Communion of Saints

These are derived from investigation of the theological focus, the strand progressions over 8 years and what we believe are the key ideas our year 8 leavers will need to know and understand by the time they leave St Joseph's.  Our selection of the key ideas is guided by our understanding of the Nicene Creed, the founding belief statement of the Catholic faith dating back to the Council of Nicea in AD325; Biblical teaching; Church tradition; and the Catechism of the Catholic church which the original RE curriculum documents are based on.

Key Ideas
1. Mary is Jesus’ mother and first disciple and model to all Christians
2. Communion of Saints is all the souls in heaven, purgatory and God's family - the church on earth.
3. Our choices affect the type of person we become and what happens to us after we die

Communion of Saints Focus
As we have composite classes we will swap our strand year level focus annually so that all children are exposed to all teaching levels.

Room 2
2015 - Year 1, 2016 - Year 1
Room 1
2015 - Year 2, 2016 - Year 3
Room 3
2015 - Year 4-6 selected, 2016 - Year 6
Room 4
2015 - Year 7-8 selected, Year 8

Communion of Saints Rubric using SOLO Taxonomy


the facts - examples of what it means
1 point for each example up to three examples


How can we relate it to our lives, to others’ lives, to other things we know, to the world at large?
How can we explain it more deeply?
How can we use this knowledge to make a difference in the world?  
Use as a lens to evaluate?
Use it to create or make something new?
To teach others?

Extended Abstract

Mary is Jesus’ mother and first disciple and model to all Christians

I know some information about Mary, such as:
She was Jesus’ first teacher
The first one to listen to and believe in Jesus as Son of God and her Son’s teachings - annunciation (Luke 1:26-38),
Birth of Jesus (Luke 2: 1-20), presenting Jesus in temple at 12 years old (Luke 2: 22-40), Wedding in Cana (John 2: 1-2),
Crucifixion (Matthew 27: 22-56, Luke 23: 26-43, Mark 15: 21-41, John 19:17-37) Pentecost (Acts 2: 1-13)
She was prayerful - “She pondered these things in her heart.” (Luke 2: 19)
I can explain why that information makes Mary’s important.
  • explanation about Mary’s particularly close status with Jesus
  • her qualities - commitment, faithfulness, trust, love
I can evaluate what that means for my relationship with Mary and how it helps my relationship with Jesus and how it can effect me.

  • examples of devotion to Mary and what it means - explain how devotion to Mary is NOT worshipping Mary
  • how by following Mary’s lead we prepare the world for Jesus, just like she did.
  • Examples of action that are in line with faith that will make a difference to the world.
Community of Saints is all the souls in heaven, purgatory and God’s family, the Church on earth.

I can tell stories about the saints
Mary MacKillop
Their own saint names
All Saints Day, All Souls
Miracles - that saints have done - what is a miracle?
I can explain how the saints were models of holiness through their example and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Virtues -the saints chose actions that led to a virtuous character - what can we do to create virtue?
Persecution of saints - keeping faith - examples of people keeping their faith under pressure.
To keep strong to faith no matter what.
I can evaluate how my knowledge about saints helps my relationship with God.
e.g To keep strong to faith no matter what.
Explain how rewards can be a long time coming - compare to great artists.
Rewards for the faithful can be after death.
How do we show we are inspired by the Holy Spirit and faithful to God and seek no reward?
Our choices affect the type of person we become and what happens to us after we die

Give examples of decisions which bring us closer to God
Choices we make in everyday life.
Relate back to saints and their choices
Fairytales, Aesops Fables, fiction as examples of the effects of choices
Things that help us make choices - friends, family, church, peers, media, teachers
Connect choices to consequences.  Connect choices to the type of person you become and what that means for the afterlife.
How do people get to be strong characters?  What’s the path and choices they have to make?  Relate to saints and inspiring holy people.
Give an example of a real behaviour you have chosen recently that has brought you closer to God.
How do we deal with dilemmas?
What can we do to bring ourselves closer to God and follow the examples of saints?
Obedience to God?
Hard work, persistence etc.
Acting out of a sense of love not for fear of consequences or rewards.

Images from Pam Hook and Julie Mills – SOLO Taxonomy: A Guide for Schools

determined in staff meeting term 4 week 1, 2015

Test for the Communion of Saints Strand – Year 4-8

Communion of Saints year 4-8 test

Use examples of what you have learnt in RE, or what you know in general to answer the following questions as fully as you can.  Give examples and explain your answers.
Marking = 1 point up to 3 points, replace with 5 points if evidence of examples with relational thinking, replace with 10 points if evidence of examples plus relational thinking and extended abstract thinking.

Why is Mary so important?

Explain what we mean by the Community of Saints?  How do saints help us to live a better life?

Explain how the choices you make make up the type of person you become and what happens to you after you die.

Communion of Saints Year 1-3 assessment
From classroom observations, discussions, and activities

Give examples of why Mary is important - 1 point for each example up to 3

Give examples of how the saints live show us an example of how to live a good life - 1 point for each example up to 3

Replace with 5 points if the child is giving examples and also showing relational thinking according to their level of development




1. Mary is our first and and most important saint because of her special relationship with Jesus. 
2. The Communion of Saints means all the members of the Church- living now, in Purgatory and in Heaven. 
3. The choices we make on Earth affect what happens when we die, we will be judged on our choices. 

FA = Faith Alive lessons on Faith Alive website

Year 1
Mary’s role as the mother of Jesus
Mary’s holiness, the tapu and mana given to her by God
Year 5
The meaning of the Communion of Saints – Te Kotahitanga o Te Hunga Tapu
The holiness of saints and inspiring people who encourage others to follow Christ by their holiness and witness to the Holy Spirit.
Saints are honoured in the Church.
Year 2
The virtue of holiness in the lives of the saints and ways to celebrate their lives.
Inspiring people who lead others to God.
Year 6
Christian stories of Mary, model of discipleship.
Devotion to Mary in the world and in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Year 3
The strength God gives people in sad times.
The Christian hope of life after death.
How Catholics say goodbye to those who have died and pray for them.
Year 7
The gift of free will and the formation of a Catholic conscience to make life-giving choices.
Choices, Judgement and Life after Death.
The sanctity of life.
Year 4
Christian goals and choices on the journey of life – Te Wa
The relationship between choices in life and what happens after death.
Year 8
The human person body and soul.
The Second Coming and the Fullness of the Kingdom.
Catholic burial rites including the Tangihanga.
Christian hope in times of grief and loss.

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