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The content of the Religious Education curriculum for Years 5 and 6 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, 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 Years 5 and 6 explore and reflect on relevant texts in Scripture and in Christian writings to help deepen their understanding of the mystery of God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They grow in awareness that all of life, given and sustained by God, is to be received in reverence, protected, nurtured and celebrated. Engaging with Scripture, with church documents and other relevant texts to clarify understandings about the Christian basis for respecting human dignity, they explore responsibilities to self, others and society. They examine Jesus’ relationship to God whom he called Father, special concern for the poor, sick and outcast, and embrace his call to compassion and works of mercy. They consider how the name of Jesus and his titles (“Son of God”, “Messiah”, “Christ”) express his identity and mission, and they embrace that mission as agents of justice, peace and joy. They engage with Jesus as a model pray-er, as expressed within his prayer, the Our Father. Through exploring different kinds of prayer, engaging in a range of prayer experiences, and considering key liturgical feasts and practices of Marian devotion, students deepen their understandings about the Spirit’s action and the place of prayer in their Christian lives. They identify how the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to continue the work of Jesus as signs of God’s love and investigate the Sacrament of Confirmation as the Sacrament linking Baptism and the Eucharist. Recognising the Church as a believing community founded on the faith of the early Christians and empowered by the Holy Spirit, students investigate the Pentecost event and the Spirit’s action in people who carry forward the mission of Jesus. They recognise an example of this in the life of the Church in Australia and investigate the lives of men and women in the early Australian Church and across the ages, appreciating that these can inspire and encourage us. They acknowledge that the Catholic Church in Australia is committed to the mission of the universal church, led by the Pope and guided by the Spirit. They recognise that the Catholic Church shares in searching for knowledge and understanding about God with other faiths.
- The central mystery of faith & life is that God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one living in love.
- All of life is given, sustained and renewed by the Spirit of God.
- God has entrusted us to hold all life in reverence, and it is to be protected, nurtured and celebrated.
- The Holy Spirit challenges and empowers us to renew our world.
- Living in right relationship with God, each other and creation reflects the Reign of God revealed through Jesus.
God’s goodness is constant. Christians are invited to witness to the Reign of God. (TCREK025)Elaborations
Students will explore and prayerfully consider some relevant texts in Scripture and in other Christian writings to help deepen their understanding of God as Mystery: Father, Son and Spirit and will reflect on examples of God’s constant goodness. Students will be supported to grow in awareness that all of life, given and sustained by God, is to be received with reverence, protected, nurtured and celebrated. They will investigate how the Holy Spirit continues to enliven and renew our world. Students will be supported to grow in relationship with our loving God and all of God’s creation. They will explore how living in right relationship with God, with people and our world reflects the Reign of God revealed through Jesus.
- Christians believe that God the Father sent Jesus Christ, the One who saves.
- Jesus offers hope to the world.
- Jesus identifies with the poor, the lonely, sick and the outcast.
- Through his Spirit, Jesus empowers us to act as people of hope.
Jesus is the Son of God, who offers hope to the world. (TCREK026)Elaborations
Students will study the sociocultural and religious contexts of some of the terms now used for Jesus: the Christ, Messiah, Son of God. They will explore the meaning of the name, Jesus (“God saves”), and of the titles, “Christ” (Greek), “Messiah” (Hebrew)— “anointed one”. They will consider how these express his identity and mission. They will investigate that Jesus is sent by the Father as a sign of hope for the world, as revealed in his life, death and resurrection. They will examine Jesus’ special concern for the poor, sick, lonely and outcast, and will consider how the Holy Spirit inspires us to act as people of hope.
- From its beginnings at Pentecost, both the Church as a whole and individuals within it have been guided by the Spirit to model and advance the Reign of God.
- In the story of the Catholic Church in Australia we see an example of the Spirit’s ongoing action.
- The lives of men and women across the ages can inspire and encourage us.
- The Pope, successor of Peter, leads in unity a universal church structured and sent to be a sign of life, hope, reconciliation and service to the world.
- The Catholic Church in Australia is committed to the mission of the universal Church, led by the Pope and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Sacrament of Holy Orders is addressed in Years 5/6 'Church' and from Yrs 3/4 'Sacraments’
The Church is empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a sign of life, hope, reconciliation and service to the world. (TCREK027)Elaborations
Students will investigate how the early Church was founded on the faith of the early Christians with Peter as leader. It has been continuously empowered by the Holy Spirit as it was at the Pentecost event. They will explore how the Church honours people from all ages who have been inspirational in carrying forward the mission of Jesus. Students will explore the development of Catholicism in early Australia, and the lives of those men and women who were inspirational in carrying forward the mission of Jesus in the early Australian Church. They will develop an understanding that the Catholic Church in Australia is committed to the mission of the universal Church, operating in a structure that is led by the Pope and guided by the Spirit. They will explore how this mission is lived out at a local (parish) and a diocesan level.
- The inspired authors of the sacred books of the Bible present God’s Word in different literary forms and in ways that reflect different social settings.
- The Old Testament tells us of God’s loving covenant with, and loving actions for, his people and reveals his plan for salvation through Jesus.
- The New Testament teaches us about Jesus and the early Christian communities.
- The Gospels contain the foundation of our faith and are at the core of the Church’s prayer and at the centre of Church teaching about how our lives are meant to be lived.
- The Scriptures speak of God’s love, help us to pray and guide our lives.
Christians reflect on the action of God in their lives in the light of Scripture, the Word of God. (TCREK028)Elaborations
Students will deepen their understanding of the Scriptures as the Word of God. They will explore the different types of writing in the Bible as The Judeo-Christian Scriptures. Students will appreciate that the Hebrew Scriptures Old Testament tell the story of the Israelite people and of their covenant relationship with their loving God. Students will deepen their appreciation that the Gospels are the core of the Church’s prayer and teaching. They will identify the significant place held by the Gospels in every celebration of the Eucharist. They will explore how the New Testament Scriptures teach us about Jesus and the early Christian communities. They will have the opportunity to become familiar with the writings of the early Christian Church through engagement with some texts from the Acts and the letters. Students will be supported to reflect on their lives, using Scripture as “a lamp for my feet and a light for my path” (Ps 118:105). They will be encouraged to identify and memorise brief Scripture phrases that hold meaning for their lives.
- God’s Holy Spirit is active in people and in the world around us.
- Sacraments are sacred gifts of God that, through Christ, celebrate God’s presence and grace.
- Through the Sacraments, the Risen Christ nourishes us for ministry and service.
- A Sacramental Church nourishes and celebrates key moments of our lives.
The sacraments are ritual celebrations of God’s Spirit in our lives. Sacraments empower Christians in ministry and service. (TCREK029)Elaborations
Refer to specific content about essential elements, symbols, symbolic actions/words in teacher background on unit planner.
See GNFL P - 6 Sacraments Essential Elements, Symbols, Symbolic Actions/Words Resource Document
Signs of God’s loving presence i) in all of life ii) in the actions of Jesus:
i) Students will be offered opportunities to deepen understanding that people and the world around us are signs of the presence of God.
ii) They will be supported to see how Jesus, who is the greatest Sacrament, used words, actions and elements of the world (with his hands to bless and strengthen; with his breathing of his Spirit,) 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 how Jesus’ actions of conferring his Spirit and strengthening his followers for mission and service are present in the Sacraments of the Church.
i) Students will explore the Sacrament of Confirmation as one of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the confirming of Baptism (Initiation). They will investigate symbols of the Holy Spirit: fire, wind, oil, peace (dove).
ii) They will identify the essential elements of the Rite of Confirmation and explore the symbols, symbolic actions/words of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
iii) Students will investigate the Sacrament of Confirmation as an important outpouring of the Holy Spirit as is found in the Pentecost account in Acts of the Apostles. They will explore the stories of the Spirit’s action in the lives of followers of Jesus who witness/ed and serve/d.
The Spirit’s action in the Sacraments:
Students will reflect on God’s presence and action in the Sacrament of Confirmation . They will identify how the Spirit binds Christians more firmly to Christ, empowers them to live the Good News and continue the work of Jesus.
Being signs of God’s presence for others:
Students will identify links between the Sacrament and living with God and others. They will consider how to be living witnesses to the presence of the living Jesus.
- Jesus, our model for prayer, shared with us his prayer, the 'Our Father '.
- The Scriptures can support, inspire and nourish our prayer.
- Different types of prayer express the many aspects of our lives and our need for and relationship with God, including: (a) thanks, praise, petition, intercession, sorrow, adoration (b) celebrations of the key liturgical feasts (c) the practices of Marian devotion.
- In prayer the Holy Spirit enables us to repent, experience God’s healing love and live in a new way.
- The liturgical calendar supports the prayerful celebration of feasts within the Church’s seasons.
The many forms of prayer facilitate the movement of the Holy Spirit in our relationship with God. (TCREK030)Elaborations
Students will deepen their understandings about the place of prayer in their Christian lives through:
- exploring different kinds of prayer (thanks, praise, petition, intercession, sorrow, adoration)
- engaging in a range of prayer experiences
- considering some of the key liturgical feasts
- experiencing the practices of Marian devotion.
They will investigate the Scriptures as sources of and prompts for both personal and communal prayer. They will consider some key liturgical feasts, including a feast of Mary under one of her titles (e.g., Our Lady, Help of Christians), as prayerful celebrations in the life of the Christian community. They will engage with Jesus as a model of prayer, as expressed within his prayer, the 'Our Father'. They will prayerfully examine how within his prayer, the Our Father, Jesus models seven steps about what to ask for. They will be supported to recognise the action of the Holy Spirit in prayer.
- We are connected with, and responsible for, all aspects of God’s loving gift of life.
- The witness of good people challenges us to continue to strive for justice and peace.
- Our choices have personal, social and global impact.
- The teaching of Jesus, our Church, and Christian leaders in the human family serve as guides for decisions and actions.
Christians can respond generously to God’s love for all life. (TCREK031)Elaborations
Students will consider the sacredness of all of life as gift from our loving God. They will be guided in a process of discerning how to be responsible for all aspects of life and how to live with respect for self, others and the world. Conscience is a person’s inner guide that helps them make moral decisions. Through considering the example of Jesus and of other witnesses to this way of living, they will explore the call to live justly in relation to individuals and to groups in various situations in society. Students will engage with the Scriptures, church documents and other relevant texts to clarify understandings about the faith basis for respecting human dignity and responding to social issues. In the light of these teachings, they will explore responsibilities to self, others and society.
- The Church reflects God’s plan for the unity of all people.
- In different cultures, people search in different ways for goodness and meaning.(The understandings “For Christians, Jesus is the Way”… will be drawn in from the Jesus element).
- The Church respects in other religions everything that is good and true and that supports the search for God.
- The spiritualities, beliefs and practices of Indigenous Australians can teach us about the human search for God.
The Catholic Church shares the search for knowledge and understanding about God with other faiths. (TCREK032)Elaborations
Students will explore and reflect on extracts from Christian documents (e.g. Second Vatican Council documents including Gaudium et Spes, The Church in the Modern World, Fratelli Tutti, All Brothers, and Laudato Si, Praise Be to You - some of which is quoted in YOUCAT and YOUCAT For Kids) and will engage prayerfully with scripture to grow in understanding of God’s plan for the unity of all people. They will consider the Church’s recognition and embrace of everything that expresses and supports the search for goodness and truth in all authentic cultural riches & traditions. Within this process, students will prayerfully explore sacramentality and will consider how, within this awareness, Christian prayer and life can be enriched by the spiritualities of Indigenous Australians.
With guidance, identifying questions about religious ideas, events or rituals, and considering our theories, thoughts and feelings in relation to the Christian worldview (TCREI010)Elaborations
- developing probing questions about the limits of our understanding of God’s infinite and absolute goodness, truth and beauty
- reflecting on why and how we should respect others and care for our planet
- exploring how the Holy Spirit inspires us to act in our families, society, Church and world
- wondering about the mysterious ways in which God constantly surprises and challenges us
Being familiar with stories of the Old and New Testaments and the many ways they and other media tell stories and use words and symbols to help us discover meaning (TCREI011)Elaborations
- identifying and defining terms used in Scripture and the Catechism to make a graffiti wall
- comparing and contrasting parallel Gospel narratives (in Matthew, Mark and Luke) to identify how and why they are alike and how and why they are different
- developing glossaries of terms and definitions used when understanding the sacraments
- interpreting Scripture passages (using commentaries) where Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray (i.e., as models of how to pray rather than as formula prayers)
Communicating religious or spiritual ideas and information in a variety of ways: oral, graphic, written, multi-modal (TCREI012)Elaborations
- discussing issues of social justice, human rights, and personal ethics, and their implications for Christians today
- using critical commentaries, analysing the message and meaning of the Beatitudes, and their implications for our own lives
- creating a Beatitude Calendar for the season of Lent or Advent: for every day, one positive action of wholehearted love for God and neighbour, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, peacemaking, honesty, fairness, nonviolence, justice
- expressing something of the invisible/unknowable mystery of God through one of the arts (musical, visual, performative, etc.)
Making personal or group observations, naming ideas and questions that are important for living as persons and/or communities in a local or global context (TCRED010)Elaborations
- presenting contrasting views on a global issue, e.g., poverty in the world today, slavery, climate change
- investigating and writing reflectively about the implications of trading fairly for rich countries like Australia and for poor countries like East Timor
- using reputable media, chronicling stories of good news where people demonstrate human kindness and compassion for others
- identifying impoverished communities that need prayerful solidarity, advocacy and material support, e.g., after a natural disaster or war
- exploring how the Exodus story reveals God’s love as something very concrete, practical and even political
Weighing up competing values and choices and making a contribution to dialogue about worthwhile principles for living responsibly locally or globally (TCRED011)Elaborations
- examining competing values in the classroom, the community or the nation, and dialoguing and naming core principles for a just society
- listening to Scripture, and identifying an imperative to act with compassion towards others
- considering alternative views about the rights of the child, and identifying what it would mean to treat all children (including the unborn) justly and compassionately
Personally and collectively exploring options and commitments that could gain improved outcomes in local or global contexts and, where possible, taking some form of action (TCRED012)Elaborations
- setting goals and making commitments, personally and collectively (as a class or school)
- addressing bullying in the classroom or the school and implementing strategies to deal with it
- drawing up an agreement (“covenant”) with each other as a class or school by identifying actions, attitudes and beliefs (i.e., “rules”) that give direction, security and protection for everyone
- faithfully observing some simple and helpful spiritual practices, e.g., daily meditation and prayer, periods of silence and stillness, deep and active listening to each other
By the end of Year 6, students can acknowledge the constant goodness of God, reflect on and identify God’s action in their lives in the light of Scripture, and identify ways to respond to his love for all of life. They can explain how Jesus Christ, Son of God, sent by the Father, offers hope to the world and describe how the Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is to be a sign of life, hope, reconciliation and service. They can recognise the movement of the Holy Spirit in various forms of Christian prayer and worship, in the seven Sacraments and in the lives of those who witness to the Reign of God. They can identify the Sacrament of Confirmation and describe its symbols and Rite as an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that empowers Christians to witness through ministry and service. They can recognise that the Catholic Church shares in their search for knowledge and understanding about God with other faiths.
Students can develop appropriate questions and, using a range of communication forms, present their ideas and understandings. They can reflect on, discern about, develop and enact courses of action in response to issues that they identify to be important locally or globally.