Religion/Ethics

The philosophy of the Religion/Ethics Program is to educate the whole student: mind, body and spirit in an integration of knowledge and the deepening of personal faith. This holistic view of education focuses the Religion/Ethics Department's efforts to foster the growth of enlightened, responsible, healthy young men.

Our curriculum seeks to engender virtues such as tolerance, international understanding, and respect for others and their beliefs; indeed, it emphasizes the vital importance of these virtues for character development. Catholic classes develop the knowledge, skills/abilities, and values of Christianity so that students are encouraged to live as followers of Jesus Christ, while other religion and ethics classes emphasize faith and morality, developing a respect for all people as created in the image of God. We seek to promote reflection about how these values fit into the student's everyday life, and how they help the student to form healthy human relationships.

We believe empowering students to lead happy and fulfilled lives is fundamental to our program. The Religion/Ethics curriculum facilitates this process of empowerment by nurturing in students qualities such as effective decision-making skills, the ability to think critically and reflectively about their own beliefs and those of others, and an honest integrity founded on respect and responsible action.

We believe that by promoting international understanding, personal spiritual growth, and respect for self and others, the school-wide goal of educating the whole child is served. The result of this focus is character development that brings us closer to helping our students become true citizens of our global community.

We believe students construct meaning best in Religion/Ethics when they:

  • experience an atmosphere that fosters moral and spiritual growth in a class setting appropriate to their personal faith background.
  • are involved in a variety of instructional practices including interactive exchange of ideas and experiential learning
  • acquire values conducive to personal happiness guiding them to achieve their maximum potential as contributors to local and global communities.
  • participate in a structured program of human sexuality education that promotes respect for all human life.
  • are exposed to a range of beliefs and ethical perspectives and given the opportunity to deepen their own faith, self-awareness and moral sensibilities.
  • are provided opportunities to discuss contemporary moral issues and to make connections between the ethical theory discussed in class and "real world" experience.
  • are provided a learning environment with consideration of ability level and linguistic development.
  • participate in worship and the reception of Sacraments as appropriate to their faith background.

Teachers agree to:

  • engage students in activities relevant to the their lives, activating prior knowledge and experiences and help them to reason critically and apply the knowledge gained in class to their everyday life.
  • emphasize student recognition and understanding of the appropriate vocabulary within any given unit of study.
  • ensure that students use a variety of media and technology to research information and gain a deeper understanding of subject matter; e.g., films, internet etc.
  • provide students opportunities to actively and respectfully exchange ideas, displaying effective interpersonal communication skills.
  • provide students opportunities to express their opinions in a variety of formats; e.g., oral debate, journal writing, short skits, art etc. and participate as much as possible in self-reflection activities.
  • provide opportunities for students enrolled in Catholic classes to practice worship and the reception of Sacraments.

Catholic

Year Course; Grade 7

Creed: A Course on Catholic Belief

In this course on the basic beliefs and structures of the Catholic Church, the students probe the mysteries of the divine life to which God has called us. It offers a firm grounding in the Catholic faith and an exploration of the Catholic identity. The students examine church teachings on God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By presenting the truths of the faith in a clear and meaningful way, students are encouraged to examine more closely the dynamic teachings of the Catholic faith.

Catholic

Year Course; Grade 8

Catholic Morality

This course on Catholic morality deals with the very reason for our existence as human beings created in God's image and likeness. Within this deeper framework of good moral attitudes, we will explore in detail the Commandments of God and the Beatitudes pronounced by Jesus Christ as pathways to true happiness. There will be a component on human sexuality that will be tied with the Sixth and Ninth Commandments of God. Skills for good moral decision-making will be provided in order to prepare students for a successful Christian life.

Ethics

Year Course; Grade 7

Students will study three different topics during the year:

  • Positive Action

    Through "positive action," students learn to make better decisions and to understand why it is better to think, act, and feel positively. Students participate as readers of a series of radio plays that introduce scenes involving many situations that teenagers face. During and after each radio play, students discuss and reflect on the problems and issues they noticed and try to solve these difficult situations in positive ways.

  • Building Decision Skills

    Sound ethics is essential for survival in the 21st Century. Students in this 12-week course will be provided a language for talking about ethics. Our goal will be to demonstrate how one can become a more ethically fit person. Students will be taken through a series of logical steps so they can learn to independently apply specific decision-making tools to any ethical issue they might encounter.

  • Personal Ethics

    During this discussion class, students must demonstrate thinking with special attention given to reflections designed to help the student gain a better understanding of the ethical behaviors as we examine the process of growing up and looking at desirable characteristics. Comparisons will be made to demonstrate differences in values and beliefs. The use of popular culture will be used to help illustrate objectives throughout the course. One of the goals of this course is to reveal the value of becoming a more reflective person regarding everyday and a young person's development.

Ethics

Year Course; Grade 8

Students will study three different topics during the year:

  • Introducing Moral Issues

    Sources and excerpts will be taken from different religions and philosophies of the world to show students how all these beliefs lead to the basic moral and ethical values that people practice in their individual lives and as responsible members of our global society. This course consists of three sections: moral issues taken from world religions, moral issues taken from individuals throughout history, and relationships with parents. All activities and projects lead the students to recognize the importance of developing a system of moral values and also develop healthy relationships within the family.

  • Developing Understanding

    This trimester course is designed to help the student gain a better understanding for key issues in personal development. Comparisons will be made to demonstrate differences in values and beliefs from a fictitious situation where a utopian society exists and our real world. Some of the subjects that are explored include marriage, family, death, choices, freedom, emotions and other issues that adolescences face. The goal of this course is to assist students as they explore their understanding of life issues. This course is designed to be a discussion class. Students must demonstrate thinking through all of the above with special attention given to log entries and class discussions.

  • Discover Healthy Sexual Development

    Sexuality is an integral component of our lives that requires self-responsibility and adherence to an acceptable set of values. Students will be given accurate information and decision-making skills that can be used for the rest of their lives. The class emphasizes a positive approach to human sexuality through responsible decision-making.