Religious and Family Life Education
Elementary Religious Education
“Religious education seeks to develop not only knowledge and disciplinary skills but also to foster in students the attitudes and values that are part of faith and constitute the Catholic stance within the world.”
(Ontario Catholic Elementary Religious Education Curriculum Policy Document, 2012)
Guided by the 2012 Elementary Religious Education Curriculum Policy Document, Elementary BHNCDSB Religious Education programs support the values and education in faith that are a part of the child’s family at home and the celebration and witness of this faith in a community. The foundation of Catholic education is strengthened by the vibrant partnerships that exists between home, school, and parish in our district. Focusing on the interwoven themes of scripture, profession of faith, sacramental life, prayer, and Christian moral development, the Gospel values of Jesus Christ permeate the entire curriculum and daily life of our Catholic schools.
While fostering welcoming, nurturing, and inclusive environments where all students can learn and grow in their faith, our Educators use the following religious education resources:
- Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ: A newly developed religious education program for Grades 1-8 by Pearson in close association with the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO) and through consultation with Religious Educators throughout the province.
- Kindergarten – In God’s Image (CCCB): This program affirms the 4–5-year-old child as someone who is made in God’s image. Each area of the child’s physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual growth is highlighted as a trace of God, reminding them of God’s loving presence through the wonder of growth and discovery at this stage of their lives.
Elementary Family Life Education
In Grades 1 through 8 in Ontario Catholic schools, the program used for instruction in Family Life Education is Fully Alive. Fully Alive is a Family Life Education program sponsored and approved by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO).
Guided by the 2012 Family Life Education Curriculum Policy Document, Family Life Education, as it is represented in Fully Alive, is intended to pass on a distinctively Catholic view of human life, sexuality, marriage, and family. Its goal is to complement the efforts of families and to support what parents are doing at home. The entire program from Grades 1 through Grade 8 is designed to encourage children to become the people God wants them to be — to be fully alive.
Secondary Religious Education and Family Life
Our BHNCDSB Catholic Secondary schools provide a distinctive faith-based educational experience that includes courses in Religious Education. Reinforced by special programs such as school liturgies, retreats, social justice initiatives, and community involvement, these courses are designed to integrate Catholic values throughout the curriculum.
Guided by the 2016 Secondary Religious Education Curriculum Policy Document, the Secondary BHNCDSB Religious Education program builds on the learning in the Grades 1-8 Religious Education and Family Life programs. In Grades 9 and 10, open courses are inclusive of all levels of learning. In Grades 11 and 12, courses which offer specific preparation for university or college programs are added to the open level courses.
Each course reflects five themes: Profession of Faith, Sacred Scripture, Prayer and Sacramental Life, Christian Moral Development, and Family Life. In addition, students are expected to build their Research and Inquiry skills by focusing on one area of the course content in greater detail.
Campus Ministry in our BHNCDSB Secondary Schools – Chaplaincy Leaders:
Each of our high schools has a Campus Ministry program led by a Chaplaincy Leader. Campus Ministry acts as a liaison to our local parish communities and with our dioceses. Our Chaplaincy Leaders help to create a community rooted in compassion, hospitality, and inclusion. Chaplaincy Leaders are a source of support for all students and staff. They are available to listen, provide spiritual accompaniment, and share resources to support religious education in our Catholic schools. Community worship, prayer, retreats, and social justice outreach initiatives in our schools are coordinated by our Chaplaincy Leaders.