The new Religious Education programme for primary schools, Grow in Love, is proving a winner with teachers and parents, according to feedback offered to those rolling out the programme.
Fr Dan O’Connor, Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Dublin archdiocese described as “very positive” the response to information in-service days for teachers tasked with engaging the new programme.
“There was a 96% attendance at the days across 2016,” Fr O’Connor added, “with 1,042 chaplains, pastoral workers and other teachers attending in this term [September to Christmas].” In addition, he said, for those unable to attend sessions, organisers had met specific requests from teachers to travel to schools for informal information days.
Fr O’Connor went on to reveal that the attendance rates came despite the Department of Education providing no substitute cover for teachers joining the information days.
Meanwhile, Maura Hyland of Veritas, the body which has developed Grow in Love and its accompanying literature said there had been “an overwhelming response” on the part of teachers and parents already using the programme. She said users were very positive about the “very clear” layout of the programme, with parents voicing great satisfaction with its home sections where they were afforded the opportunity to fully engage with the faith formation their children are receiving.
“We’re doing something right,” Ms Hyland said of the widespread positivity greeting Grow in Love.
Grow in Love has been developed as a new curriculum to ultimately replace the Alive-O series. To date, programmes for the Junior and Senior Infants cycles have been rolled out (September 2015), and the 1st and 2nd class cycles (September 2016). The programme extends to 3rd and 4th classes in September of this year, and the same time in 2018 for 5th and 6th classes.