The RE Bridging Document
The story of Jesus and the mission of the Church is 2000 years old. The current primary Religious Education Curriculum is 20 years old. While aspects of the curriculum are somewhat dated the content is still relevant even though the nature of teaching and the make-up of New Zealand classrooms have changed significantly in the past two decades. Therefore, in response to the needs of teachers, young people and parents in today’s context The Bridging Document serves to provide a bridge, for the effective teaching of Religious Education, between past and contemporary learning environments.
The NZ Bishops’ RE Curriculum remains the same, and the RE Bridging Document revisits the context and gives guidance for teaching it today.
The image of a bridge is a metaphor for a subtle shift in teaching Religious Education:
- Lessons to Resources
- Year-levels to Curriculum Levels
- Printed books to online resources
- Prescribed teaching methods to the encouragement of creative learning experiences
This diagram is an attempt to represent graphically a relationship between the different aspects of Religious Education in our Catholic Schools as outlined in this RE Bridging Document:
- Jesus, and the encounter with him, are at the centre of what we do.
- Children’s developing spiritual identity and their relationship with Jesus are bound together. This is at the core of what we are about in RE. It is more than knowledge and experience but is informed and nourished by what happens in RE. There is always the understanding that Jesus is active in the relationship not an outside observer or an ephemeral goal.
- All aspects of Religious Education, as outlined in this REBD, inform and are informed by each other. There is a flow and a sense of interconnectedness. All areas are important and necessary.
The NZCBC mandated minimum hours for Religious Education remain in effect because daily engagement with RE is still the backbone of the programme in Catholic schools. If schools are creatively integrating RE Achievement Objectives throughout a range of curriculum areas they need to record the equivalent number of hours spent on RE – with evidence and justification.
Weekly requirements are:
- Years 1 and 2: 100 minutes – 5 x 20
- Years 3 and 4: 100 minutes – 5 x 20 or 4 x 25
- Years 5 and 6: 120 minutes – 4 x 30
For further information about the achievement aims and objectives for all year levels please click here.