Religious Education is the focus of all our Key Learning Areas and aspects of school life at St Michael's – the foundation of everything we do comes from the Gospel values taught by Jesus.
We aim for the children to be nurtured in the Catholic faith and tradition within a Catholic Christian Community. The love, joy, peace, goodness, fidelity, self-control and gentleness, which they should experience in a community united in Christ, is where the most effective learning occurs.
Children have formal Religious Education lessons each day, based on the Religious Education curriculum is set by the Bishop of Wollongong in conjunction with Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong. Class Masses and liturgies are also held each term, which parents are most welcome to attend.
The Emmaus Story (Luke 24:13-35) is central to the Religious Education curriculum. The curriculum is based on the four movements of the Emmaus story.
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:
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)
This assessment instrument involves all Year 4 students across the diocese. The assessment consists of a Part A multiple choice and short answer paper, and a Part B extended task based on a unit of work. The tasks are developed around the Religious Literacy Framework of Knowing the Tradition, Working with the Tradition, Applying the Tradition and Valuing the Tradition, which reflect Stage 1 and Stage 2 outcomes of the RE curriculum.
Through participation in sacramental programs at St Michael's, we aim for children to develop a better sense of understanding of the importance of, and respect for, their relationship with the Church.
Children receive three sacraments during their primary years:
The parish and school support the family in helping their child receive the gifts of the sacraments, through formal classroom lessons and the parish sacramental program. However, the prime responsibility for the children's preparation lies with the example and Catholic practice of the family.
Supported by their parents, friends and the parish community, we hope that in receiving these sacraments for the first time, the children will continue to build their relationship with God through participation in weekly Sunday Mass.
Each year, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong invites Catholic primary schools from across the diocese to submit artworks from Year 5 and 6 students to enter in the CEDoW Christmas Story Art Competition.
Approximately fifty entries that are deemed to best meet the criteria are chosen for an exhibition at the Wollongong City Art Gallery, which is open to the public, commonly around 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.
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.