Students in our Catholic schools, from Prep through to Year 12 all participate in Religious Education.
Religious Education aims to assist students in their understanding and knowledge of religion and to foster their spiritual development. For many students the Catholic school will be their only experience of church. Some will be hearing the Good News for the first time. It is important to remember that Religious Education does not presuppose that students have Christian faith. But all students in their own way are seeking meaning in their lives. Religious Education can be a valuable support in that search for meaning.
'The aim of the school is knowledge….’ (Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, 1998) and this too, is the aim of Religious Education in our Catholic schools.
But in this context, knowledge here means more than acquiring factual information. Two things happen in religious education:
- Teaching students religion
- Teaching students to be religious in a certain way
Students have a natural curiosity and a search for meaning in their lives and in the world around them. A study of the Catholic tradition and the ways in which Catholics express and interpret purpose and destiny provides a framework for the students’ own search for meaning.
Students live in a world often preoccupied with the superficial and where the human person may be devalued. Religious Education introduces students to the ‘Good News’ of Jesus Christ and affirms all people – irrespective of gender, colour, race, socio-economic status or personal characteristics and abilities.
Prayer and Liturgy
Christian Meditation is an integral part of the prayer life of teachers and students in schools throughout the schools in the Diocese of Townsville. The text for use by teachers is Coming Home - A Guide to Teaching Christian Meditation to Children by Ernie Christie. Published by Medio Media and John Garrett Publishing. The accompanying website outlines the details of this prayer.
Religious Education Curriculum
The Townsville Diocese uses and adapts the Archdiocesan Curriculum Materials.
Religious Education airms to 'develop students' religious literacy in the light of the Catholic tradition, so that they may participate critically and effectively in the life of their faith communities and wider society." (A Syllabus for Religious Education for Catholic Schools p. 18). The experiential aspect of Religious Education is a vital part of classroom Religious Education. Students participate in classroom prayer and liturgy and are invited to reflect on their faith responses to the classroom learning activities.
Accreditation to Teach and to Teach Religion in a Catholic school in Queensland
Click here for the updated version of the 'Accreditation to teach and teach religion in a Catholic school in Queensland' document. Please note, in 2010 Townsville Catholic Education Office will offer the Certificate IV Theology (Foundations), please contact Joan Neal or John Crowley for further information on 47730907.
From July 2010 James Cook University will be offering a Graduate Certificate of Catholic Education (delivered in partnership with Townsville Catholic Education Office). More information on this will be available early 2010. Please refer to this site or contact our Religious Education department on 47730907.
Staff formation is a significant initiative for the Townsville Catholic Education Office.
In a chaotic world spiritual development can help sustain our teachers. Spiritual formation of our teachers is paramount to continuing the Catholic Ethos in our schools. Jesus taught "I am the way, the truth and the life" and the spiritual path is for all. There are endless statistics on those who have lost their job or need a job. There are no statistics on those who have lost their souls while doing the job they do. (John Haughey)
Christian Meditation Professional Development
Our teachers are invited to complete the Online Christian Meditation professional development package for credit towards "Accreditation To Teach In Catholic Schools".
Special Events 2010 (TBC)
Personal Development Education
Personal Development Education offers an excellent opportunity to express our fundamental belief that all aspects of life lead us to God. Personal Development Education is concerned with helping students become mature Christian people, formed in the image and likeness of their creator. All human beings have within them the potential for life in all its beauty and fullness, realising that we are precious in the eyes of God and that our whole person is respected and valued. Personal Development Education permeates all facets of the curriculum. It provides opportunities for students to understand the specific features of their gender, their physical growth and development and their identity as they make the transition from early childhood to adulthood. For Catholic Education to operate at the intersection of faith and life each student's life experience must be acknowledged. Contemporary issues that are personally and socially sensitive must be examined. The ultimate goal of Personal Development Education is to develop the whole person intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially. It involves students making choices about lifestyle behaviours and acting on those decisions in the context of the students' well-being, that of others, and the community in which they live.
Personal Development Education enriches growth in tolerance and respect for others. Within the framework of Gospel values, Personal Development Education strives to assist students to be at peace with themselves, to enhance their self esteem, and to foster in them right relationships.
See below materials for download, Guidelines for Teaching Human Sexuality and Personal Development Education Kit.
The following provides links to online resources and materials to download: