The formation of Christian values underpins all that we do at St Columbkille's, and students also experience formal Religious Education (RE) lessons each day based upon the Religious Education curriculum set by the Bishop of Wollongong in conjunction with Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW).
The Religious Education curriculum contributes to the catechetical and evangelising mission of the Church and exists to enable young people to understand, appreciate and celebrate the richness of the Catholic Tradition. It enables young people to see and respond to God in their lives supporting them in their lifelong journey in faith.
The RE curriculum stimulates and challenges students in their understanding of Scripture and Tradition, their engagement with symbol and ritual, and their ability to engage in critical thinking and moral reasoning.
The richness of the tradition of Catholic faith and culture and the best of contemporary pedagogies come together in this curriculum, which is supported by the To Know, Worship and Love books and resources.
The Religious Education curriculum, through the seasons of the Liturgical Year, aims to assist students to reflect upon, make sense of, celebrate and live more deeply, the mystery of Christ revealed in each person and in relationship with others, the Church, and Creation.
The Emmaus story (Luke 24:13-35) is central to the Religious Education curriculum. In the story, four movements can be discerned. These movements are part of a dynamic process, which assists students to make sense of their experience in the light of revelation.
The Religious Education curriculum is organised under the interrelated content strands: Church, Liturgical Year, Self, Others and Creation.
One of the aims of Religious Education (RE) in our Catholic schools is to develop our students' ‘Religious Literacy’ – that is, the way children use their literacy skills to communicate their understanding of our Catholic faith and religious tradition to themselves, their peers, teachers and members of the wider faith community. This is given a priority in all aspects of school life at St Columbkille’s.
“By the end of their schooling students know the core teachings of our faith, our Scriptures, history and tradition and how these are to be lived in the world" — Catholic Schools at a Crossroad (2007)
The Religious Literacy Assessment program in the Diocese of Wollongong provides information about the way children process and express their religious knowledge. A standardised is administered to all Year 4 student across the diocese. It consists of a multiple choice and short answer paper, focusing on the students' knowledge and understanding of the key concepts that are taught throughout their Religious Education from Kindergarten to Year 4, and what this means for the way we live, as it is applied in society.
The data gathered from the assessment is analysed to inform learning and teaching in schools, to focus on professional learning and to recognise and celebrate learning in the domain of Religious Education in the Wollongong Diocese.
Each year, Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong invites Catholic primary schools from across the diocese to submit artworks from Year 5 and 6 students to enter in the CEDoW Christmas Story Art Competition.
Approximately fifty entries that are deemed to best meet the criteria are chosen for an exhibition at the Wollongong City Art Gallery, which is open to the public, commonly around the last weeks of Term 3 and over the October school holiday period each year.
Major awards are given at the opening of the exhibition, and approximately 12 finalists are selected for entry into the Sydney Archdiocese Christmas Story Art Competition and Exhibition.
Each year, Year 6 students from across the Diocese of Wollongong gather together to celebrate in an uplifting Mass with the Bishop of Wollongong. This occasion is an opportunity for students to encounter Christ through the Eucharist, through their fellow students gathered together and through the presence of Bishop Brian Mascord. The Year 6 Mass also aims to help students understand their place in the diocese, being part of the broader Church community and how they might embrace their Catholic faith as they take their next steps into secondary school.