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Religious Life: Introduction

AFAS 2

YAYM

MASS

MASS 2

Educating within a Catholic, Augustinian school

We aim to offer excellent learning and teaching at Villanova College within a thriving faith community. We expect all staff to promote these two central dimensions of our educational program. The aim of this site is to offer ample support and information for all staff wherever they are “on the way” towards excellence in supporting the Catholic dimension of the College.


 

RE teachers on the way to full accreditation: The College offers very generous subsidies and considerable support to ensure that all teachers of RE, including “core” teachers in Years 5 – 8, are able to go through a journey to full accreditation within a five year cycle. (Please link to document supplied by Paul Mead)

This site offers a “one-stop shop” for all the Religious Education PD and formation/ accreditation opportunities that we both directly offer or can support off campus. (Click on the “Professional Development and Formation” tab.)

The site also aims to be:

  • A space which grows to serve all staff, wherever they are “on the way,” created and refined by various staff. 

 

A Vision for Religious Education at Villanova

Our Vision for Religious Education emphasises the complementarity of the two dimensions of Religious Education and the College’s aspirations for students in terms of their religious literacy and faith formation. In that sense the Vision begins with “the end in mind”.


In keeping with the vision for the schools of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, we aspire to educate and develop young men of Gospel values, whose literacy in the Catholic tradition and whose formation within a faith community enable them to promote the common good. 


The classroom learning and teaching of religion at Villanova College continues to be characterised by a reconceptualist approach, operating from an educational rather than from a catechetical framework. The most prominent proponent of the reconceptualist approach has been Gabriel Moran upon whose work the attached schema is based.


School Administrative Priorities for Religious Education


There are a number of administrative priorities that are addressed at Villanova College to ensure the delivery of a high quality Religious Education curriculum from Year 5 to Year 12.


Time Allocation for the Teaching of Religion A minimum of 2.5 hours per week of religion teaching is provided in Junior, Middle and Senior Schools from 5-12. This equates to at least 92.5 hours per year, based on 37 available teaching weeks per year. Liturgy, prayer, personal development and other religious or pastoral practices are not included in this provision. 


Senior Secondary Courses in Religion All students currently undertake Study of Religion (Queensland Studies Authority board subject) in Years 11 and 12.  (Religion and Ethics - Queensland Studies Authority Subject Area Syllabus - and Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology are also approved for use in Archdiocesan schools). The specific program offered at Villanova College addresses the requirements of the Religion Curriculum P-12.


Accreditation to Teach Religion at Villanova College All teachers of religion at Villanova College are required to be accredited to teach religion. This includes teachers of religion in the senior secondary years engaged in Study of Religion and “core” teachers in Years 5 -8. 


Teachers as Professional Learners Religious educators at Villanova College engage in ongoing professional learning focused on enhancing individual and collaborative practices as well as the capacity to improve student learning. The College ensures that each of the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools engages in the ongoing process of ensuring consistency of teacher judgement - a key strategy for implementing the Religion Curriculum P-12 - and monitoring its effect on students’ learning.


Through engagement with this process, teachers are supported in growing their capacity: to understand the curriculum intent; to identify evidence of student learning; to determine and develop appropriate pedagogical practices, and to moderate teacher judgements about student learning.


Validation of School Religious Education Programs Villanova College has a documented Religious Education Program designed in accordance with the Religious Education Curriculum and approved through the Archdiocesan validation process. Regular monitoring and review of the program and its delivery is aligned with approved cyclical review processes.


Enhancing the Religious Education and Religious Life of the College: Where are our staff now?


1.    Not Catholic, not accredited, not wishing to teach RE. Needing 5 hours/ year formation to teach in an RC school.
2.    Non Catholic; prepared to undertake study to teach RE. 
3.    Catholic, not practising. Do not wish to teach RE. May favour Catholic social teaching as a point for further engagement/ formation.
4.    Catholic, practising. Not accredited. Willing to teach RE. (or accredited and not currently teaching RE, but willing to).
5.    Catholic, practising. Accredited. Need upskilling in contemporary Theology/ pedagogy.
6.    Catholic, practising, accredited – thirsty for high quality continuing PD.


Another way to reflect where we would like RE staff to be is in the top right quadrant of the matrix which has formation and qualification as its axes. Staff who are mature in their own faith and highly qualified are the best RE teachers.