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Curriculum Support for Catholic Schools: Enhancing the Religious Dimension of Catholic Education. Tutorial Eastern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Cooperative 2005. Welcome to this tutorial.

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Curriculum Support for Catholic Schools:Enhancing the Religious Dimension of Catholic Education


Eastern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Cooperative


Welcome to this tutorial.

You may move through it at your own speed by striking the Enter key, the Spacebar or the directional arrows on your keyboard.

Depending on how your computer is configured, the slideshow may be more stable if you download it onto your hard drive.

This tutorial has been designed with a number of purposes in mind:

  • to familiarize yourself with the general philosophy of this resource

  • to familiarize yourself with the technical aspects of the resource

  • to address some frequently asked questions which have arisen from version 1.0

It will be helpful if you open the CD in a separate window at this time.

This will allow you to move back and forth between this tutorial and the CD in order to locate within the resource those aspects that will be referenced.

Let’s begin.

Philosophy of Curriculum Support for Catholic Schools: Enhancing the Religious Dimension of Catholic Education

Put most simply, this resource exists to facilitate the authentic integration of fundamental Catholic values into all aspects of the life of a Catholic school.

Philosophy of Curriculum Support for Catholic Schools: Enhancing the Religious Dimension of Catholic Education

In this sense, curricula is understood in its broadest sense, most fundamentally all learning within classrooms, but including all school activities such as liturgies, assemblies, fundraisers, community projects, ongoing adult faith formation, and school and system improvement planning.

Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations

This set of 52 expectations, ordered into seven categories or “arenas of living” articulate the vision of the learner in Catholic schools.

These core values, integrated throughout the Catholic curricula, formulate the basic distinctiveness for Catholic education.

When these CGEs are thoughtfully used by Catholic educators, they provide clear expression, in a common language, to the distinctive faith dimension of education in Catholic schools.

Our common baptism in Christ calls us to participate, with families, in the Church’s mission to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world.

The material found in the Preface of the CD contains a more comprehensive discussion of these themes and more, including:

  • why CGEs now

  • why these 12 themes

  • why these 21 anchor concepts

  • the design down approach to curriculum development

  • essential elements of the resource

  • an overview of the 12 themes

  • a presentation of 3 ways to integrate these core values into the curricula

  • a number of useful planning checklists

  • an overview of a variety of useful planning templates

  • and a complete listing of the CGEs

Getting to Work

Different people will begin planning a lesson, a unit, or even a school-wide activity from a variety of starting points.

Before starting, the user should consider:

What is my purpose for using

the CD at this time?

Depending on your answer, you will want to consider using one of the standard templates available.

Planning Templates

Included with the resource are templates for planning:

  • school improvement based on the religion and family life programs

  • units or lessons

  • school activities

  • liturgical events

  • adult faith formation activities

Does your project require a customized format?

If this is the case, you can create your own template in another window and simply move back and forth between it and the CD.

You may share responsibilities for planning a fundraising assembly, a school play or perhaps your school’s graduation ceremony.

Your initial needs might be reflected in the following customized template:

School Graduation

Quote for front of program

Opening Prayer

Closing Prayer

Now that your general purpose has been established, you can move on to the next consideration.

Am I starting from scratch or is there an existing resource I intend to modify?

Note - there is a LINKS page with a number of useful curriculum sites from which resources may be drawn. In many cases, however, there will be a need to integrate Catholic values with such material in order to make it more suitable for use in a Catholic school.

Three Entry Points – One Destination

  • 52 CGEs

  • 21 Anchor Concepts

  • 12 Catholic Themes

Navigation Chart

If you would like to have a hard copy of this navigation chart, you will find a printable version on the CD in the Additional Resources Folder.

Three Entry Points – One Destination

Your area of study now in hand, it is now time to consider which of the 12 Catholic Themes most appropriately relates to your task.

Several may apply; it is suggested that you work with one Theme at a time – you may be surprised at the richness of the result.

Three Entry Points – One Destination

If you have a specific CGE already in mind as your starting point, click on the CGE link provided and you will be taken to a complete list of these expectations; proceed to the particular expectation you have chosen.

Three Entry Points – One Destination

Next you will notice a number of Anchor Concepts and Catholic Themes related to this particular CGE.

Click on the Anchor Concept or Theme that you think is most closely related to your topic, considering the description that you find there.










Three Entry Points – One Destination

If you choose to start with an Anchor Concept that resonates with your purpose, the next step is to scroll down and consider the list of related CGEs.

Click on the CGE that best relates to your expectation.

You then will be taken to the main CGE list where you will find again a list of related Anchor Concepts and Catholic Themes.

You may explore another Anchor Concept, repeating the above process, or you may wish to explore one of the Catholic Themes.

Destination – Catholic Theme

Once you have identified the Catholic Theme which relates to your project, you really have arrived at the heart of the CD.

From here you will be copying and pasting material for the template which you have created in another window. For example …

Each of the Catholic Themes are organized in the same manner, featuring the following categories:

  • an introductory scripture passage that illuminates the biblical basis of the Theme

  • a description of the Theme and a listing of related concepts

  • a more extensive listing of related scripture passages

  • Church teachings, including relevant selections from the Documents of Vatican II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, other statements from Rome, and documents from the Canadian Bishops

  • an annotated listing of relevant web sites

  • a listing of the most relevant CGEs

  • a list of Quotations inspired by your Theme

  • a listing of the most relevant CGEs

  • questions for personal or small group reflection

By this point, you should have begun to select, from what you have gleaned from these sources, the particular material you want to integrate into your task.

Follow the “best fit” rule, remembering that more does not mean better.

For example, if you are able to integrate one CGE into your lesson or activity, you have been successful.

The chart on the next slide, available to you in the Preface of the CD, illustrates the relationships between the CGEs and Anchor Concepts. Some relationships will be stronger than others.

Insert best fit chart

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Am I expected to integrate all 52 Catholic Graduate Expectations into my entire curriculum over the course of a school year?

In a word, no.

A teacher or administrator, for example, should select for any given activity, whether related to a lesson or a school-wide activity, at most 2 or 3 CGEs that best relate to the Catholic dimension of their project.

The CGEs are meant to express the depth and breadth of experience in a Catholic school over the course of a student’s entire K-12 education.

If all of us are attentive to the Catholic identity of our schools, the overall experience will be not only distinctive, but thorough and authentic for our students.

But if students are participating in religion and family life lessons, why do I need to be so attentive to the CGEs?

Catholic schools are committed to giving witness to the transformative power of the Good News of Jesus Christ as it applies to ALL areas of our lives.

If we are intentional about linking our faith to all aspects of the curriculum, we are sending the certain message that there is no real separation between ourselves, our world and God’s vision for us. Anything else would be tragic.

Do I need to be connected to the internet to use this CD?

To maximize the potential of the resource, you should be connected to the internet. While the CD contains much useful material within itself, it is through its links to the world wide web that its potential is exponentially increased.

Are there samples of work based on the Planning Templates that I can view before I get started?


The resource provides not only blank Planning Templates from which you can work, but a number of examples for you to consider.

Moreover, if you go to the EOCCC web site (, you will find archived material based on the resource as produced by Catholic educators from around the country.

In fact, you are invited to send us your own projects to add to this collection so that others might benefit from your own creative efforts.

I am confused about the Anchor Concepts and the Catholic Themes. Why are they both included?

Good question. Most Catholic educators are still becoming familiar with the curricular territory marked out by the 52 CGEs – it truly is a large area!

Most of us would find it a challenge to quickly and easily bring most, let alone all, of the 52 to mind when we are preparing lessons.

The 21 Anchor Concepts, then, each provide broader links to these 52 expectations.

The 12 Catholic Themes, in turn, provide yet other connecting points.

By starting your searches with one of these broader concepts, it offers you the opportunity to refine your search to a single expectation and to discover the exciting and multiple possibilities for integration that exist with each one.

The next slide illustrates the relationship between the Anchor Concepts and the Catholic Themes.

You will find the complete chart in the Preface of the CD.

The Preface contains other checklists and charts designed to help you understand how these three key elements of the CD (i.e. CGEs, Catholic Themes and Anchor Concepts) are used to structure the resource and provide helpful entry points from which to launch your work.

These include:

  • Catholic Themes Checklist

  • Anchor Concepts Embedded in Catholic Themes

  • Catholic Themes in Relation to Anchor Concepts

  • CGEs in Relation to the Anchor Concepts (“Best Fits”)

At this point, you are encouraged to explore the resource, but with a particular goal in mind.

Perhaps you could start with a lesson or school activity that has already proven useful to you.

Investigate how this resource can assist you in more effectively bringing to your work a language that will reinforce its Catholic character.

You are encouraged to contact the EOCCC through its web site at if you have any questions or concerns.

Someone will be pleased to assist you in your efforts to incorporate this resource into your tool kit.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about this resource and for your ongoing commitment to Catholic education in whatever role you may have!

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