Programme of Study
As a Roman Catholic school, the Religious Education Curriculum at Saint Mary’s is based upon the guidance given in the Religious Education Curriculum Directory, a document produced by the Bishops of England and Wales. All classes at Saint Mary’s are taught through the “Come and See” Catholic Primary Religious Education Programme.
Come and See is a programme that has been developed to respond to the needs of children today as they progress upon their faith journey, enabling them to grow in their religious literacy. At the heart of the programme is the mystery of God’s self-revelation of love through Jesus Christ. Come and See gives all children the opportunity to explore the mystery of faith through scripture and tradition. The programme supports and enables the faith experience of all children because it starts with their real life experience and leads them to reflect upon and consider the Christian message in all its richness in that experience.
Come and See is developed through three themes which are gradually explored every term, each time at greater depths. These three themes are Church, Sacrament and Christian Living. Each theme is explored through a different topic in each age group. A short explanation of each theme is provided below.
Autumn – My Story: Domestic Church and My Family. To start the year, we begin with my story: within a family. The Church gives each family the title of “Domestic Church”, because it is in their families that parents “by their words and example are the first teachers of faith with regard to their children”.
Spring – Our Story: Local Church and Our Community. After Christmas the children explore the theme of local church, and our parish where people gather together to celebrate and practise care and love for each other. St. Mary’s parish is part of the Salford Diocese, a larger community of all the Christian faithful.
Summer – The Story: Universal Church and the Worldwide Community. The year finishes with the story of the worldwide community; the universal Church. In the Church, God is calling together his people throughout the world.
Autumn – Belonging: We are born into Christ’s life. The theme of Baptism introduces the understanding of being initiated into belonging to the Christian Church during Key Stage 1. In Key Stage 2 the children will learn about the Sacrament of Confirmation, where the baptised are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit, the Sacrament of Ordination for the service of the Church and the Sacrament of Marriage, perfecting the human love of wife and husband.
Spring – Relating: God’s love in our lives. The Sacrament of Eucharist is explored. This is the Sacrament of Communion with Christ and the Church. This Sacrament is at the heart of our work in school, since it is at the heart of Christ nourishing his people.
Summer – Inter-Relating: Service to the community. The Sacrament of Reconciliation provides an opportunity to learn about the joy and challenge of relationships and of God’s love and mercy. In Key Stage 2 children will also learn about the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which strengthens, forgives and unites the ailing person more closely to Christ.
Autumn – Loving: Celebrating life. This Advent and Christmas theme considers the gift of God’s love in Jesus. Christmas and our preparations celebrate the wonderful gift of Jesus.
Spring – Giving: The cost of life. In the Spring season Lent and Easter are explored. Jesus’ love for humankind shows no limit. Jesus offered his life and gave an example of giving as a way of life.
Summer – Serving in love: Feasts to celebrate. The study of the Ascension and Pentecost completes the Easter story and shows how the gift of the Holy Spirit strengthens the community and enables Christians to give witness to a life of joyful service.
Each term, every one of our classes will be taught three topics, with one topic from each theme of Church, Sacrament and Christian Living.
Every year, children in all classes will spend two weeks looking at World Religions. In his life on earth, Jesus showed a respect for those within and outside his own faith community. We live in a pluralistic country with people of different races, cultures and religions. As part of our fast changing global world, our children will experience communication and travel which will open them up to diversity and challenge. The Roman Catholic Church calls us to be committed to respecting people of other religions and to recognise that God is at work in them.
In the first week of the programme, children in all year groups will be taught Judaism. This is because Christians and Jews have such a common spiritual heritage. In the second week of the programme, children will be taught either Hinduism, Islam or Sikhism. These religions will be taught on a rota basis across the classes in school, so that by the end of your child’s time at St. Mary’s he/she will have gained knowledge of each of these religions.
For an quick overview download the whole school scheme.
“It is up to you, young followers of Christ, to show the world that faith brings happiness and a joy which is true, full and enduring”.
Pope Benedict XVI
St Mary’s Missionary Disciples are a group of Year 5 and 6 pupils, who have been appointed by our school on behalf of the Bishop of Salford, to give a joyful witness to Christ in our school. They provide support for our teachers and children, by helping to develop the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils across the curriculum.
Our ten Missionary Disciples assist with the delivery and development of the prayer life of our school. As a group, they lead weekly Monday Morning Praise Assemblies in the hall, using prayers that they have written themselves on a chosen theme for the week. Individually and in pairs, they lead Wednesday morning Worship Liturgies in every classroom, using the week’s Wednesday Word as a stimulus.
Our Missionary Disciples also celebrate their own missionary journey in a special Learning Journey book, which is on permanent display in our KS2 library for all members of school community to read and share. They work hard to create work to share with our school community, writing prayers, reflections and gathering information about the religious life of our school throughout the year.
Our Missionary Disciples are beginning to generate ideas of ways in which our school can support local, national and international charities, such as Caritas in the Diocese of Salford, and CAFOD worldwide.
Our Missionary Disciples are supported by Mrs Prescott, St. Mary’s Lay Chaplain, and Mr Loynd, the RE Leader.
Each child in the school has a prayer book. These prayer books are for recording the formal prayers each year group learn. The children may also write their own personal prayers and reflections in these books.
Prayers that should be present in the Prayer Books for each year group are as follows:
- The sign of the cross
- The Lord’s Prayer
- The Hail Mary
- Prayer to the Holy Spirit (simple version)
- Simple prayers for before and after Holy Communion
- An Act of Sorrow
- Glory be to the Father
- Grace before and after meals
- Responses at Mass
- The Apostles Creed
- The Rosary
- Stations of the Cross
- The Angelus
- Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Praying with Paint
Praying with Paint is a practical form of prayerful meditation. It gives our children the opportunity to experience individual spirituality and self-reflection.
For centuries, people have been inspired to paint pictures. There is evidence that representational art and images have been associated with Christian worship almost from the beginning. When we pray with paint, we can:
- Reflect on a prayer, image or theme
- Respond by producing a picture
We begin with a simple theme, prayer or reflection (The book “Psalms for Young Children” and “Images of God for Young Children” by Marie-Helene Delval make an excellent starting point).
Following a break time, the children enter their classroom in silence, and remain silent throughout the activity (which usually lasts between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on the age of the group). The teacher begins by reading the prayer/reflection. The children are then asked to respond by painting a picture. The picture that the children produce is itself a prayer for someone or something.
At the end of the activity, children can share their thoughts about their own paintings and others, being respectful to each person and talking about what they can see that inspires them.
At St Mary’s, we give love and thanks to God every day by offering up our hard work to Him.
Every Wednesday morning, at the start of our school day and at the midpoint in our week, we gather in our classes to take part in a special Liturgy. Wednesday Worship is an opportunity for our whole school community to take time to celebrate the Word of God. We reflect on God’s love and blessings for us in our year groups, with each class being led by one of our Missionary disciples.
Our Wednesday Worship Liturgies are centred around the theme of the Gospel to be celebrated in Mass on the following Sunday. We begin with a Welcome and an Opening Prayer, followed by a Gospel Reading. After this comes a special Gospel Reflection, before our children are encouraged to offer up their own intercessions to God. We finish with a closing prayer, where we offer our thanks to God and look forward to the day ahead.
Parents, Grandparents and friends of our school community are invited to partake in this celebration each week, as a different class celebrates their Wednesday Worship outdoors in our Chapel in the school grounds, weather permitting.
St Mary's 5 W's
Online Learning Resources