The Religious Education (RE) curriculum is set by the Bishop of Wollongong in conjunction with Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong. The Emmaus Story (Luke 24:13-35) is central to the K-6 RE curriculum. The curriculum is based on the four movements of the Emmaus story:
- Making Sense
- Gaining Access
The Religious Education curriculum aims to assist students to reflect upon, make sense of, celebrate and live more deeply the mystery of Christ. Relationship with God is nurtured through catechesis, prayer and ritual enabling/supporting students to contribute positively to the community and culture. The content strands and themes of learning aim to lead students towards love of God, love for others and for all of creation as they become open to the presence and activity of God in their lives.
Explicitly for RE the teaching and learning process should incorporate storytelling and creative arts, and foster the development of the four cognitive processes of Religious Literacy:
- Knowing the Tradition - knowledge and understanding outcomes;
- Working with the Tradition - reasoning skills;
- Applying the Tradition - practical and social skills; and
- Valuing the Tradition - attitudes and values.
One of the aims of Religious Education (RE) in our Catholic schools is to develop our students' ‘Religious Literacy’ – that is, the way children use their literacy skills to communicate their understanding of the religious tradition to themselves, their peers, teachers and members of the wider faith community.
“By the end of their schooling students know the core teachings of our faith, our Scriptures, history and tradition and how these are to be lived in the world" — Catholic Schools at a Crossroad (2007)
The Religious Literacy Assessment program in the Diocese of Wollongong provides information about the way children process and express their religious knowledge. The assessment involves all Year 4 students across the diocese and consists of a multiple choice and short answer paper, focusing on the students' knowledge and understanding of the key concepts that are taught throughout their Religious Education from Kindergarten to Year 4, and what this means for the way we live, as it is applied in society.
The tasks are developed around the Religious Literacy Framework of Knowing the Tradition, Working with the Tradition, Applying the Tradition and Valuing the Tradition, reflecting Stage 1 and Stage 2 outcomes of the RE curriculum. The data gathered from the assessment is analysed to inform learning and teaching in schools, to focus on professional learning and to recognise and celebrate learning in the domain of Religious Education in the Wollongong Diocese.
Christmas story art competition and exhibition
Each year, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) invites Catholic primary schools from across the Diocese to submit artworks from Year 5 and 6 students to enter the Christmas Story Art Competition. Approximately fifty entries that are deemed to best meet the criteria will be chosen for exhibition at the Wollongong City Art Gallery. The exhibition is commonly open to the public in the last weeks of Term 3 and over the October school holiday period each year. Major awards are given at the opening of the exhibition, and approximately 12 finalists are selected for entry into the Sydney Archdiocese Christmas Story Art Competition and Exhibition.
Year 6 Mass with Bishop Brian
Each year, Year 6 students from across the Diocese of Wollongong gather together to celebrate in an uplifting Mass with the Bishop of Wollongong. This occasion is an opportunity for students to encounter Christ through the Eucharist, through their fellow students gathered together, and through the presence of Bishop Brian Mascord. The Year 6 Mass also aims to help students understand their place in the diocese, being part of the broader Church community and how they might embrace their Catholic faith as they take their next steps into secondary school.
The Religious Education curriculum aims to assist students to reflect upon, make sense of, celebrate and live more deeply the mystery of Christ. It encourages students to enter into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ while challenging them to live out the Gospel values in their everyday lives. Students are invited to examine the Scriptures, participate in personal and communal prayer and become authentic witnesses to the Catholic Social Teachings of the Church.
The secondary Religious Education curriculum provides opportunities for young people to develop holistically based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ so that they may become a religious voice in the world and have the potential to “live life to the full”.
Year 8 Religious Literacy Assessment
One of the aims of Religious Education is to develop in students ‘Religious Literacy’. Through the curriculum, young people are exposed to the core teachings of our faith, our Scriptures and the history and tradition of the Catholic Church. Students are equipped with the ability to act in a Christ like way as they encounter the many experiences life offers them.
A Diocesan Religious Literacy Assessment is conducted with students of Year 8 each year which has as one of its goals to "support a culture of reflection on learning and pedagogy in RE" (RLA Secondary Information Booklet 2016). Information is gathered about the process of learning in Religious Education as each student’s progress is documented and reported upon.
The assessment of Religious Literacy focuses on students’ knowledge and understanding of the key concepts that are taught throughout their Religious Education from all units of work across Stage 4 and the application of these concepts in their everyday life as living disciples of Christ.
Prayer and Conversation with Bishop Brian
This is a significant opportunity for Year 10 and 11 students from Secondary schools across the Wollongong Diocese to join in discussion and conversation with Bishop Brian Mascord and with each other. This evangelical event allows students to engage with and build a personal relationship with Bishop Brian, providing an opportunity for students to further explore their own personal faith and to continue to develop their ongoing relationship with their God.
Students participate in prayer with the Bishop. They have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of his role within the diocese through open dialogue and conversation. The Bishop provides an insight into the writings of Pope Francis through a Q&A session as students explore the opportunity for their engagement of these documents within the world in which they live.
Year 12 Gatherings with Bishop Brian
Bishop Brian Mascord provides the opportunity for all Year 12 students in our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wollongong to join with him in prayer and informal conversation with him and each other.
The aim of these gatherings is to provide Bishop Brian with the opportunity to wish all Year 12 students well and to celebrate their learning and growth in this, their final year of secondary schooling. The Bishop offers “pearls of wisdom” as students draw nearer to their HSC exams and move into the next stage of their life’s journey beyond school.
DIOCESAN RESOURCE CENTRE
Located within Xavier Centre at 38 Harbour Street Wollongong, the Resource Centre is an initiative of Catholic Education and is open to the wider community. The Centre has a wealth of resources that focus on the Religious Education in the classroom.
The library includes resources with a focus on: liturgy, faith, sacraments, spirituality, church history, morality and ethics, pastoral care, church administration, leadership, mission and a range of theological resources. The centre also holds a modest range of relevant journals and periodicals as well as an extensive audio visual collection.
VISIT the Diocesan Resource Centre webpage to access the centre's online resources.
Students, parents and teachers are most welcome to visit the Diocesan Resource Centre for help with Religious Education classroom activities and assignments.
Catholic Life, Education and Mission (CLEM) Services offer a comprehensive range of professional learning opportunities to assist teachers in Diocesan schools to carry out the evangelising mission of the church.
CLEM’s professional learning program focusses on areas such as:
- Catholic Identity and Mission Imperatives
- Catholic Social Teaching and the Provision of Quality Religious Education
- Effective Pedagogy for Student Engagement in RE Learning
Providing Spiritual Formation opportunities for Catholic Education staff is also given high priority in the Wollongong Diocese.