Enhancing Catholic

School Identity 

Approval of the Religious Education learning structure and learning progression

In August 2019, the learning structure and learning progression of the Religious Education Curriculum were approved for use in all schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne until the end of 2021.

In his letter of approval, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli asked that we continue to seek feedback from schools during this period. It is anticipated that such feedback, and the vision for Catholic schools being developed in the Archdiocese in the coming years, will be used in a 2021 review process that will inform the future iteration of the Religious Education Curriculum.

Feedback from schools has resulted in a learning structure and progression that have three integrated components: strands of learning, content areas and achievement standards.

The three strands of learning are:

  • Knowledge and Understanding (K&U)
  • Reasoning and Responding (R&R)
  • Personal and Communal Engagement (P&CE).

Each of these strands is designed to emphasise a key action of the learning process:

  • explanation of the Catholic faith (K&U)
  • interpretation of the student’s life in dialogue with the Catholic tradition and the cultural context (R&R)
  • reflection on the student’s experiences that provoke spiritual and religious insights and the integration of these into life (P&CE).

There are five content areas:

  • Scripture and Jesus
  • Church and Community
  • God, Religion and Life
  • Prayer, Liturgy and Sacrament
  • Morality and Justice.

Each content area includes a statement that encapsulates the Catholic theological understandings to be explored and developed with students throughout their years of Catholic education. There are also content descriptors that describe the learning that students will engage with.

The achievement standards have been organised in seven bands and structured as a learning continuum – reflecting levels of achievement attained, rather than years of schooling. This enables the development of learning programs that meet the actual learning needs of all students, rather than an assumed age-based level. This development and changes to some standards were made to facilitate teacher accessibility and more closely align the learning progression of Religious Education with the educational language and taxonomy used in the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) learning progressions for humanities-based subjects.

Implementation of this learning structure and learning progression in schools continues to be supported through the direct engagement of learning consultants with schools, centrally based professional learning and the involvement of approximately 60 schools in Religious Education collectives.

These initiatives will support schools to develop comprehensive, structured, engaging and developmentally appropriate learning for all students in Catholic schools.