Primary - Curriculum: Learning & Growing as the People of God
The schools of the Archdiocese of Birmingham use the Diocese’s own curriculum strategy from Foundation (Nursery) to Year 6 called ‘Learning and Growing as the People of God.’ (often referred to as ‘The Strategy’).
The Strategy was written using the Learning Outcomes provided in the Bishop’s Conference document the Curriculum Directory as a basis. The Strategy provides teachers with a range of suggested cross-curricular activities which can be differentiated to suit the learning needs of the children in their class in order for them to explore the Catholic faith and achieve the learning outcomes. There is a strong emphasis on pupils engaging with and responding to questions of life in the light of religious teaching.
This flexible approach enables teachers to incorporate their own creative teaching ideas into the delivery of the Strategy.
The Strategy is divided into a number of units for each year group, usually 12, which cover four main areas of study:
The Liturgical Seasons of the Church’s Year: The children find out about the significance of each season, its particular signs and symbols and the different liturgies celebrated in each season.
Scripture: The children study both Old Testament and New Testament Scripture in order to give them familiarity and knowledge of Scripture as well as enabling them to explore and understand how Catholic beliefs are rooted in what Scripture reveals to us.
The Sacraments: There is a strong Sacramental focus in each year group. The Year 3 and Year 6 books fully prepare the children to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in Year 3 and Confirmation in Year 6.
Living as Christians including Prayer: The children learn about what it is to live as Christians today, how the Church is organised from global to parish level and also the opportunities which exist for them to participate in the life of the Church.
In each unit, there are additional planned opportunities to pray and time to reflect.
Resources to help teachers with planning and assessment are available from re-live. The Church has been going through the process of revising its translations of all liturgies. The Mass was completed quite some time ago and now changes to the Rite of Confirmation and also the Rite of Marriage have just been introduced.
Changes to the Rite of Confirmation
The changes to Confirmation are confined to the prayer said by the Archbishop/bishop at the Laying on of Hands. The names used for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit have changed. All subject leaders were given a sheet explaining the changes. This information will need to be shared with Y6 teachers, the person producing the booklet and any catechists who may be involved in preparation for the sacrament. Please note that any published resources will be out of date in relation to the language used. These changes came in to effect at the Easter Vigil this year so any Confirmations being celebrated must include the new version of the prayer.