Catholic Identity and Religious Education

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St Joseph's Tobruk Memorial School Vision for Religious Education

The vision for Religious Education at St Joseph’s Tobruk Memorial School, ‘…emphasises the two distinct yet complimentary dimensions of Religious Education’ (BCE 2013). Religious Education aims to develop Religious Literacy so that our students can participate critically and authentically in contemporary culture. The Religious Life of the school embodies the faith community in which students are challenged to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

St Joseph’s Religious Education Program embraces inquiry based learning to develop critical thinking skills with clear, visible learning intentions.  Children are encouraged to view their world critically in the light of deep Catholic tradition and quality teaching.
The community of St Joseph’s recognises and celebrates the diversity of our students, encouraging and supporting the development of a child’s faith and spirituality through the Religious Life of the School as influenced by our co-founders St Joseph, St Mary of the Cross Mackillop, and the Rats of Tobruk.
Gospel values permeate our entire school program and are not merely taught in a Religious Education lesson. Our community celebrates seven (7) core values based on the charisms of our founders: dignity, compassion, courage and resilience, justice, camaraderie, reconciliation, and trust and faith in God.
Our goal as religious educators is to develop religious literacy within our students whilst providing an environment for ongoing faith formation. Within an authentic faith community, where the catholic culture is expressed and embedded in the life of the school, the students of St Joseph develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to make connections with catholic teaching and the world in which they live.

Learning and Teaching Sequence

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The Religious Education Curriculum

The curriculum area of Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Religious Education Archdiocese of Brisbane Curriculum, P-12. Religious Education at St Joseph's Tobruk Memorial School seeks to develop the religious understanding of students in light of the Catholic Christian tradition, so that they might participate authentically in contemporary life.
The Religion Curriculum has four strands. Each of these strands comprises three distinct yet interrelated sub-strands:
  • Sacred Texts: Old Testament, New Testament, and Christian Spiritual Writings and Wisdom.
  • Beliefs Trinity: God, Jesus the Christ, Spirit; Human Existence; and World Religions.
  • Church: Liturgy and Sacraments, People of God, and Church History.
  • Christian Life: Moral Formation; Mission and Justice; and Prayer and Spirituality.


The Religious Life of the School

The Religious Life of the School P-12 is focused on the second dimension of Religious Education, commonly referred to as “teaching people to be religious in a particular way” (Moran, 1991).
The Religious Life of the School P-12 comprises four interrelated components. Each of these strands comprises three distinct yet interrelated sub-strands:
  • Religious Identity and Culture: developing the school’s ethos and charism; building authentic Christian community; and creating a sense of the sacred.​​​​​
  • Evangelisation and Faith Formation: living the gospel; spiritual formation; and witness to the wider community.
  • Prayer and Worship: Christian prayer; celebrating liturgy and sacraments; and ritualising everyday life.
  • Social Action and Justice: justice in the school community; action for justice; and reflection on action for justice.

Religious Identity and Culture

St Joseph's Tobruk Memorial School  was founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph; therefore, we recognise the charism (qualities and values) of Saint Mary MacKillop within our school community. Our school is named St Joseph's Tobruk memorial School, a name given to reflect the co-founders- Monsignor Owen Steele who was a Rat of Tobruk and St Joseph who was the patron of the Sisters of St Joseph's. As a school community we celebrate the Feast days of St Joseph and Mary MacKillop and teach about the charisms of Mary MacKillop and St Joseph. 

Evangelisation and Faith Formation

We live the gospel of Jesus Christ by trying to act as Jesus would and following Jesus’ golden rule to ‘love one another’. This rule is at the heart of our school wide behaviour plan. Students learn about Jesus and are given the opportunity to show how they can give witness to the wider community.

Prayer and Worship

At St Joseph's Tobruk Memorial School, students participate in daily prayer in their classrooms. Staff members at the school also gather together for prayer each week. About once a term, each year level is provided with the opportunity to lead a whole-school prayer assembly. These are held each Monday afternoon in the school hall. Prayer assemblies provide classes with opportunities to celebrate significant days on our liturgical calendar, to address important social justice issues within our community and to commemorate special days such as ANZAC Day, Mother’s Day and Grandparent’s Day. As we value the celebration and sharing of our faith with the whole school community, parents and caregivers are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

 About once a term, each year level is provided with an opportunity to celebrate the Catholic faith with the St Joseph's school community through the leading of a Mass or prayer liturgy. Staff and students are called upon to take part in the celebration of significant days in our liturgical year including St Mary of the Cross feast day, Ash Wednesday and the Holy week. Masses are also held to celebrate the start and end of the school year. As with prayer assemblies, parents and caregivers are welcomed and encouraged to attend and share in these celebrations.

Sacramental Program 

The Sacramental Program is a parish-based program facilitated by St Patrick's Parish.
Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are called the Sacraments of Initiation.  At Baptism a person begins their process of initiation into the Church and into a parish community.  This process will culminate in the reception of the Sacraments of Penance, Confirmation and Eucharist.  Students who are in Year aged eight and above are eligible to be part of the Sacramental Program. Children are also supported in their preparation for the reception of the sacraments by the Religious Education Program in the school. Information about the Sacramental Program is provided through both the parish and school newsletter.


Social Action and Justice

Applying social action and justice requires two important dispositions: empathy (the capacity to stand in the shoes of another) and solidarity (the capacity to walk with another). At St Joseph's Tobruk Memorial School we strive to build these dispositions in students through programs for service learning, social justice programs and outreach experiences.
At St Joseph's Tobruk Memorial School we promote Social Justice through our support of Catholic agencies including Caritas (particularly through Project Compassion during Lent), Catholic Mission and St Vincent de Paul.