We recognise that parents are the first educators of their children in faith. The Religious Education curriculum enables students to see and respond to God in their lives.
Religious Education is an essential component of the school curriculum. Although Religious Education is regarded as one of the school's Key Learning Areas, it is not simply a subject that is taught, it is an integral, living part of our daily lives at St Joseph’s Catholic Parish Primary School and beyond.
In daily Religious Education lessons, students are invited to reflect on Sacred Scripture, come to know Jesus Christ, talk with God through prayer, discover the beauty of God’s creation and explore the meaning of the symbols and rituals of our Church. Students come to know how much they are loved by God.
Religious Education is at the heart of who we are. Through our interactions with one another, our daily prayers, our loyalty to the traditions and doctrines of the Catholic Church and our genuine desire to be a community who reflects the values of Christ, we educate children in their faith.
Our task as educators in Catholic schools is to provide quality Catholic learning and teaching opportunities for our students and the RE curriculum documents bring together the richness of the tradition of the Catholic faith and culture with the best of contemporary methods of teaching and resources.
The Religious Literacy Assessment program in the Diocese of Wollongong provides information about the way children process and express their religious knowledge. 'Religious literacy' refers to the way children use their literacy skills to communicate their understanding of the religious tradition to themselves, their peers, teachers and members of the wider faith community.
This assessment instrument involves all Year 4 students across the diocese.
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.
The parish provides programs of preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation (Penance) and First Holy Communion (Eucharist) and Confirmation each year.
The school based Religious Education curriculum supports and enriches this program of preparation. Parents are the first faith educators of their children and most particularly model this through the witness of their lives.
Parent involvement in sacramental preparation is crucial in shaping the values and attitudes of each child. Knowledge is not the key factor for parents but faith and a willingness to spend time sharing with the child. Parents must attend parish Sunday Mass to enrol.
Our school community understands the importance of Mary MacKillop’s words, “Never see a need without doing something about it.” These words hold particular relevance for the ways in which St Joseph’s responds to the environmental challenges outlined in Laudato Si’.
St Joseph’s school life operates around our motto, 'Truth and Light' and the importance of being agents of truth and light in our commitment to be sustainable stewards and responsible citizens that contribute to the building of a better future for humanity and our planet.
The patron saint of our parish school is St Joseph whose care for Mary and the infant Jesus invites us to consider the ways we care for each other, the world and our environment. We are called to be God’s stewards which means managing responsibly the God-given resources we have – our time, our talent and our resources, our treasure. A stewardship lifestyle enhances the relationships we have with God and with one another. Being God’s steward means trying to live out a commitment to be more Christ-centred and less self-centred. It involves a conversion of our heart and Laudato Si’ Care for Our Common Home calls us to have an ecological conversion, a change in the way we live on this earth.
This School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) is a tool that enables us to document, implement, reflect and celebrate sustainability as we respond to the challenges from Laudato Si’ to walk our own journey of ecological conversion. At St Joseph’s we understand that we have a missionary and ecclesial mandate that impels us to participate and respond to the call to care for our common home with strategic planning, formation and concrete actions.
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.