The Alive-O programme is the core resource for the teaching of Religious Education in every Catholic primary school in Ireland and Scotland. The title, Alive-O, reflects one of the overriding concerns of Religious Education, namely, to enable people to become fully alive to the presence of God in themselves, in others, in the Church and in all creation.
The Alive-O programme seeks to involve the home, the school and the parish in the task of handing on the faith to primary school children. A DVD/video is offered in order to help parents, teachers and parish personnel to understand the content and approach of the Alive-O programme. It is a delightful resource that illustrates how children engage with religious education on a daily basis as they experience the Alive-O programme. This DVD/video, Alive-O 1-8: An Overview, will be a welcome addition to home, school and parish video libraries.
Another way of getting familiar with the Alive-O programme is to follow the programme from the children’s text book. The text book attempts to forge a stronger link between Home and School.
This is done in four principal ways:
1. Pupil Text
The pupils now have a text-book rather than simply, a work book. The pictures of the Pupil Book encapsulate the story which is central to the week’s lesson. Parents/Guardians should be encouraged to use the Pupil Book as a focus for communicating with their child, asking the child to tell them the story of the week and discussing with them the issues which the story may bring forth.
Should the teacher opt to use the worksheets for a particular week, they are to be sent home with the child, not kept in the classroom. As the child completes these at home, the parents/guardians are again given the opportunity to discuss the work of that week with their child. These worksheets often carry the prayer of that particular week and thus those at home may pray with the child the prayers he/she is praying at school.
3. Parents’ Sheets
For the Junior classes the Kits contain five books of parent’s sheets. One of these informative booklets are sent to the parents/guardians on five separate occasions during the school year. These help to acquaint those at home with the material with which their child is engaged in their religious education class at school. They also contain the prayers which their child is learning at this time. Thus the Parents’ Sheets encourage the parent/guardian to continue and foster the rteligious education of their child at home.
4. Liturgy/Prayer Services
Alive-O contains prayer services which may be celebrated at the end of each term. The adults are invited into the classroom to pray with them, as well as their teacher, and also their Principal and the school chaptain. The short service brings together everything they have been studying throughout the term and serves to forge another link between the school and the home in the formation of our children.