Catholic Education Kindergartens are committed to providing a quality early childhood program where every child’s physical, emotional, spiritual and social development is met in a safe, caring, challenging and supportive environment.
We believe children
- Possess a natural curiosity and wonder about their world and their God
- Are all able and competent
- Engage with their world through a diversity of learning styles
- Are unique
- Are part of a wider cultural community
- Bring prior knowledge and past experience to every learning experience to construct meaning
- Have the right to access an education that provides them with the necessary knowledge and skills to participate fully in their world (www.rok.catholic.edu.au)
In kindergarten programs,
routines and transitions
are the contexts for the interactions and conversations important for learning. When children actively engage with others in these contexts, they build relationships, co-construct learning, reconstruct ideas and reflect on new ways to make sense of the world. These contexts provide opportunities to help strengthen children’s wellbeing, sense of identity and pride in their cultural heritage by building connections to people, places and languages.
They provide opportunities for children to share decision-making and be supported to make choices. Children’s prior and current social and cultural experiences will influence their engagement with the learning contexts
The Early Religious Understandings for Kindergarten is organised under the interrelated content strands of Beliefs, Sacraments, Morality and Prayer.
Explore an understanding of God as creator and a familiarity with the person of Jesus.
|expressing wonder, appreciation and awe, particularly in nature.
• experiencing the created environment, using all of their senses
• responding to stories about Jesus
• hearing and being immersed in stories about the life of Jesus
|Developing a familiarity with simple symbols and rituals.|
|• stimulating children’s imagination with story, scripture, gestures and symbols.
• celebrating and sharing personal successes and new learning.
• talking about events of the church liturgical year.
• identifying feelings associated with belonging to a group – family, school, church.
|Exploring consequences of good and bad choices.|
|• managing conflict using peaceful strategies
• giving children time and explicit guidance to reflect and learn from reflection.
• assisting children to become empathic, compassionate and loving.
• encouraging children to manage conflict peacefully and model specific strategies by which they could achieve this.
|Developing a positive relationship with God through prayer.|
|• giving time and space for children to be still, meditate and pray.
• modelling a variety of types of prayer including song, meditation, movement, private, individual and group prayer.
• exploring different contexts and situations for prayer.
• exploring prayers from other religious traditions, in particular,
those represented in the class.
Explore an understanding of God as creator and a familiarity with the person of Jesus
expressing wonder, appreciation and awe, particularly in nature
experiencing the created environment, using all of their senses
responding to stories about Jesus
hearing and being immersed in stories about the life of Jesus.
The following are examples of planning ideas and are in no way prescriptive.
Telling God’s Story – How to teach the Bible
As we teach the youngest children, the primary emphasis should be on Jesus – age appropriateness is the key.
“The point of scripture is ultimately to introduce people to Jesus.”
Enns. P. (2010) Teaching the Bible as God’s story. Olive Branch Books . p. 31
Scripture Story examples – Meeting Jesus
The Infancy narratives
Jesus first disciples
The lost sheep and the lost coin – Rejoice!
Jesus blesses and prays for children
The mustard seed
Salt and Light
Jesus meets Matthew (Levi)
Mary and Martha
Jesus rides into Jerusalem
Jesus is alive again.
Books to explore the idea of God.
|Allan, N. (1996) Heaven. London: red Fox Publishers|
|Arnosky, J Man Gave Names to All the Animals. New York, Sterling Publishers|
|De Alabanza, (2005) Illustrated Psalms of Praise, Chicago, Illinois. Archdiocese of Chicago|
|Carlstrom, N.W (1993) Does God Know How to Tie Shoes? Grand Rapids Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing|
|Delval, M.H. (2010) Images of God for young children. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing|
|Glavich,M K ( 2016) the Heartbeat of Faith. Chicago. Illinois, ACTA Publications|
|Grant, J (2017) Maybe God is like that Too. Minneapolis: Spark house Family.|
|Kroll, V. L. (1994) I wanted to Know all about God. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eerdmans Books|
|Kushner, L and Kushner, K. (2000) Because Nothing Looks Like God. Jewish Lights Publishing.|
|Lord, J.R. (2007) If Jesus lived inside my Heart. Nashville, Tennessee; Ideals Publications|
|Lucado, M. (2003) Best of All. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books|
|Muth, J. J. ( 2002) The Three Questions. New York: Scholastic press.|
|Sweetland, N. (1994) God's Quiet Things. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing|
|MacLachlan, P. (1994)
All the places to Love. HarperCollins Publishers.
|Weiss, D.R. (2013) When God was a Little Girl. Chicago, Illinois: ACTA Publications.|
|Wood, D. (1992) Old Turtle. New York, Scholastic Press.|
|Wood, D. (1999) Grandad's Prayers of the Earth. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press.|
|Zartl, E. (2013) Where are you hiding God? Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press|
Developing a familiarity with simple symbols and rituals.
stimulating children’s imagination with story, scripture, gestures and symbols.
celebrating and sharing personal successes and new learning.
talking about events of the church liturgical year.
identifying feelings associated with belonging to a group – family, school, church.
Exploring good choices.
managing conflict using peaceful strategies
giving children time and explicit guidance to reflect and learn from reflection.
assisting children to become empathetic, compassionate and loving.
encouraging children to manage conflict peacefully and model specific strategies by which they could achieve this.
Developing a positive relationship with God through prayer.
giving time and space for children to be still, meditate and pray.
modelling a variety of types of prayer including song, meditation, movement, private, individual and group prayer.
exploring different contexts and situations for prayer.
exploring prayers from other religious traditions, in particular, those represented in the class.
Creative Prayer Ideas
Getting the right mix of prayer activities.
There are lots of ways to choose and organise the prayer activities in your prayer space. You could choose prayer activities to fit with a particular season or event (e.g. Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Advent or Christmas). You could choose a set of prayer activities that follow a particular Biblical story (e.g. Jesus prays, the Good Shepherd, Jesus chooses his disciples). Or you could choose prayer activities that blend around particular themes or even school values or school topics (e.g. self-image, thankfulness).
What’s important is that you choose your prayer activities carefully.
A great visual prayer for all age worship services and childrens groups. For the family tree, you will need a large branch or few branches arranged in a big vase. Give each group member a leaf shape and ask them to write or draw their prayer. It can be personal or they can write or draw something in Gods creation for which they would like to say thank you. Pierce a hole with a hole puncher and hang them on using wool or thread, or with a spot of glue on one end of each leaf, stick the prayers to the branches of the tree.
In Jerusalem there is a wall, called the Western Wall, where thousands of people push their paper prayers into tiny cracks every day. It is believed to be the only remaining section of the original second Jerusalem Temple. People wanted to express their hopes, fears, gratitude and requests to God.
This activity provides an open space for students to write or draw their prayers and add it to a ‘prayer wall’.
There are lots of alternative ways to set up a ‘Prayer Wall’-style prayer activity. Students could write or draw their prayers onto sheets of lining paper that have been pinned onto walls, making it more of a graffiti-style prayer wall. With post-it notes, you can use almost any object or location and turn it into a ‘Prayer Wall’.
Peace Prayer – Be Still
Children and young adults are born contemplative but in the modern world they are bombarded from an early age with noise, stimulus, and a message to keep busy.
Schools are busy places. In fact, the whole of our lives are busy, full of noise and other people and things to do and places we should be. We rarely get to stop, to switch off, and just ‘be’. But there is a reason why we are called human beings and not human doings.
Meditation, in the Christian tradition, is often called the prayer of the heart. Meditation builds community and you are invited, through this website to become part of this world wide community. Our website welcomes you to this community. You can learn here about the tradition, how to meditate and how to teach meditation to children and young people.
Meditation is found in all religious traditions.
In Christianity it is the heart of the contemplative teaching of Jesus on prayer.
Michael Mangan Resources for Meditation
Open Our Hearts CD Litmus Productions
5 minute meditations for young children.
Each track on this CD is designed to lead the children through a period of meditation from beginning to end.
The meditators listen to the music and scripture, join in the song and the mantra and continue repeating this sacred word silently throughout the timed silence which begins after the sounding of three chimes. Similarly, the chimes sound again to signal the end of the meditation. The children then join in the final song.
In keeping with Christian Meditation tradition, the meditations on this CD begin and end with music but the actual meditation time is silent.
Each CD also contains pdfs of song lyrics and sheet music for songs.