Religious Education from Foundation to Year 6
Complementing the year-level descriptions of the curriculum, this document provides advice on the nature of learners and the relevant curriculum across the following groupings:
- Foundation to Year 2—typically, students from 4 to 7 years of age, beginning with Kindergarten in Tasmania
- Years 3 to 6—typically, students from 8 to 12 years of age
Foundation to Year 2
Young children (4 to 7 years of age) are naturally spiritual and “in love” with mystery. During the “early years” of their education, they are encouraged to wonder, ponder, and develop a capacity to ask questions about themselves, their families, their friends and the ever-increasing circles of concern beyond themselves. God is introduced as loving creator who creates in every moment by loving everything into being, who can be known in the stillness and quiet of prayer. Jesus is introduced to the children as God’s way of showing us how much we are loved by God, by becoming like our own brother, who lived in a human family and learned all the things that children need to learn. They engage with the idea of the Church as a celebrating and praying community. The Word of God is shared in simple prayer practices. Sacred seasons and times are honoured with ritual prayer and Godly play. Students are encouraged to ponder prayerfully how the sacraments celebrate the presence of God in our midst. They are encouraged to pray for others, with them, and even to them (to the saints, that is, to ask them to pray for us) because we are all connected as one human family in many and varied ways, throughout time and in different places throughout the world.
Years 3 to 6
The children in this age group (8 to 12 years of age) are encouraged to treasure their capacity for wonder and awe, and to learn how to express their deep respect for mystery. They are invited to reflect on the mystery of their own being by seeing themselves as created in the image of a loving God who offers them wholeness and fullness of life. This mystery is opened up in the triune relationship of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus shares his Spirit with us, present also in the Church that celebrates and makes present his kingdom of justice and peace and joy. Students are taught how to reflect on their lives in a deepening relationship with the Scriptures as adult stories that they will continue to grow into as they become more and more capable of understanding them. They learn that through the sacraments they are nourished and encouraged to follow Jesus Christ, whose love for them enables them to make good choices and love others with the same compassion and gentleness with which Christ loves them. In these years students increasingly engage with the idea that God offers a pattern for a just and compassionate world, even though people often don’t understand or often reject that pattern. As they broaden their understanding of the wider community, children are also supported to see that the Catholic Church respects and works with all who search for truth about the mystery of God.