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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Rosebank, West Street, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 7RT
Tel. 01372 727850

Religious Education

Our Mission

All that we do at St Joseph’s is shaped by our commitment to our Faith. 

The choices we make and the expectations we nurture in our children emanate from a guiding desire to live our lives according to gospel values.

In the words of our Mission Statement, written by the children:

  • God is at the heart of everything. Prayer is behind us in all that we do.
  • We are God’s family, here to learn and try our best.
  • As friends of Jesus, we treat others with respect, as we would wish to be treated ourselves.
  • We want everyone to be the best person they can be.
  • We are all amazing in our own way.
  • We look after the wonderful world that God created for us.


All that we do at St Joseph’s is shaped by our commitment to our Faith

Our Mission Statement is reflected in our Religious Education curriculum as the teaching of Religious Education is designed to meet the principles and goals as laid down in the School’s Mission Statement.


Our Vision for RE

Religious Education takes pride of place in the school curriculum.  It compliments and builds upon experiences children gain in other areas of their academic, social and spiritual development, inside and outside of school.

Through our Religious Education programme we:

  • Promote each child’s innate capacity for wonder, awe and reverence and inauguration for the spiritual.
  • Deliver a curriculum in accordance with the rites and practices of the Catholic Church
  • Foster a spirit of tolerance, respect and understanding of other cultures and traditions represented in the school and in the wider community.
  • Encourage individual responsibility for one’s own Faith journey by promoting independence in learning.
  • Show a systematic understanding of Christ, The Christian event, the message and the “Way of Life”.
  • Provide a climate where Christ can reveal himself.
  • Value the contribution each child makes to the spiritual community.
  • Provide opportunities for affirmation and growth of faith.

Religious Education offers opportunities for:

  • celebration and worship
  • prayer and reflection
  • development of religious language and literacy – of people, places and objects – through stories, symbols and rituals
  • a joyful learning journey, which marks out growth in learning and understanding of The Faith
  • an experience and celebration of their success and that of others
  • finding evidence of “Christ in our World” in their everyday experiences
  • working together within a context of mutual support.

How teachers embed learning

Faith formation is delivered in several specific ways:

R.E. lessons   The Religious Education Directory (RED) has recently been updated and across the diocese is being phased into schools, with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 currently following the new curriculum.

'Come and See' is our RE Scheme of Work for Year 2, 3, 4 and 5, which is used by all schools in our diocese. Come and See is an invitation to exploration and a promise of life for everyone. Teaching guidelines, approaches and principles are laid out in each teacher's booklet, which is available for each year group. These have been updated and are available on the ‘Come and See’ website.

 School Assemblies and Liturgies The School gathers on a daily basis either as a whole or in year groups.  Our dail  liturgies focus on prayer and reflection, taking either a Come and See theme, church season or the weekly gospel readings as content.

  • Our Wednesday liturgies are very special; children and staff look forward to gathering together as a community. Each  new Come and See topic is introduced with a ‘launch’ on the first Monday, which introduces the children to the main content of the topic. This liturgy is facilitated by a group of children, the Head teacher, lead teachers for RE, as well as Year group teachers. Following this, a weekly liturgy along the same theme is led by teachers and by the children.
  • Our Friday assembly is a celebration when we give our awards and rejoice in our special talents. The much coveted ‘Child of the Week’ award is given at this time.

Masses and Celebrations A programme of liturgies and masses is established with the parish clergy at the beginning of the year.  It reflects key days in the liturgical and the school life.  The parent calendar indicates when these events take place.

Prayer Life  Prayer forms part of the daily worship in the classrooms.  Within each classroom, an area is designated as a prayer focus, equipped with bibles, a candle and other objects which support prayer and liturgy. Each class is also provided with a ‘Prayer and Worship Handbook’, which is a guide for liturgies, masses, displays, prayer areas, and liturgies. Children take a strong lead in planning liturgies in class, year group pods and where appropriate whole school.

During Advent, each child takes home a Travelling Crib to share with their family, which includes prayer booklets for each week of Advent.

For most of the year, the school community is invited to meet once a week on the playground for morning prayers. The children often lead this session, which includes the rosary during May and October and offering intentions from the school community.

Witness to our Faith Our children, through their house groups, raise money for charity. House groups organise fundraising days spaced through the year. In this way, we donate to:

  • Missio
  • HCPT through a local parish group
  • Faith in Action
  • Jigsaw

In addition, at Christmas, families donate to CAFOD in place of sending Christmas cards to each other. Through the World Gifts initiative, we buy goats, education packs, water for a village and other items.

We also support an annual charity, which for the current year is Small Steps.

Contribution to Parish Life

On Holydays of obligation and special days, we join with parishioners and parents for prayer services and masses, in our adjacent parish church. For these occasions, the school prepares the liturgy, including readings, singing, offertory and serving.

At other times, our children attend specific services at St. Joseph’s Church.  Of particular importance is the Advent Service, the Passion Play, May Procession and Harvest.

We launch our year by welcoming newcomers to the school, when children are presented with a prayer card as a memento of joining our school worshipping community. The end of year mass for the children who are transferring to their secondary schools is particularly special. At this, we present each child with a crucifix to take with them as they go forth. 

During Lent and Advent, the children in years 4, 5 and 6 attend a reconciliation service. We are blessed with support from our deanery priests, which means that any child who chooses may have their confession heard.

Regular contact between school and parish is maintained. This is enhanced greatly by the weekly visits of members of the Parish Team, who are involved in the classrooms and in supporting the staff.

The Framework for Learning in Religious Education


Achieving the highest standards in RE

What we believe we achieve at St Joseph’s is that our children are living and breathing our Catholic faith, following the Gospel values and living out the school Mission Statement. 

In many lessons, children have the choice of a challenge task, which encourages deeper thought and reflection. This enables them to show a deeper understanding of the learning, often making links to scripture, Catholic beliefs and their lives.

The children are used to self-assessment in RE, where the success criteria enable children to reflect on their learning and strive for high levels of attainment.

The Special Books are one of the ways we measure how well knowledge and understanding is embedded in RE learning.

Another is the way the children conduct themselves in and around school and the way they treat and respect each other and their school environment, both sound indications of how they have learned to live their Catholic faith and serve others.

When we talk to children, we hear them using religious language.

Children have the opportunity to share their work with their parents on three open days through the year, a shared time, which they relish.