National Association of Primary Diocesan Advisors
Looking ahead with Grow in Love
for the school year 2018-2019
Every day God creates anew. This September, the Grow in Love religious education programme will be taught from Junior Infants (P1) through to Fifth Class (P7). This programme is written according to the norms of the Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland (CPPRECI). Religious Education in the Catholic primary school will focus on ‘an educational dimension and a faith formation dimension’. 1
In-service on the Grow in Love programme for Fifth Classes (P7)
Provision of in-service for teachers by the Diocesan Advisors ensures that the foundation of Grow in Love will be built on rock rather than on sand (Mt 7:24-7). As the Irish proverb states, Tús maith leath na hoibre (a good beginning is half the work). In-service sessions on Grow in Love for Fifth Classes (P7) need to be provided early in the school year. The presenters at in-service will explain the Grow in Love programme’s theology and pedagogy; the new content in Grow in Love; the new online resources; the new features and how the spiral curriculum operates within the whole Grow in Love programme. Class teachers already familiar with Grow in Love may be in a position to chat to a teacher who is a first-time user of Grow in Love (until that teacher receives in-service). In addition to in-service, the Diocesan Advisors continue to visit the Catholic primary schools nationally, to advise and support teachers regarding the Grow in Love programme.
‘God is Love’ (1 Jn 4:16)
Grow in Love is built on the theology that God is love. The children are taught that where love is, God is present and where God is, love is present. Children explore the gift of love they receive from family, friends and others. Through these experiences of love they come to know and appreciate God’s personal, unique and unconditional love for each one. As the children mature they learn how to share God’s love, by respecting God’s presence in themselves and by reaching out in an active love for their neighbour, following the commandment of Jesus to ‘Love one another’ (Jn 13:34).
Grow in Love Resources
Grow in Love components include a Teacher Manual, from which resources (videos, prayers, interactive activities, and slideshows) may be accessed using an individual web access code. A set of posters and a CD also accompany each level of Grow in Love. A Grow in Love Children’s Book is included with each Teacher Manual.
Pedagogy of Grow in Love
Each theme in the Grow in Love Teacher Manual contains a number of lessons which follow the life-to-faith-to-life approach. Lessons are taught each week using the plan, ‘Let’s Look’ (Monday), ‘Let’s Learn’ (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and ‘Let’s Live’ (Friday). Life experiences are central to each lesson and the faith learning enhances life. Grow in Love works best when Grow in Love is taught for a half an hour daily, as prescribed.
Grow in Love Children’s Book
Each child needs access to a Grow in Love Children’s Book for use in school and more importantly at home. The home-school link is essential for collaborative work. Children are invited to take the book home on at least one agreed night a week and parents are invited to chat, pray, read scripture and to reflect on family life experiences, based on the weekly lesson. The children are also invited to pray regularly, alone and with their parents or guardians.
‘End of Theme’ Prayer Service
At the end of each theme in every Grow in Love programme, a prayer service is included which is based on the content of the lessons taught. This time of prayer offers the children an opportunity to pray together and to experience a prayer ritual. This may be an opportune moment to invite parents, guardians or parish personnel into the classroom, to join in prayer with the children. This opportunity offered from Junior Infants (P1) may enable parents to understand their role as the ‘primary educators’ of their children. As children pray with one another they are invited to grow in God’s love and by God’s grace, and they are invited to deepen their relationships of love. Attendance of parents or guardians at these prayer services may prompt families to listen to the invitation of Jesus, to attend the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist and to pray daily.
May Mary our Mother always lead us to her Son, Jesus.
1 CPPRECI, p.13
Sr Anne Neylon DC
Diocesan Advisor for Primary Schools,
Archdiocese of Dublin