Children at SS Peter and Paul will gain a deeper understanding of their own Roman Catholic beliefs and those of other faiths, developing their values and the ability to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues while enhancing their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Religious Education at SS Peter and Paul
At SS Peter and Paul, Religious Education is at the heart of everything we do. As a Catholic school, we seek to develop and foster each child’s relationship with God, as well as with other people and also enable children to develop the social and moral values our Church aims to promote. We feel it is important that children know how to work with others, show forgiveness and acceptance towards others and develop respectful attitudes in their daily lives, knowing that they are children of God. We aim to promote these actions through class-based teaching, as well as through our spiritual assemblies, liturgical celebrations and regular masses. Even though we are not able to celebrate whole school Mass together during these times, we still work very closely with our local parishes to understand that liturgies, masses and sacraments are central to our faith lives.
We follow the national scheme ‘Come and See’ as the basis of our teaching. The scheme aims to develop not only knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, but also spirituality. It covers many aspects including what it means to be part of a Christian family, how Jesus is the role model on which we base our lives and our actions, the Seven Sacraments and important dates and celebrations in the liturgical year, for example Advent, Lent and Pentecost. Through the use of the scheme and the teaching at school, children are provided with many opportunities to show their creativity and express their thoughts, ideas and opinions.
We celebrate other faiths and believe that children must have the opportunity to learn about and understand these faiths. All children study Judaism over the course of one week in the Autumn term, with the teachings and customs of Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism being taught on a three-yearly rotational basis, ensuring that the children learn about major world faiths during their time at primary school. Where appropriate, children also learn about other faiths and cultures within the variety of topics that are studied outside of the Religious Education curriculum.
All children are given the opportunity to plan and lead their own class liturgies, as well as year group celebrations each term in which they share their learning. Each year group partakes in religious celebrations and we are still looking forward to planning our annual Christingle service, nativity performances, the Christmas Carol concert and remembering Jesus’ sacrifice at the Stations of the Cross service, in whatever form these might take this year. We seek to give our children the opportunity to visit various religious places, in addition to inviting people and companies into school to enhance children’s knowledge and spiritual growth.
We also hold special RE days, centring around various themes as well as fundraising events to ensure that children understand the role that our faith plays in the wider world and how we seek to care for others, through acts of charity, kindness, self-giving and love.
Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross, sometime called Way of the Cross, is a popular Lenten devotion that has very ancient roots. It was prayed by early Christian communities, especially when the Roman Empire began to recognise Christianity. People also used to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to retrace Jesus' steps from his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane to being forced to carry the cross to the place where he was crucified, Golgotha.
For those people that couldn't make the pilgrimage, churches and other buildings as "stations" would represent each stage of what happened to Jesus. Groups would travel from station to station, remembering and praying at each one. Gradually over time, churches have installed plaques or pictorial depictions of all the stations.
The Way of the Cross traditionally consists of 14 iconic stations that depict the events of Jesus' journey to crucifixion. A 15th station, which is not depicted by an icon, is meant to remember Jesus' resurrection. The 14 traditional stations are:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus accepts the cross
- Jesus falls for the first time
- Jesus meets his sorrowing mother
- Simon of Cyrene carries the cross for Jesus
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls a second time
- Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
- Jesus falls a third time
- Jesus is stripped of his clothes
- Jesus is nailed to the cross
- Jesus dies on the cross
- The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross
- The body of Jesus is laid in the tomb
As we have been unable to visit the church and pray the Station of the Cross, we have instead created our own Stations in school in Art and have prepared a reflection. This can be viewed below.