‘Religious Education is the first learning area in the Catholic school curriculum. This is so because, though a classroom activity, Religious Education is a form of the Ministry of the Word. Unlike the other Learning Areas, it is an activity of Evangelisation in its own right’ (Mandate Letter, 43).¹
‘The Religious Education program to be taught at St Munchin’s Catholic school is that promulgated by the diocesan Bishop. Like Christian witness and catechesis, Religious Education expresses ‘the divine power of the Message’ (Mandate Letter, 43). The Religious Education program aims to help students learn the teachings of the Gospel as proclaimed by the Catholic Church and to develop a sense of the nature of Christianity and of how Christians are trying to live their lives. It seeks to show non-Christians something of the mystery of Christ.
Religious Education is a learning area which focuses on the knowledge and understanding of the Gospel as it is handed on by the Catholic Church.
This policy applies to all Catholic schools in Western Australia.
4.1 Religious Education complements Catechesis offered in family, school and parish.
4.2 The Religious Education program to be taught in Catholic schools is that promulgated by the diocesan Bishop.
4.3 Religious Education in the school shall always respect parents as the prime educators of their children, particularly in the area of faith education.
4.4 Religious Education outcomes shall be taught, developed and resourced with at least the same commitment as all other learning areas.
4.5 Religious Education shall serve the evangelisation process by taking the students and their needs as the starting point for teaching and learning
4.6 Religious Education shall relate the knowledge and understandings of the Catholic faith to students’ real life situations and experiences.
4.7 Religious Education shall always present Catholic beliefs and practices in the context of the Christian Promise of Salvation and the questions and aspirations of the human heart that God alone can satisfy completely.
4.8 Teachers of Religious Education shall be committed Catholics and shall give active Christian witness to Catholic beliefs.
5.1 Religious Education complements Catechesis offered in family, school and parish.
5.2 Within the normal hours of instruction the time allocation for the Religious Education Learning Area shall be:
In three year and four year old programs, teachers are required to plan to raise the religious awareness of children through providing an atmosphere where ‘God talk’ permeates all learning experiences as a natural part of the day.
Primary schools (Minimum Time)
PP – 1 - 15 Minutes per day and mat time
Years 2 – 6 - 30 Minutes per day
Liturgies and other activities of catechesis including Christian service are essential for the effective evangelisation of students but are separate from the Religious Education program and are not part of the time allocation. There needs to be at least 60 minutes per week of such experiences averaged over the particular year level’s academic year.
5.3 The Religious Education program, as promulgated by the diocesan Bishop, shall be implemented with reference to the principles and procedures of the CECWA Policy statement 2-B2 ‘Curriculum’.
5.4 Teachers of Religious Education shall have the necessary accreditation stipulated by the CECWA Policy statement 2-C1 ‘Accreditation’.
5.5 St Munchin’s shall keep parents/guardians informed on an ongoing basis as to the content of their child’s Religious Education program.
5.6 St Munchin’s shall work closely with parents/guardians and parishes to support the sacramental programs of the parish.
5.7 Appropriate professional development shall be available for teachers of Religious Education.
5.8 Appropriate resources shall be made available for the Religious Education Learning Area.
¹Mandate Letter, Terms of Reference and Membership of the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia 2001 – 2007
Australian Religious Education: Facing the Challenges (National Catholic Education Commission, 1999)
The Catholic School (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977)
The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School (Congregation for Catholic Education 1988)
Catechism of the Catholic Church (Vatican City, 1994)
The General Directory for Catechesis (Congregation for the Clergy, 1997)
On Evangelisation in the Modern World (Pope John Paul II, 1975)
The Catholic School in the third Millennium (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1997)
7. Related Documents
Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia Policy statement 2-B2 ‘Curriculum’
Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia Policy statement 2-C1 ‘Accreditation’