Catholic Education at JFKS is an invitation and opportunity for your children to learn more about Christianity, the great Judeo-Christian cultural heritage, and in the upper grades something about the beliefs and traditions of other world religions.
It aims to help and support young people as they grapple with the really crucial questions about their individual life and place in the world by teaching them to cope with differing opinions in an open, mutually respectful setting – more Socrates than Catechism… This free exchange of ideas and feelings enables students to form their own views critically and tolerantly, but also confidently. For this reason, Catholic Education welcomes all students regardless of denominational or religious affiliation, or even non-affiliation; nor is any previous knowledge or religious background required.
Class teaching is oriented to the students’ age-specific cognitive capacities and life experience when treating basic themes such as family and friendship, conflict and reconciliation, fear, prejudice and moral courage. The give-and-take of class discussions on these and many other themes helps students to heighten their sensitivity both to the questions and to possible answers.
Biblical narratives of course provide a traditional treasure trove of archetypal stories which have helped to frame human experience through the ages. Dealing with these stories, students will naturally ask how relevant (and true?) they are for today in their own lives, along with many other big questions: What do we mean by “God”? What is the “point” of the world? What is the purpose and value of life? What does it mean to live “a good life”?
On a more specifically Catholic level, students learn about the significance of holy days and liturgical seasons, the sacraments, saints and spirituality of the Church (prayer), as well as brief glances at the musical and artistic heritage of Catholic Christianity. Depending on the theme and age group, the primary class activities include story-telling and singing, discussing and drawing, augmented by texts, writing, role-playing and audio-visual media, as the situation allows.
(Note to Catholic parents: Preparation for First Holy Communion and Confirmation is undertaken by the local parish, not the Religion program at JFKS.)
Dorothee Knab (Catholic Education in English)
Mechthild Prost (Catholic Education in German)
Information on the curriculum: www.erzbistumberlin.de
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