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The content of the Religious Education curriculum for the Foundation Year is organised in three strands: Knowledge and Understanding, Inquiring and Communicating, and Discerning and Making Connections. The Knowledge and Understanding content descriptions are aligned to the core doctrinal concepts of the eight elements around which the curriculum is structured and which are: Jesus Christ, Christian Prayer, God, Church, Sacraments, Christian Life, Religion, Culture and Society and Scripture. These elements are interrelated as outlined in the Meaningful Structure and are taught in an integrated way appropriate to the specific local context and children’s stage of development. Through the Inquiring and Communicating, and Discerning and Making Connections strands students acquire, develop and apply skills that enable them to engage with the content in ways that, over time, help them to apply in their lives the understandings gained.
Students in Foundation Year will be encouraged and supported to encounter God’s love, experienced in the world around them and in the loving actions of others and celebrated in prayer and the sacraments. They will be introduced to the Bible as a collection of sacred stories about God, loving Creator, who continues to give us life. Through engaging with Gospel stories of his Son, Jesus Christ, their friend and brother, they will learn about his life as a member of a loving family and about his actions, words and loving care for others. Students will investigate examples of his respect for every person and be inspired to treat themselves, other people and all of life with respect. They will explore and express their unique identity, rejoicing in their own and others’ individuality, God’s loving gift. Students will understand the Church as a celebrating community of Christians who, welcomed through the sacrament of Baptism, share God’s love and witness to Jesus’ teachings to care and show respect for all of life.
- God is Mystery, a source of wonder, the giver of all life.
- God is love, always with us and continuing to give life.
- God’s love can be experienced through the love of others and through the world around us.
- God loves each of us and invites us to respond in love.
God is love. This love can be experienced in people and in the world around us. (TCREK001)Elaborations
Students will be encouraged and supported to wonder about God as Mystery. They will learn that Christians refer to God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They will have the opportunity to see and experience signs of God’s love in the world around us and will be supported to identify God’s presence in the loving actions of others. Students will be supported to recognise God as our loving creator, who continues to give us life. Students will be given opportunities to experience God’s constant presence and love. They will be supported to develop a loving relationship with God expressed in prayer and shown in loving actions.
- Jesus is a human being like us.
- Jesus lived and learned in a loving family.
- Jesus teaches about and shows us the love of God, his Father.
- Jesus cares for us as a friend and brother.
Jesus reveals and is God’s love for us. Jesus cares for us. (TCREK002)Elaborations
Students will explore stories about Jesus’ life as a person and a member of a loving family. They will learn that Jesus called God his Father. They will identify Mary as Jesus’ mother and explore how she and Joseph cared for him. They will explore examples of Jesus’ loving care for others and be supported to know that Jesus cares for us as a friend and brother.
- The Church is a celebrating community of people who share God’s love.
- Through Baptism, we are welcomed into the Church.
- As the church community, we live as friends of Jesus.
The Church is a celebrating community that shares God’s love. (TCREK003)Elaborations
Students will be introduced to the Church as a celebrating community of people who are made one with Jesus and are welcomed through the Sacrament of Baptism. They will identify and explore how this community lives as friends/brothers and sisters of Jesus, sharing God’s love.
- The Bible is a collection of books about God’s love.
- We treasure the Bible as Sacred Scripture, the Word of God.
- The Gospels are the Good News of Jesus, God’s Son.
- The Scriptures can help us to pray and to live the way Jesus lived.
The Word of God is shared when we read the stories of God’s love in the Bible. (TCREK004)Elaborations
Students will be introduced to the Bible as a collection of books that contains many stories of God’s love. They will be supported towards developing an understanding that the Bible is the Word of God that Christians share and respect as Sacred Scripture. Students will be introduced to the Gospels as the Good News of Jesus, God’s Son. They will explore Gospel stories about Jesus, who shows and tells of God’s love. Through a focus on the parable of the Good Shepherd they will encounter Jesus’ way of teaching through stories and parables. Students will experience the prayerful use of Scripture as individuals and as a group. Students will be introduced to simple practices that foster stillness and nurture a prayerful response to God’s love. Students will experience Gospel stories about Jesus’ life, actions and messages. They will be encouraged to reflect on Jesus’ example and, like Jesus, to respond to God’s love in the way that they live.
- God is always present.
- The sacraments are signs/symbols of God’s presence and action.
- We celebrate when we gather as Church.
- Our usual place to celebrate sacraments is in the Church.
Through the sacraments Catholics recognise and celebrate the presence of God. (TCREK005)Elaborations
Refer to specific content about essential elements, symbols, symbolic actions/words in teacher background on unit planner.
Signs of God’s presence 1) in all of life 2) in Jesus’ actions
- Students will be offered opportunities to grow in appreciation of people and the world around us as signs of the presence of God.
- They will be supported to see how Jesus used words, actions and the elements of the world (the natural world, water and light, children, gestures) to communicate God’s loving presence.
Sacramental aspects of God’s presence in and through the essential elements, symbols, symbolic actions/words:
Students will explore the use of water and light as symbols of God’s life and love. They will explore God’s love and his call within a community celebration.
Through a visit to the church, they will be introduced to the use of these symbols in celebrating of some of the seven Sacraments (Water, Candle/ Light, Bread, Wine).
The Spirit’s action in the Sacraments:
Students will reflect on God’s presence and action in the sacraments.
They will wonder about water and light as symbols of God’s life and love, presence and action.
They will engage with these symbols as prompts for prayer together.
Students will visit the church to identify items used in celebrations of the Sacraments.
Being signs of God’s presence to others:
They will identify ways in which they can be signs of God’s presence and love through the way they live and the way they care for God’s world and the people in their lives.
- Our loving relationship with God grows through prayer.
- In prayer we are present to, listen to, talk to our loving God.
- We can pray in many ways.
- Simple centring practices can prepare us for and support us in prayer.
- Through prayer we learn to show God’s love to others.
Prayer is a way of talking to and listening to God that enables us to grow in a loving relationship. (TCREK006)Elaborations
Students will be supported to be open to a loving relationship with God and will engage with prayer as a listening experience and an experience of talking to their loving God. They will learn that prayer changes us. They will be introduced to simple practices that help us enter into prayer, for example, stillness, awareness of breath, images/symbols, music, gesture/movement. Students will be invited to express prayer in a variety of different ways. They will be encouraged to use their own words to praise God, to give thanks and to present needs. They will confirm use of the Sign of the Cross as a means of both entering prayer and a prayer itself and will become familiar with the formal prayers, Our Father and Hail Mary.
- Every person is loved by God.
- Every person is unique.
- Jesus shows us how to care and show respect for all of life.
- By our loving choices we follow Jesus’ example.
God loves every person and has made each one unique. (TCREK007)Elaborations
Students will be encouraged to recognise that God loves every person and all of life. They will explore and express their unique identity. They will be encouraged to identify their talents and gifts, to rejoice in their uniqueness, God’s loving gift. Students will be supported to develop wonder, a sense of respect and an appreciation of diversity. Students will consider how Jesus showed care and respect for every person and all of life. Students will investigate making loving choices and explore how choices and actions affect others.
- All human beings are united in God’s love.
- Jesus reveals God's love.
- Christians are people who believe in Jesus and live as his friends.
All people belong to one community. (TCREK008)Elaborations
Students will explore and celebrate the richness of our one human family, united in God’s love. They will consider groups within the human family, investigate some factors that unite them and explore how they express their connections. Students will explore Jesus’ way of welcoming all and consider some of his images of unity (eg The Vine and the Branches). They will identify groups of people who follow Jesus and celebrate connections within the big Christian family.
Responding to questions with thoughts, and naming feelings, ideas and decisions (TCREI001)Elaborations
- responding to open questions about where God is present in the world
- expressing feelings and thoughts about God
- making choices about how to act towards others and ourselves
- cultivating self-respect by showing mutual respect
Listening to stories to learn about characters, words, concepts and values relating to love (TCREI002)Elaborations
- listening to biblical stories and wondering about their deeper meanings
- role-playing biblical and other stories (e.g., stories from the lives of the saints)
- using Godly play dolls to play creatively with biblical stories
- learning about things that were different about the world Jesus lived in as a child from the way things are now
Sharing observations, thoughts, feelings and ideas (TCREI003)Elaborations
- taking turns to let others speak in prayer time
- taking turns and listening to others’ thoughts and ideas about how God is love in us, our families and the world
- visualising and imagining stories about Jesus that show us God’s love for us and acting them out
- naming the ways that Jesus shows us how to love one another because God loves us first, and making models, drawings or installations to express this to others
- taking turns to share thoughts and reflections about how God loves us
- taking turns to share thoughts and feelings about how we experience God’s love in others and in the world
Using senses to name important words and feelings (TCRED001)Elaborations
- using senses to name feelings
- using sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch to provoke responses that identify and reflect on big ideas and significant feelings
Listening and responding to others’ ideas and thoughts. Pondering, and wondering and asking questions about our world (TCRED002)Elaborations
- listening and responding to others’ ideas and thoughts about God’s love
- pondering, wondering and asking questions about how we experience God’s love in our lives
- drawing some conclusions about how Jesus teaches us to be open to God’s love
Applying ideas about what could be done to model for others some loving choices (TCRED003)Elaborations
- naming behaviours that reflect being loved by God
- implementing plans and processes that promote self-respect and mutual respect
- sharing with others what being loved by God feels like and how it changes us
By the end of Foundation Year, students bring their sense of wonder to God as Mystery, as giver of all life and as love, revealed in Jesus, friend and brother. Celebrating God’s love and mystery in the church community, they describe the sacraments as celebrations of God’s presence. Students value both the uniqueness of the human person and the oneness of the human family. They engage with the Word of God through Scripture stories that tell of his love; they identify ways of both experiencing that love in people and in their world and, in turn, sharing it through their own loving actions. They experience prayer as talking to, listening to, and growing in loving relationship with God.
Students will be encouraged to use their imaginations when engaging with Sacramental signs and the Parables of Jesus.
Students listen, engage with and respond to sacred texts and stories, reflect on characters and concepts and share observations, thoughts, feelings and ideas. In diverse ways they express their emerging understanding of and engagement with the teachings of the Catholic Church, with Sacramental signs and with religious events and rituals. Through reflective practices, they develop ways of making loving choices that express care for self, for others and for their world.