Religious Education is at the heart of our curriculum, enriching and informing all areas of learning with the light of the Gospel, teaching children to seek the truth which is of God, in the whole of creation, in themselves and in others.
In the Autumn Term, the children explore the Creation stories and the Infancy narratives of the New Testament. In the Spring Term, we explore the Passion narratives, and in the Summer we explore the Resurrection stories.
It is essential to remain faithful to the context and the meaning of the passage in Scripture, and we take particular care that the message is not distorted when we select readings from Bibles re-written for children. Our parish priest from Thames Ditton, Fr. Rob Esdaile is always on-hand to advise us on Biblical texts.
Prayer is a central and ever-living part of our school day. Through prayer, we seek to deepen the children’s relationship with God in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them.
We feel that at every stage the children in our care should be encouraged to spontaneously express their joy, wonder, awe, concern, thanks, sorrow, sadness, anger, fear and disappointment through prayer.
Prayer forms an integral part of all assemblies and liturgical celebrations. There are moments of quiet reflection or guided meditation throughout every each day.
Each class has their own prayer table, which is a focus for the children’s prayer. More formal prayers are shared too, such as morning and evening prayers, as well as grace before meals.
Children are encouraged to compose their own prayers for masses and assemblies. Staff and Governors pray together before every meeting, and at the beginning of every term.
Our three parish priests, Fr Rob, Fr David and Fr Darryl come in to school throughout the school year to celebrate liturgies with each and every class. We consider ourselves very lucky to have such highly-involved parish priests in our Deanery.
LITURGY AND WORSHIP
Mass is celebrated in Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Holy Days of Obligation and on other special occasions involving the whole school.
During the year, the whole school visit our other two parish churches: the Church of the Holy Name in Esher and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Cobham, to celebrate the Eucharist there.
Parents and parishioners are always welcome to attend these services.
After receiving their First Holy Communion during Year 3 and up to Year 6, the children take a full and active participating role in the Mass. When all three parish First Holy Communion programmes are complete, we celebrate as a school with a special whole school Thanksgiving Mass together.
STUDY OF OTHER FAITH TRADITIONS
We believe the children of St. Paul's should learn from, as well as about, other religions. The children will learn that other people pray, fast, celebrate, worship and go on pilgrimage. They will come to appreciate the reverence shown by people of other faiths for holy places, holy people and holy books. They will come to recognise the differences between the faith traditions. They will grow in appreciation of the religious and spiritual dimension of life. Their understanding of their own faith and the ways in which it is expressed will therefore be affirmed, enriched and challenged to grow.
In the Autumn term, the whole school learn about Judaism for one whole week and links are made with other subjects in a cross-curricular approach.
In the summer term, Key Stage 1 spend one week learning about Islam, and Key Stage 2 learn about Hinduism. These weeks are cross-curricular and links are made with other subjects such as art and literacy. Year 4 visit the Hindu temple in Neasden and Year 2 visit the Shah Jehan Mosque in Woking.