Religious education is lifelong and life-wide. This means that religious education occurs from birth to death and in a variety of contexts, including the home, the parish or religious community, the school, the workplace and the wider community.
This curriculum is designed specifically for use in the classroom teaching and learning of religion. It aims to enhance knowledge, understanding and skills.
When combined with a whole range of experiences in Catholic schools, homes, parishes and the wider community, the school religion program should also strengthen the faith of believers. However, that is not its primary focus. Its purpose is to increase learners’ understanding of Catholicism in particular and religion in general so that they are able to participate effectively and critically within classroom, school, church and community contexts. In order for this to happen, this Religion curriculum aims to enhance the ‘religious literacy’ of learners.
The school Religion program needs to have “the same educational demands, depth and rigor as other school disciplines” (NCEC, 1999, p.29). Therefore teachers need to use the best teaching and learning practices, strategies, resources and assessment processes, just as they do in other key learning areas. This requires a variety of approaches that respond to the needs, interests and abilities of the learners. In this way, teaching and learning about religion will be effected “with all the breadth and depth of intellectual excitement one is capable of” (Moran, 1991, p.252).