In all Catholic Schools across the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Religious Education comprises two distinct but complementary dimensions: teaching people religion (the classroom teaching and learning of religion) and teaching people to be religious in a particular way (the religious life of the Catholic school).
In response to changing demographics and the introduction of the Australian Curriculum the Religion Curriculum has undergone significant change. In 2013, the Religion Curriculum P -12 was granted the Imprimatur by Archbishop Mark Coleridge for use in all Archdiocesan schools. In 2020 the Religion Curriculum was republished with amendments to core and complimentary scriptural texts and a revised wording of the Achievement Standard, along with clarity around the role of the Religious Educator.
The Religion Curriculum P-‐12 describes core content that is to be taught and that students should learn and is therefore the starting point for all planning for teaching, learning and assessing of Religion in schools. The four strands of the Religion Curriculum P-‐12 are interrelated; their content is taught in an interrelated way.
All staff have engaged in Professional Learning engaging with the newly revised Scriptural Texts and revising the Line-of-Sight Documents. Staff are encouraged to pursue further Professional Development through Scripture Twilights and Scripture PD offered throughout the year.
Religious Life of the School
Teaching people to be religious is identified with the religious life of the school and is a faith development activity focused on nurturing the religious, spiritual and faith growth of students. The structure of the Religious Life of the School source document includes four components and three elements for each. They are:
Religious Identity and Culture (Ethos and Charism; Authentic Christian Community ( Sense of the Sacred)
Prayer and Worship (Christian Prayer; Celebrating Liturgy and Sacraments; Ritualising Everyday Life)
Evangelisation and Faith Formation (Living the Gospel; Spiritual Formation; Witness to the Wider Community)
Social Action and Justice (Justice in the School Community; Action for Justice; Reflection on Action for Justice)
In 2008 Brisbane Catholic Education Office released “Guidelines for the Religious Life of the School". These guidelines provide support to the Vision Statement for Catholic Education in the Archdiocese, to “teach, challenge and transform." This helps our school community engage in practical ways to live out our Mercy identity and culture. They provide learning opportunities that build Christian community in which the Gospel and the work of the Church are experienced as alive and tangible, making the mystery of God's love and the gospel of Jesus Christ relevant to our children. They promote evangelisation and faith formation, encourage active participation in prayer and worship and help us engage with social action and justice.
At St Vincent's Primary School we draw on the richness of our Mercy heritage. The school motto, Misericordia, means mercy. Mercy is God's compassion in action; God's loving kindness reaching out to all. Mercy is love in action. Misericordia highlights our historical connection to the spirit of the Mercy Sisters, founded by Catherine McAuley.
We recognise St Vincent de Paul, a priest, after whom our school is named. Vincent lived a life of service. He revolutionised religion by returning to the basics Jesus taught; feeding the hungry, comforting the afflicted, nursing the sick, caring for children and the elderly.
We Acknowledge that St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Brisbane) also contributes to our school charism. Mary was a compassionate leader with a deep concern for those in need.
We also remember Fr Neal Shannon was the inaugural Parish Priest of Surfers Paradise Parish. He was responsible for building the church and school in Surfers Paradise, catering for a growing population.
The Mercy Way guides our daily actions. Together St Vincent's Primary School is called to be a faith-filled community, striving for excellence, to create a better future. Our covenant, together with the attributes of our religious patrons, Catherine McAuley, Mary MacKillop, St Vincent de Paul and Fr Neal Shannon, provides us with our Mercy Qualities.
The Mercy Qualities Program seeks to further develop our children as well rounded community members who are challenged to live the gospel of Jesus Christ every day.
At St Vincent's Primary School we celebrate Liturgy and Sacraments on a regular basis. Every Monday morning we begin our week with Ready Set Go! Themes for this are based around our Mercy Way and Positive Behaviour 4 Learning Program (PB4L). We have Year level liturgies and liturgies or masses for special days, for example, Under 8s Day and Book Week.
As a whole school, we celebrate mass. Years four through to six also organise individual masses at a class level. We celebrate whole school liturgies throughout the year. We also organise a combined Schools Parish Sunday Mass with St Kevin's School and Star of the Sea once a Semester.
Children at our School have the opportunity to participate in the Parish Sacramental Program. The school supports this program by working closely with the parish team. Our teachers show their support for the parish program by volunteering to help with the celebration and by structuring our teaching of the sacraments to coincide with the Parish Sacramental Program. Follow this link to the Surfers Paradise Catholic Parish web site.
At St Vincent's we ritualise our every day life by ensuring that the catholic tradition and gospel teachings permeate throughout the curriculum areas. Our Religion Program provides valuable opportunities for the explicit teaching of Christian values in the Catholic tradition. We value daily prayer as an important way of nurturing the spiritual development of the whole school community.
© Brisbane Catholic Education, St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School (2023)
© Brisbane Catholic Education, (2023)