De La Salle College Waterford

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De La Salle College, Waterford



‘Towards a Policy on Religious Education in De La Salle College’


 Mission Statement

The purpose of this College is to give a human and Christian education to the young.  Inspired by the vision of St. John Baptist De La Salle, The Lasallian school prepares young people to take a mature and productive place in society, and the church as free and responsible citizens






As a De La Salle Catholic School, this religious education policy will impact on the whole school community.  The scope will reach:


Board of Management

To approve the policy and ensure its implementation.


Principal and Deputy Principals

To support the procedures of the policy and ensure its effective implementation.


School Staff

As teachers in a De La Salle school, the hope is that the whole staff embraces and safeguards the ethos of the school and support the cross-curricular nature of Religious Education.


Teachers of Religious Education

To implement and review the policy.

To ensure a high standard and effective delivery of Religious Education.


To assist in the faith development of students.

Parents / Guardians

To support the RE Programme in the school and facilitate the faith formation of their children.



To participate in the RE programme and to cultivate an openness to other religious traditions.

VISION of a De La Salle School

Inspired by the vision of St. John Baptist De La Salle

-         The Lasallian school gives priority to education in a living faith whereby students grow to appreciate the life mission of Jesus Christ.

-         Acquire skills in critical thinking which enable them to shape their own future.

-         recognises the dignity of each individual;

            - Has a special concern for the poor and under-privileged;

Is challenged to develop a curriculum which promotes the harmonious                    growth of the whole person;

            - Contributes to the building up of the local community;

            - Works for peace and justice in society.


                                               Ref: Religious & Educational Philosophy Statement of the Christian Brothers


Aims of Religious Education:


Ø      To contribute to the religious education and spiritual and moral development                            of our students.

Ø      To develop care for the weak, co-operation between pupils, justice and fair         play towards all, respect for truth, a passion for the environment and a love for learning.

Ø      To provide opportunities to deepen sacramental awareness.

Ø      To identify how understandings of God, religious traditions, and in particular Christian tradition, have contributed to the culture in which we live, and continue to have an impact on personal lifestyle, inter-personal relationships between individuals and their communities and contexts.

Ø      To appreciate the richness of religious traditions and to acknowledge the non-religious interpretation of life.



 As a De La Salle school we are committed to the importance of formal religious and moral education.  This policy allows us the opportunity to reflect on, explore and articulate what it means to be a La Sallian school.  It is our hope and privilege to harness the religious development of our students and to provide opportunities for them to know their God.  We strive to be faithful to the founding intention of St. John Baptist De La Salle and the implications of what it means to be a Catholic school in this La Sallian tradition in the third millennium Ireland. 

GOALS or objectives of the policy

- To ensure the status of RE in the school.

 - To promote the religious, spiritual, moral and overall development of the       students.

- To appreciate the richness of religious traditions and provide a framework where possible, to encounter these traditions.

 - To lead to a greater degree of clarity in respect of aims, procedures and roles    for RE in the school.

Curriculum and Resources

The status of Religious Education in a school is reflected in the organisation of a set RE programme at both Junior and Leaving Certificate level. 

The funding of resources may be a barometer of the priority ‘in action’.  The religious identity of schools is not something that happens by accident.  It is an identity that has evolved over time and is sustained by careful planning and the allocation of appropriate resources.

The school timetable is as much an expression of school culture and ethos as it is of school resources.  It is not a question of packing everything in but of establishing priorities.


a.                   There are three 40 minute periods of Religion each week at Senior and Junior Cycle.

b.                   At Junior Cycle we use the Linda Quigley series ‘Community of Faith, Hope and Love’. At Senior Cycle we use The ‘Challenge of God’ books.

We have Chapel within our school and a small prayer room on the ground floor.  We also have a larger prayer room fully equipped with data projector,

             laptop, television, video, and floor cushions to seat 30 students for meditation.  We have a shared library of Religion books, DVD/videos.                Religion is studied by all students at De La Salle College.  It is our policy that all students attend and participate during religion class.                 Religion is timetabled at the same time for all Fifth and Sixth Year students each week.  We adopt a modular approach to Senior Religion.


Faith Formation and the Liturgical Year


It is important that teachers who work in a school participate actively in the liturgical and sacramental life of the school.  Students who witness and experience the concrete involvement of adults in the liturgical and sacramental life of the school will share more readily in the life of the school.  There is need to promote a Christian spirituality in our schools.

a.                         Liturgical seasons are marked in the school where possible.  We have class services in November to remember the deceased.  We have Advent services in each class to prepare for Christmas and Advent Reconciliation Services are provided for Third, Sixth and Transition Years.  We also have a Christmas Carol Service and attendance for all students is facilitated.  A  crib is erected each year by the Art and Woodwork Departments. During Lent we have the distribution of ashes to all students and staff on Ash Wednesday. Lenten Reconciliation Services are also provided for First Years and Fifth Years. Second years attend a retreat during Lent and the sacrament of penance is provided during this retreat.

b.                         First Years have a mass for the start of the academic year attended by the Bishop of Waterford & Lismore. Transition Years have a Mass at the start and end of the academic year.  Sixth Years have a Graduation Mass at the end of the academic year. Class groups have liturgies, meditations and services at the discretion of the teacher.

a.                         Provision is made for Reconciliation services in the school community at Advent and Lent.

b.                         Liturgical celebrations are open to all staff members to attend where possible.  There is cross-curricular involvement in subjects such as Art Music and Woodwork. The staff as a whole facilitate the subject by allowing the release of students to prepare/rehearse and attend liturgies.

c.                         Retreats are provided in Second year, Transition Year and Fifth Year.  They are funded by the students.

d.                        Time for reflection/prayer is made at the beginning of staff meetings.

e.                        In the event of a sudden death of a student or staff member, we aim to have an appropriate prayer service, depending on the particular circumstances. We also aim in such circumstances to implement the school’s Critical Incident Policy.

Outreach Programmes

The physical expression of the distinctiveness of a school and the importance given to religious education is no where more evident and obvious than in its visibility within the school walls.  Religious Education should always seek to be experiential through faith in action.


Each year during the last week in October we seek to raise awareness on the needs of the developing countries.  During this mission week a whole school effort is made to raise funds for the local and global community.  Informative talks and presentations are given. 

Teachers, students, and past pupils take part in the African Summer Project yearly.  This seeks to construct educational facilities, provide classes, and orphanage work. Other outreach programmes include Trocaire, The Hope Foundation, The Jonah Project, The Alzheimer’s Society, and the Buttimer Institute programme (San Francisco).


Parental and Parish Involvement

Schools are most successful in achieving their religious goals when the school, home and parish mutually reinforce each other.


a.                   An information night is held annually for prospective students and their parents, during which the religious ethos of the school, and the R.E. programmes are outlined. Details are also given to each family in the form of a hard copy prospectus. During the scheduled Parent/Teacher meetings parents have an opportunity to meet the R.E. Teachers and to discuss the content of the R.E. programme.

b.                   In some instances parents, and other adults in the parish and beyond, are involved in facilitating the programmes and activities mentioned in this policy document.

c.                   The Bishop of Waterford & Lismore has, to date, appointed a priest from the local Parish of St Joseph & St Benildus, or from some other parish, as a School Chaplain.  Other clerics may be invited, from time to time, to assist in sacramental activities or to join in for school celebrations.



How we respond to international students of various faiths reflects our understanding of what it means to be a Catholic, De La Salle School.


a.                  Religion is studied by all students at De La Salle College.  It is our policy that all students attend and participate during religion class.

b.                  Students of other faiths, who choose to attend De La Salle College, are expected to be present during R.E. class, which explores many world religions as well as our own.