Religious Education

At St Mary’s we are very proud of our Religious Education teaching and learning. Religious Education is a core curriculum subject for catholic schools and is 10% of curriculum time. It is taught rigorously with all the same expectations as other core subjects whilst maintaining a creative element (including art, dance and drama) and encouraging children to question and think at a high level. We believe that placing RE at the core of our curriculum helps us to fulfil our mission, to ‘Journey and grow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ’, and to educate the whole person. Religious Education lessons at St Mary’s are special, and clearly distinctive from other lessons. 


To Know You More Clearly

We follow the new Religious Education programme for schools in England published by the CES (Catholic Education Service), To Know You More Clearly. In line with Diocesan recommendations this has been a phased implementation, therefore LKS2 continue to follow the Come and See programme at present (see below).

We are very excited about our new RE Curriculum.

In it’s Preface, Bishop Marcus Stock says, “The importance of ‘good Catholic schools’ has not diminished over time. Whilst their educational and structural forms have had to adapt to political and social changes, the mission of Catholic schools remains unchanged. At the heart of that mission is good religious education. Similarly, while changes in culture and society have presented new challenges for Catholic school leaders and teachers, their role as religious educators remains as vital today as ever to the mission of Catholic schools.”

The objective of the new curriculum is religiously literate and engaged young people , with the knowledge, understanding and skills to reflect spiritually, think ethically and theologically, and recognise the demands of religious commitment in everyday life.

It is the story of God and His people and is centred around scripture. It follows the story of Jesus and invites us to know Him more clearly.

We aim for St Mary’s children to develop both a knowledge of and love for their faith, and to leave our school as young citizens of the world, ready to live out their faith, serve others with gentleness and humility, and care actively for the world they live in.

There are six ‘branches’ or half-termly topics, following the liturgical year and centred on Jesus.

The themes are:

Creation and Covenant

Prophecy and Promise

Galilee to Jerusalem

Desert to Garden

To the ends of the earth

Dialogue and Encounter

There is a strong emphasis on Catholic Social Teaching (CST) throughout, including being stewards of our world, looking after God’s creation and all those who live in it, and being passionate about injustice.  During the final branch each year there is an emphasis on learning about other faiths.

In Early Years RE is part of continuous provision and a central part of the learning environment. Children engage in creative learning activities linked to the RE topic throughout the week, often through story.

As learning extends into KS1 and KS2, learning continues to take place creatively in a range of different ways, for example, through story, discussion, exploring questions of meaning and purpose, through art and dance, the use of small world and Godly play, as well as different genres of writing.

The Come and See Programme

The ‘Come and See’ programme continues to be taught in Yr3/4 in line with all schools in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. “Come and See” is an invitation and a promise of life for everyone. The invitation is open to all.

Each lesson begins with engaging the children through means such as a lit candle, music, video clips etc. Lessons engage and enthuse the children, and within each topic children will have opportunities to respond to their learning creatively such as through art, dance and drama, as well as with an increasingly high level of written work.

Each term pupils study three topics, each lasting four weeks

(see below)

Scripture is at the heart of each topic.

Children all have a special ‘Come and See’ book in which their RE learning is treasured and shows high expectations for learning. In addition, Key Stage 2 children have their own prayer journals. Each year pupils spend two weeks learning about other faiths as part of the Come and See curriculum. At St Mary’s, we have chosen the Jewish and Islamic faiths. Judaism is taught in the Autumn Term and Islam in the Summer Term using the Come and See materials.


Other Faiths

In addition to RE curriculum learning, pupils learn about elements of other faiths as part of topics and in assemblies e.g. Diwali. We recognise the importance of pupils having not just a tolerance for, but a deep respect for, all faiths and other Christian traditions and wish to educate the pupils at St Mary’s as such.


Spiritual Journaling 

During each half-term all children in Year 1 – 6 also have an opportunity for ‘Spiritual Journaling’ where they can record and illustrate their thoughts about a particular piece of scripture. These spiritual journals follow children up through the school.


How can you help? 

Parents’ termly letter gives overview of topics and suggestions for discussion with children:

  • Creative homework task in Spirituality Week;
  • Come and celebrate Masses and collective worship with us;
  • Support our fundraising;
  • Attend parent prayer groups;
  • Go along to Mass on Sunday; younger children can take part in Children’s liturgy -details on the parish website;
  • Share other ideas you have!