term and Islam in the Summer Term. To see what is currently being taught, please refer to our termly newsletter above.


In our lessons, assemblies and liturgies, we try to introduce the children, in a way suitable to their age and stage of development, to the variety of literary forms in the Bible, to understand its origins and treat it with respect and reverence. The younger children primarily build on their own experience and then are gradually introduced to the Bible. Scripture acts as a focus and support in RE lessons and the ‘Come and See’ programme outlines which pieces of Scripture each year group should focus on.  

Collective Worship 


At St Joseph’s, worship provides opportunities for the community to come together to celebrate, pray and share. There are many forms of worship throughout the school: 


Gospel Worship

Following the key theme and relevant reading of the forthcoming Sunday. Focus to include all members of the community to engage in the weekly ‘Gospel Challenge’. Resources are shared with our community (via the Headteacher’s Blog) to encourage parents to celebrate the Gospel at home with their children.


Witness Worship

The focus on the theme and Gospel of the forthcoming week is continued and extends children’s knowledge of witnesses of Christ, through: focusing on key individuals in the world, learning skills and British values. The purpose of this worship is to broaden and strengthen the children's understanding of the weekly Gospel and how this can be shown in today’s world. 


Collective Worship (Class/Year group)

Weekly class/year group worship is led by the class teachers and the children. Focus on more child-led worship to create a reflective atmosphere and children leading their understanding of their faith. 


Spiritual Journaling

A reflective time in the week for children to individually explore their learning and thoughts from the week, through a creative medium. All staff partake to develop their own spirituality as well. 


Class Assembly

Each class, throughout the year will create their own assembly, based on the weekly Gospel theme and share their reflections and understanding with the school and parents. This is shown through the creative medium of drama, song, choral readings and prayer.


Daily prayer helps make Jesus real for all in the school - a friend whom they can trust and relate to, one who is a guide, and one to whom they can turn in time of need. Prayer within the classroom takes place at the start and end of the day and before lunch.  


We have many special prayer spaces around the school site, including our prayer grottos and our Prayer Garden. 

Masses and Liturgies:

Following the Church calendar, there are Holy Days of Obligation where we celebrate a Mass and/or a liturgy. Each Mass/liturgy is partially child-led: the children may read Scripture and prayers, participate in drama, sing hymns, alter serve and/or take up the Offertory. Our Masses and liturgies are celebrated in either the School Hall or St Mary’s Church and dates for these can be found in the term dates. 



Spiritual Council:

Working alongside the School Council, St Joseph’s has a ‘Spiritual Council’. Each junior class has a representative who is responsible for demonstrating their spirituality through what they think, what they say and what they do. They are responsible for the upkeep of prayer tables, RE displays, leading class worship and prayer, organising masses and liturgies and being a ‘spiritual voice’ for their year group. 


Spiritual Journaling:

A reflective time in the week for children to individually explore their learning and thoughts from the week, through a creative medium. All staff partake to develop their own spirituality as well.
This is a book that reflects and represents the weekly ethos, worship and spiritual life of St Joseph’s and an opportunity for children to independently record their own thoughts and learning on the weekly Gospel and big questions. 


Useful websites: