Branch Two: Prophecy and Promise
The focus of this branch is for pupils to develop an early understanding of the Christian belief that God showed us the full depth of his love by sending Jesus, his Son. In Jesus, the invisible God bod becomes visible, and his love is poured out as the child in the manger at Bethlehem.
Pupils will journey through the life of Jesus following the Gospel of St Luke. The focus of learning on the narrative sequence of the story, the importance of Mary’s ‘Yes’ to God and the presence of angels who are God’s messengers and protectors and point to the divine nature of Christ.
Pupils will begin to understand the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her importance to Christians. Through the Angel Gabriel, God’s messenger, Mary says ‘Yes’ to being the mother of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. Year 1 will understand that Mary has a special closeness to Jesus, and when Catholics say the ‘Hail Mary’ prayer, they draw close to Jesus.
Background Notes for Parents and Carers
About the Theme – The Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism is a sacrament. A sacrament is something that uses signs – usually a combination of words and actions. The signs are not just words and actions that have a message for those who are celebrating it; they give those who receive them a gift. This gift (which Catholics call ‘grace’), is given by Jesus whom they meet in the Sacrament, to deepen and develop their relationship with him. Through the sacraments God helps Catholics grow in friendship with him. The Catholic Church has declared that there are 7 sacraments which celebrate special events in the lives of Catholics: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage and Holy orders.
Baptism is an invitation to join the Church family. When a baby or younger child is baptised, the parents accept the invitation on behalf of their child. Older children and adults accept the invitation themselves. Often adults are baptised at Easter. Baptism is a special time for the person who is to be baptised, for their family and friends and the parish community.
Sometimes the sacrament of Baptism is celebrated when the parish family is gathered together for Mass. At other times family and friends come together in church at another time.
Throughout the topic there are opportunities for you to help your child make the sign of the cross, to pray and to listen to how much God loves them. Your child will be able to learn about Baptism and to know some of the signs and symbols including some of the words that are used in the sacrament. They will learn about the role of parents and godparents and how when the invitation to belong to God’s family is accepted, a Christian is called to live in the light and love of Christ.
For children in Year 1, the focus is very much on how we belong – to our family and other groups e.g. school, community groups, parish. Your child will have the opportunity to learn about how Baptism is an invitation to belong to God’s family.