Grade 6 students receive an overview of the Bible. Beginning with understanding the Bible and why it is a part of the Catholic faith, they analyze the symbolism and deeper meaning of some of the most famous Biblical stories, beginning in Genesis and working through the Old Testament. Throughout the year, the major church feasts and seasons are highlighted to help them understand why we celebrate them as Catholics.
Grade 7 students study the life of Christ and learn how to live as disciples of Christ. Students gain a deeper understanding of the humanity and divinity of Christ, and also explore the significance of the Holy Trinity in the Catholic faith. Students are encouraged to examine their values, understanding of morality, decision making, and following the example of Jesus.
The focus of the Grade 8 religion curriculum is social justice. Each of our units of study revolves around one of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching. We learn how we can work together for a more just world. Students are encouraged to promote social justice through community service.
Working for Social Justice
Saint Columbkille Partnership School believes that children should be taught that service to others is a person’s first priority in life. As part of the school’s religion curriculum students gain an understanding of their role as stewards of God’s creation. To this end, the school organizes opportunities whereby students can learn about and respond to the needs of others in the community, particularly the marginalized: the homeless, the elderly, the ill, and the poor.
One day of every month, students participate in a “Spirit Day.” Students make a donation to a local charity, and enjoy a day out of uniform. Typically on Spirit Day, students wear the colors of the cause, for example pink for breast cancer.
As a very powerful presence in the local community, Saint Columbkille Partnership School sets an example for helping those in need. Occasionally during the course of the year, circumstances may create need for families and neighbors in the school community. We respond to these needs as they are brought to the school’s attention.
Middle School Community Service Projects
- A Basket for a Vet: Students contribute toiletries, socks, stationery and money to buy supplies. In December, a crew of volunteers fills Christmas gift baskets, which are delivered to our veterans who are confined to the hospital.
- Boston College Campus School: Students visit the Campus School at Boston College, a day school for students with severe special needs. Saint Cols students have performed for the Campus School students, and have worked on art projects with their differently-abled peers. They even enjoyed a “field day” where they all played kickball and baseball.
- Society of Saint Vincent DePaul: Early in the year, students participated in a 5k walk-a-thon. Through the school year, students have overseen food drives at Thanksgiving, Easter, and after the blizzards this past winter. The food collected stocks the food pantry at Saint Anthony’s in Allston. During Catholic Schools Week, students collected toiletries for a local women’s shelter. Students also assist the volunteers from St. Vincent DePaul with the assembly of holiday food baskets.
- Greater Boston Food Bank: Eighth graders work to package groceries to feed needy families in the Boston area.
- Wingate Nursing Home: Students visit the elderly, and spend time talking with them.
- Cradles to Crayons: Students assist with organization and distribution of donated goods. Students also operate a donation drive in school for Cradles to Crayons.
In the past, our Middle School students have supported:
- Amigos de Jesus, an orphanage in Honduras: Students in grade 6 collected toothbrushes, toothpaste and socks to send to the children.
- El Colegio de Los Ninos, Dominican Republic: Middle School students have collected school supplies to send to this elementary school in a rural area of the Dominican Republic.
- Ronald MacDonald House: Grade 8 students collect aluminum can pull-tabs which are redeemed for a cash donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
- Pennies for Peace: Sixth graders collected pennies, which were used to support education in impoverished areas (this effort is tied in to the reading of “Three Cups of Tea”, a reading selection from BC’s Share Aloud program).