Religious Education is an essential component of the school curriculum. Although Religious Education is regarded as one of the school's Key Learning Areas, it is not simply a subject that is taught, it is an integral, living part of our daily lives at St Pius X and beyond.
Religious Education is at the heart of who we are at St Pius X, through our interactions with one another; the environment; our daily prayers; our loyalty to the traditions and doctrines of the Catholic Church and our genuine desire to be an organisation which reflects the values of Christ, as we educate children in their Faith.
The RE curriculum is set by the Bishop of Wollongong in conjunction with Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong. The K-6 curriculum is based on the Emmaus Paradigm. It helps the students to develop their knowledge of their faith, and assists them in worship of the blessed Trinity. It also helps to promote the message of action in Laudato Si' to be carers for our common home.
Catholic schools are called to be real and living expressions of the church’s pastoral mission in the world. As centres of ‘the New Evangelisation’ they proclaim and give witness to a living encounter with Christ. Catholic schools nurture students in their lifelong journey in faith and help them develop as mature educated citizens empowered to shape and enrich the world by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their everyday lives.
As an integral expression of Church, schools have the opportunity to support students and their families in connecting with the Catholic Christian tradition and accessing the richness of its spiritual heritage. Through quality Religious Education, rich experiences of prayer and celebration, engagement in social action and justice, students are supported in developing their relationship with God and responding to the experience and action of God in their own lives.
Religious Education is a lifelong process. Parents are the first and foremost educators of their children and the family is generally the first place where children come to Christian faith. Catholic Schools provide Religious Education to nourish and develop the faith of students in partnership with the family, parish and local community. Within the contemporary Catholic school the task of Religious Education has two distinct but complementary dimensions: a) teaching students religion – focused on developing religious literacy and building the capacity of students to participate in a critical and effective way in the life of the church community and of the wider society; and b) teaching students to be religious, focused on nurturing the religious, spiritual and faith development of students.
The Religious Education curriculum is a joint collaboration between the Dioceses of Wollongong, Armidale and Lismore and the Archdiocese of Sydney. It contributes to the catechetical and evangelising mission of the Church and exists to enable young people to understand, appreciate and celebrate the richness of the Catholic Tradition. The Religious Education curriculum enables young people to see and respond to God in their lives supporting them in their lifelong journey in faith.
The Religious Education curriculum stimulates and challenges students in their understanding of Scripture and Tradition, their engagement with symbol and ritual, and their ability to engage in critical thinking and moral reasoning.
The richness of the tradition of Catholic faith and culture and the best of contemporary pedagogies come together in the Religious Education curriculum which is supported by the To Know, Worship and Love books and resources.
The Religious Education curriculum through the seasons of the Liturgical Year, aims to assist students to Reflect upon, Make sense of, Celebrate, Live more deeply. The mystery of Christ revealed in each person, And in relationship with others, The Church, and Creation.
The Emmaus story (Luke 24:13-35) is central to the Religious Education curriculum. In the story four movements can be discerned. These movements are part of a dynamic process, which assists students to make sense of their experience in the light of revelation.
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 takes place in Year 4 (Stage 2). It is part of the 'Partners in Learning' initiative which began in 2000 between the Australian Catholic University and Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong. The goal of the assessment is to provide a practical assessment and reporting system at a diocesan level that contributes to gathering information about the process of learning in Religious Education. Its aim is to document and report on students’ learning in Religious Education and be able to tell that story on a continuing basis.
Sacramental programs are parish-based. At Immaculate Conception Parish Church, any child in Year 3 or above at a Catholic or state school and who has been baptised, has the right to receive the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion.
Any child in Year 6 or above may receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, providing the candidate has met the criteria. In accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church, however, before a child can exercise this right, it is the responsibility of the priest, parents and teachers/catechists to see that they are adequately prepared to receive these sacraments. Since parents and carers are the ‘first educators in faith’ of their child, adequate provision must be made for parents and carers to also participate in the preparation of their children for the reception of these sacraments.
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 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.