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
Suggested 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
Salt and Light
Jesus meets Matthew (Levi)
Mary and Martha
Jesus rides into Jerusalem
Jesus is alive again.
Some Books that explore the concept of God for young readers
|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.
How do we introduce Sacraments in the early years?
What is our understanding of the concepts that form our understanding of Sacraments?
What are some of the classroom teaching strategies that will assist teachers in experiencing the concepts that our Sacraments are grounded upon?
At the most fundamental level, sacraments are human processes of life.
Sacraments don’t happen in church so much as they happen in people who come together as church,as community to celebrate what has already been happening to them.
As teachers, we need to focus on relationships within children’s own lives and assist them to reflect on the key concepts of living relationally. In this way, young students may be bale to relate to the sacraments, later in life, in a more real and concrete way.
An initial conceptual understanding of the sacrament must precede formal sacramental education. Children’s conceptual understandings and language acquisition enabling them to describe sacramental concepts needs to come before the acquisition of a secondary more particular and sometimes exclusive ecclesial language to which they cannot connect or relate.
It is our responsibility to evoke in them that sense of sacredness of family, of old people, of reconciliation.
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.