In God’s Image, the Kindergarten religion program consists of 8 modules containing 33 themes that can be sequenced by the teacher to best respond to the particular needs and interests of each class.
- The Me module celebrates the child through such topics as feelings, senses, capabilities, needs and family.
- The Earth Times module celebrates the wonder of Earth through activities related to the seasons.
- The Community module celebrates caring through discussion, making friends and helping.
- The Changes module invites children to experience support and comfort at such times as the birth of a sibling or moving to a new house.
- The Plants and Animals modules celebrate creation through activities with trees, flowers, bugs, pets and other animals.
- The Special Days module suggests activities for celebrating such events as birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
- The Church Times module is a sequential set of lessons that invite children to celebrate the Christian story as it unfolds through Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.
In God’s Image uses the existing special moments and experiences of young children and affirms their religious importance. Throughout the day, your child will be encouraged to see traces of God in all of their experiences.
In a Catholic school, the spiritual development of children is nourished, and children will likely meet the priest, pastoral assistants and other members of the parish. It is recognized that young children are each at a unique place in their spiritual development.
A young child’s way of being “religious” is to play, to be creative, to be curious and to express wonderment. Through these natural childhood activities, children explore traces of God, the “marks” of God present all around them as they grow, learn and experience life. The essence of children’s spirituality is their response to life.
In the uninhibited excitement that Kindergarten children feel toward nature, they are drawn toward a loving Creator. Their experiences of God are sensed through touching, smelling, tasting, seeing and hearing, rather than through intellectual explanations.
Young children come to know Jesus through their experiences of seeing people valued and celebrated. They recognize themselves first, and then their families, friends and classmates as made in God’s image. Later, they are able to experience Jesus as the perfect image and likeness of God.
In a Catholic school, the spiritual development of a child in Kindergarten occurs through activities that are effective, to support positive feelings toward themselves and others, and sensory, to relate directly to the good things that God has created.
The Kindergarten classroom will have a prayer centre where the Bible has a special place of honour. A cross, candles and a special cloth may also be present. The teacher will use this centre as a gathering area to commence religious activities and will allow the children to explore the Bible and other elements of the centre freely. In addition, the teacher may adjust the art, games and other centres in the classroom to reflect the current emphasis of the religion program.