At Star of the Sea, the Vision for Religious Education is the centre of our focus.
The schools and colleges of the Archdiocese of Brisbane aspire to educate and form students who are challenged to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and who are literate in the Catholic and broader Christian tradition so that they might participate critically and authentically in faith contexts and wider society (‘Shape of Religious Education’ 2013).
There are two distinct dimensions to Religious Education; there is the classroom teaching of the learning area, Religion, and there is the faith development that is encouraged through the Religious Life of the School. These two dimensions complement each other.
The first dimension of Religious Education is the Religious Life of the School. Students participate in a variety of focused activities, based around four main organisers:
These assist students to put into everyday action the topics they learn about in the classroom.
The following are practical links to the Religious Life of the School:
Anointing Mass is celebrated at 9.15 on the first Thursday of the month in our Star of the Sea Church. Yr 3 – 6 classes are rostered on throughout the year. The students sit with parishioners and this helps to develop positive relationships and connections with the wider community.
Each of our classes has one celebration each term. Prep to Yr 2 celebrate with a Liturgy of the Word and our Yr 3 – 6 classes celebrate at the Parish Mass on Thursdays at 9.15am. Yr 3 - 6 celebrate Reconciliation as their Term 3 liturgy. After each celebration parents and parishioners are invited to join the students for a shared morning tea. Our teachers and students create a celebration linked to the unit they are exploring in Religion at the time. Students are active participants responsible for the readings, songs and offertory procession.
Each class invites Fr Ashley to discuss a relevant aspect of the RE Curriculum or the Liturgical Calendar at least once each term. The students have the opportunity to ask questions and make connections with our Parish Priest, who is a valuable member of our school community.
All aspects of fundraising and service fit under the umbrella of our 'Lighthouse Keeper's Projects'. Each class organises one act of service or fundraising project per year. This project is linked to the Religion curriculum where possible. Examples of Lighthouse Keeper's Projects include St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal, RSPCA Pupcake Day, Fiji Friday, Christmas Carols at Mandalay Aged Care Facility, Church Cleaning and creating a garden for Fr Ashley.
Each class participates in Christian Meditation daily. The timeframe is approximately one year of meditation for each year of age. Eg students who are 6 years of age should work up to 6 minutes of meditation. Each term has a meditation theme that links with our charism and teachers select an instrumental music piece to match the theme. Suggested mantras that match the theme are provided by the APRE.
A prayer space is set up in each learning area. The prayer space reflects the liturgical season and where possible links to the curriculum content. For example, when learning about Mary symbols such as Rosary Beads and Marian books and prayers are displayed.
The school supports the Parish Sacramental Program. The APRE is a member of the Sacramental Team and attends all parent meetings and celebrations.
Year levels combine to sponsor one weekend Mass each year. Students lead the Readings and Songs, Offertory Procession, Prayers of the Faithful and Thanksgiving for these Masses. We often select significant events in the Church or calendar year to base our celebrations on, such as Mothers, Day, Fathers Day, Palm Sunday, Remembrance Day. A cuppa is organised after the Sunday morning Mass and it's a lovely opportunity for our students, staff, parents and parishioners to get to know each other.
Each staff member prepares a prayer experience at least once each term. This may be done individually or in pairs. Staff Prayer is at 8.45am on Tuesdays. Staff create a prayer space on the staffroom table using symbols linked to the theme of the prayer. This remains for the week and becomes our sacred space.
Whole School Masses are organised to celebrate the Opening and Closing of the school year, Ash Wednesday and Foundation Day. The APRE coordinates these celebrations and each class has a role to play. Holy Week, Easter and Christmas are also whole school celebrations. A highlight is our Foundation Day Mass on Stradbroke Island which we celebrate on the Friday closest to the Feast of the Assumption. The whole school travels to the Little Ships Club on the foreshore for an outdoor celebration and morning tea. Parents and Parishioers also join us for this day.
The second dimension of Religious Education is the teaching of Religion.
It is structured through the use of the Religion Curriculum P-12, Archdiocese of Brisbane. Teachers use a range of strategies and resources to engage the students with the content of the curriculum.
Catholic schools have extra time allocated for the teaching of Religion. This is 2.5 hours per week in addition to the time allocated to other learning areas which is similar to government schools.
It is organised according to the following strands:
The APRE and PLL plan with teachers at least once each term to brainstorm knowledge, understanding and skills from the Religion Curriculum. Teachers use the RE Planning Checklist to ensure all relevant components are covered, including the Line of Sight, Scope and Sequence, Unit Planner, Assessment and Moderation. Teachers share planning with parents in a number of ways throughout the year including through our Parent Portal, School Newsletter, Parent Teacher Interviews, Assemblies, Celebrations of Learning and Showcases.
Teachers participate in moderation both with teachers from our own school and also teachers from neighbouring schools to ensure that assessment and marking is fair and consistent.