Catholic Life of the School
The Catholic life of the school is rich in opportunities for children to encounter God and to deepen their relationship with Him as a loving, compassionate Father. Through prayer, both traditional and informal, through liturgies and Religious Education lessons, where children receive direct teaching of the faith, through the relationships and support for each other that children, staff and parents enjoy within the school community, we enable
children to come to know and love God.
Religious icons can be found throughout the school, often made by the children themselves. Displays of work in RE are of very high quality and can be seen in classrooms and all around the school, including the school's main reception area. Each class has a prayer focus area, with a liturgical cloth in the appropriate colour.
Statues or crucifixes are present in every room in the school, highlighting the underlying belief that everything that we do at our school is founded on our Catholic faith. We have a small chapel which is a place where small groups can pray, as well as being a repository for books used in worship and stories from scripture.
The Christian values at the heart of our Catholic faith incorporate the British values and we aim in everything we do to further each child's sense of commitment and responsibility to themselves, to others and in the wider world.
As our Mission states:
Christ is the reason for our school, the unseen but ever present teacher in it's classes, the model for its children and the inspiration for its teachers.
It is as a friend for life that children come to know Him here, meeting Him in liturgy, trusting Him in prayer and guided by Him in learning.
Prayer and worship
Prayer and worship are central to the daily life of our school. We aim to provide opportunities for children's spiritual growth and development through participation in a variety of forms of worship and through experiencing all forms of prayer: formal, informal, spontaneous, private, shared, petitionary and meditative.
In this way we aim to help the children to come to value and respect the power of prayer and its place in their relationship with God.
The key events of the liturgical year are celebrated in many
forms such as whole school Masses, Christmas Carol Services,
Nativity performances, Lenten liturgies including
Reconciliation, St. Matthew's Passion Performance by the
choir, feast day celebrations, the Rosary and Stations of the
Pupils are actively involved in planning and leading worship, both in class groups and whole school settings. Shared acts of worship take place in an atmosphere of reflection and stillness, where we encourage each other to listen to God speaking to us and to respond.
Children are encouraged to write prayers and this is a skill which we explicitly teach, just as we teach other genres in literacy. Each class has a prayer toolkit which supports children understanding of different forms of prayer and enables the pupils to progress in writing prayers of quality.
The school as a Catholic Community
All staff, led by the Head Teacher, deputy Head-Teacher and
Governors are aware that the school's foundations are built on the Catholic faith and beliefs- and that it is our shared responsibility to transmit the Catholic faith to the children in our care. All staff receive regular In Service Training as part of their continuous professional development. Staff pray and work together to support each other in providing the very best Religious Education possible for the pupils.
Learning in RE is at the core of the curriculum and we ensure that the Bishop's directive is followed in allocating 10% of curriculum time to RE lessons. The Governing Body, led by the Chair and the Governor responsible for RE, provide outstanding support and commitment to the central place of RE in the school.
Strong links are forged with parents and with the
two parishes that the school serves: Our Lady of Victories
and Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Simon Stock.
Priests from both parishes are warmly welcomed to the school
for all events, not only those of a religious nature.
We hold the belief that we share the role of educators of the faith with the parents of our pupils and we strive to keep them fully informed of what their child is learning at school and to support them in what they can do at home to further their child's understanding of the faith. Parents are welcomed to assemblies, Masses and other liturgies throughout the year.