Religious Education is more than just a subject in the Junior Prep. As well as having academic timetabled lessons, children will also learn about and develop their personal faith, throughout their school experience, living out our school motto and St John Henry Newman’s teaching of ‘Heart speaks to Heart’.
In academic RE, we follow the Birmingham Diocesan scheme ‘Learning and Growing as the People of God’. This enables us to centre our work in Religious Education on the core Catholic teachings as well as learning about and from key parts of the liturgical year. This is supplemented by a half-termly (or three weekly for Years 3 and 4) attendance at Mass, daily prayers and reflection, as well as assemblies, collective worship, and cross-curricular links to nurture our Catholic ethos.
It is vitally important that our children grow up with tolerance and respect for those of different faiths and backgrounds and we incorporate learning of other world faiths, often connected to festivals, as we move through the school year. Diwali, for example, provides a colourful, vibrant and spiritual introduction to eastern religions.
The learning from the classroom is supplemented by visitors and speakers wherever possible, as well as trips and visits to enhance our learning. The Year 3 trip to the Gurdwara and the Year 4 trip to Dorchester Abbey allow us to understand belief systems outside of Catholicism.
The Oratory Prep School forms part of the parish of Goring and Woodcote; the parish priest and former school chaplain, Fr Kenneth Macnab, is a familiar and welcome sight around school. As well as saying Mass on a regular basis in our school chapel, Fr Kenneth helps prepare pupils who wish to make their First Holy Communion with us as well as preparing for the sacrament of reconciliation.