Students at Good Shepherd participate in Religious Education lessons each day. In these lessons, students learn about prayer and how to pray, about Jesus, his life and his teachings, various Bible stories and their authors, and the history of the Catholic Church tradition and its place in our modern world.
Religious Education is taught through an inquiry focus where students are encouraged to ask questions about the concepts they are learning. Various resources are provided to help engage students in ‘finding out’ rather than being ‘told’ what the learning is. In this way, teachers at Good Shepherd endeavour to promote wonder and curiosity in the students.
Scripture is an important part of the learning process in Religious Education and learning about the Bible and its stories can sometimes be tricky for students. Good Shepherd are beginning to use the Three Worlds of the Text as a way to break open Scripture.
Worlds of the Text
This strategy consists of the world Behind the Text, where students learn about the historical and cultural context of the author, their audience and purpose of the text; the world Of the Text, where students look at language features of the text and begin to decipher what message the author wants to portray through the type of text written and the words used; and the world In Front of the Text, where students apply the message to their own lives and the situation of the modern world.
Overall, through Religious Education at Good Shepherd, the teachers propose the Catholic Christian tradition to students rather than impose it. There are many students in our school who come from different Christian denominations and different faith backgrounds who are valued as a creation of God.
Whole School Prayer Celebrations and Masses
Each year at Good Shepherd we focus our attention on prayer; communication with God and coming together as a school community. This year we are introducing our new school belief statement through our prayer celebrations:
To be the Heart of God through Connected Hearts, Inspired Minds and Flourishing Students
Through these prayer celebrations, the students will learn and pray for what we want our school to be. We look forward to seeing you and hope you take the time to come and pray with the school community. Please check our school calendar for Prayer Celebrations and Mass times.
Our Parish is Holy Spirit Catholic Parish | www.holyspiritgungahlin.org.au
Mini Vinnies is a thriving social justice group that follows the motto ‘See, Think, Do’. It is a primary school program connected with the St Vincent de Paul society. For many years Good Shepherd Mini Vinnies has held the record for the biggest Mini Vinnies in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and possibly Australia. Kindergarten classes visit the elderly in our Canberra community. Our annual Mini Vinnies whole-school events continue to raise awareness and donations for those in Canberra doing it tough.
Winter Woollies (Term 2)
Students donate clothing and money to donate to the Night Patrol van. These donations go to those in Canberra sleeping rough to help them stay warm during those cold nights. Students come to school in their own Winter Woollies.
Mini Vinnies Sleep out (Term 3)
During Term 3, students in Year 4, 5 & 6 are given the opportunity to sleep in the hall overnight to gain an experience of sleeping rough. Students look for sponsors to help them raise money that is donated to the St Vincent de Paul Society Night Patrol.
Christmas hampers (Term 4)
Each class creates a Christmas hamper to be donated to a family in the Gungahlin area at Christmas time. Each student is allocated an item to buy an bring in to add to the hamper. These are offered at our end of year Thanksgiving Mass.
School of Hope
Good Shepherd’s partnership with the School of Hope began in 2011. Ms Penny vanZwol’s Year 5 class was completing a Religion unit on social justice and service to others. To make it a ‘real’ experience for the children Penny joined forces with Jann and Simon Carroll from Global School Partners. Good Shepherd was one of the first schools in Canberra to join Global School Partners and so our association with The School of Hope in Kenya began.
Year 5 Penny raised money to supply the School of Hope with a small water tank for drinking water. Jann gave each of the children a box of Smarties. They were allowed to eat the smarties but were challenged to brink back the Smartie box full of money. They were asked, 'What can you do to get the money?'. The children planned to do a variety of jobs where they could earn money and then bring it in to school which is what they did.
Jann and Simon from Global School Partners are committed to building children’s knowledge and understanding of a lifelong commitment to social justice. From this initial donation by Year 5 our whole school became involved. It has been through the enthusiasm and generosity of our school community that we have been able to raise money for the following: a container of school and sport supplies, flushing toilets, a classroom, electricity, mobile library and library books and bricks to build another classroom.
Being a partner with the School of Hope is a real opportunity for the children to live out our school prayer by being the hands, eyes, voice and feet of God.
Good Shepherd Primary School is one of three primary schools that is connected to Holy Spirit Parish in Gungahlin. Holy Spirit Parish, together with the primary schools, run a sacramental preparation program for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and Eucharist (Year 3 in Term 3) and Confirmation (Year 6 in Terms 1 & 2).
The parish, together with the schools, aim to help the parents in their role as primary teachers of the Catholic Christian faith to their children by teaching lessons to help prepare students to receive the sacraments. A home program also helps the parents in their role as transmitters of faith to their children.
If you would like more information regarding the parish Sacramental program please contact Gayle Jeffries (Sacramental Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anthony O’Connell (REC) at email@example.com