Learning & Growing as the People of God
The schools of the Archdiocese of Birmingham use the Diocese’s own curriculum strategy from Foundation (Nursery) to Year 6 called ‘Learning & Growing as the People of God.’ (often referred to as the Strategy).
The Strategy was written using the Learning Outcomes provided in the Bishops’ Conference document the Curriculum Directory as a basis. Rather than produce a lesson by lesson scheme of work the Strategy provides teachers with a range of suggested cross-curricula activities which they can use and adapt to suit the needs of the learners in their class in order that their children achieve the learning outcomes. This flexibility also allows teachers to incorporate their own ideas, creativity and imagination into the delivery of the Strategy.
The Strategy is divided into a number of units, usually 12, which cover four main areas of study. It is through the construction of a spiral curriculum that children’s knowledge and understanding is developed. The children learn about the Liturgical Seasons of the Church’s year. They find out about the significance of each season, its particular signs and symbols and the different liturgies celebrated in each season. The children also study both Old Testament and New Testament Scripture in order to give them familiarity and knowledge of Scripture as well as allowing them to explore and understand how our Catholic beliefs are rooted in what Scripture reveals to us. There is a strong Sacramental focus in each year group. In particular the content of the Y3 and Y6 books fully prepares the children to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in Y3 and Confirmation in Y6. As part of the strategy the children learn about what it is to live as Christians today, how the Church is organised from global to parish level and also the opportunities which exist for them to participate in the life of the Church.
A key element to each unit is the opportunity to link the learning with opportunities for prayer and reflection.
At Our Lady and St Kenelm's we believe that it is important for children of the Catholic faith to take part in the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
The children have an excellent understanding of how taking part in these sacraments provide a greater relationship between themselves and God.
Children in Year 3 receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Communion.
The children start preparing for these in September of that year. The preparation takes place during RE lessons and there are also meetings between school, parents and the parish priest. The children receive Reconciliation in November and Holy Communion in June. These sacraments are widely celebrated by the entire school and parish community.
The children start their preparation in the September of that year, via their RE lessons, ready to receive the Sacrament in July.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is given every year. Once again, there are meetings between school, parents and parish priest in order to assist parents with preparing their children.
The children are extremely excited about choosing their own Saint's name and encouraging all their family and friends to come join them in church on the night of their Confirmation.