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Religious Education at La Retraite
As a Catholic school, religious education plays an important role in the development of our young people. We provide a range of opportunities for students to develop their religious education, across each of the key stages.
Key Stage 3
At the heart of Key Stage 3 Religious Education is the person of Jesus Christ. At La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School, we profess Christ as our Lord and Saviour of the world with confidence and clarity. We do this in a spirit of openness and dialogue; we also deeply respect the rights of all members of the school community to hold their own beliefs.
We encourage all to engage as fully as possible with every aspect of school life, in the Religious Education curriculum as well as the worship and liturgy of the School. Within the School’s curriculum, classroom Religious Education’s main purpose is to engage pupils in a systematic study of the mystery of Christ which we believe holds the fullness of the truth that God has revealed. We do this providing the understanding of the Catholic Faith in a manner that embraces ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue with other world religions and non-religious views. The students are invited, in a spirit of great respect, to be openly critical and reflective when engaging with the material.
We use a variety of teaching methods, from modern role plays, to games and music, as well as the more traditional methods such as reading, essay writing, presentations, and intellectual debates and discussions.
We provide a range of Year 6 Transition activities so that students can get a head-start on their religious education prior to joining La Retraite, such as:
- Using inspiration from the Pope's message to be "creative in times of confinement" to make creative work of their own.
- Working with an artist to create a mural based on the style of Bridget Riley a famous South London artist which will be prominently displayed in our Chapel.
- Using inspiration from the poetry of Amanda Gorman to create their own works of poetry on the topic of 'hope'.
- Combining student work into a La Retraite poetry anthology, once funding has been secured.
Key Stage 4
GCSE Religious Studies allows students to develop their understanding of the fundamentals of their faith and its relevance in the world today. It generates a greater degree of understanding of the Scriptures and Church Doctrine and ethics, whilst encouraging open-mindedness, moral reasoning, and the ability to empathise through a greater use of case-studies, discussion, and debate. Students will also gain an understanding of another faith tradition.
They will be able to engage critically, looking at similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity, as well as other non-Christian perspectives. Students complete exams in a Catholic Christian paper and an Islam paper.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5, we provide a range of extra-curricular opportunities and activities to allows students to build on their religious education from the previous key stages, and develop our students into well-rounded, faithful and considerate young people. These include:
- Level 3 Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (ASDAN) – undertaken by all La Retraite 6 students, giving an extra 16 UCAS points.
- Assemblies & workshops with a range of organisations, including:
- Volunteering opportunities – all students undertake a regular volunteering placement in the local community as part of their ASDAN course.
- CAFOD Young Leaders programme
- Faith and charity – researching what makes a charity a success
- Fundraising – Christmas fair, coffee mornings, tournaments
- Working with others – scripture writing
- Leadership in Faith discussions
- CAFOD PSHE sessions covering the ongoing work of the CAFOD charity, and looking at environmental and global citizenship issues.
- Pastoral form time – Gathering together as a community to explore our faith through presentations about a faith, charity, leadership experience or global topic of their choosing.
- Activities and discussions led by form tutors linked to YOUCAT, the Catechism of the Catholic Church for adolescents and young people. The most important elements of the faith are summarised briefly and comprehensibly in a question-and-answer format.
- Regular retreat days and Mass
- Wellbeing afternoons allowing students space away from timetabled lessons to pause and reflect.