The RMDSA, as patron of the Ranelagh School was required to submit to the Department of Education its Policy on Religious Education in the school. This policy, which was accepted by the Department of Education, is as follows:
"Religious education shall be given during the first half-hour of the school day, as laid down in the rules for National Schools, by way of a multi-denominational Core Curriculum, which shall be a broad education based on the principle of tolerance and which will harness the naturally inquiring minds of young children.
The Core Curriculum will recognise the differences in beliefs and traditions among children and shall use those differences as a catalyst for questioning and inquiry. The Core Curriculum will allow investigation and discussion of all religious traditions as well as non-belief, and will not be a simple comparative study of religion, but one which will be broad and might even start from issues of a social, moral and ethical character."
The teachers use a curriculum which has been developed by a Core Curriculum Committee, using as a base the guideline Core Curriculum created at an Educate Together Summer School in the 1990s. The staff also use the Learn Together programme which is the ethical education curriculum developed for Educate Together schools in more recent years. Thirty minutes per day is given over to the Core Curriculum and the work of this half-hour is integrated with the work of the rest of the day.
The Core Curriculum is central and fundamental to the ethos of our school. From time to time working groups, made up of teachers and parents under the auspices of the Patron are formed to develop the Core Curriculum, again using the Educate Together document as a basis, but altering and expanding it to suit our needs here in RMDS. A copy of the Core Curriculum is available from the office.
There are five main strands running through the Core from Junior Infants to 6th Class:
These strands are used in each class and are sub-divided into various different topics or strand units.
If groups of parents so wish, denominational religious instruction will be facilitated on the school premises, outside school hours. Arrangements may be made with the Board of Management.