Catholic Life of the School
Catholic Life of the School
“As a Catholic family, we will do our best to live and learn as Christ taught us.”
Catholic schools are established to be part of the Church’s mission in education, to place Christ and the teaching of the Catholic Church at the centre of people’s lives. Catholic schools are a place where children can encounter Jesus Christ and His love and truth.
St Mary’s school is a friendly and nurturing environment with a strong sense of community. Children are encouraged to develop their spiritual, cultural and personal lives enabling them to flourish into well rounded individuals with values, motivations and aspirations.
Our Catholic faith is at the very heart of St Mary’s and our faith is lived through daily experiences within our school, permeating every aspect of school life and rooted in Gospel values. We provide rich opportunities for children to encounter God and deepen their relationship with Him. Part of our mission is to evangelise, spreading God’s word and interacting with the local community, Parish, families and cultures.
Prayer and Worship
“When you pray, God listens. When you listen, God talks. When you believe, God works.” (Unknown)
Prayer is an integral part of the school day at St Mary’s and all children are invited to participate in their own personal way. We strive to help our children to value and recognise the importance and power of prayer. Prayer is an essential part of the Catholic life of our school as we put our mission statement into practice. Children are taught traditional prayers and they are introduced to a variety of ways to pray allowing them to spontaneously express their praise and thanks to God.
Each classroom has a display and sacred space to enable children to explore faith and spirituality in a safe, creative and interactive way. Children are able to interact with artefacts, images, prayer cards and Bibles within the areas. The areas change according to the Come and See topic, the Church’s year or special feast day or month.
‘Be still and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46)
All children across the school participate in meditation each day with a focus on being still and calm whilst in the presence of God. There is no right or wrong way to meditate and children of all ages are able to access it in their own, personal way.
“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” (Mother Teresa)
Collective Worship is central to the life of our school. We join as a school family three times a week for whole school worship. We pray together, share and hear the Good News, celebrate our talents and gifts and praise God through song. Children show reverence during worship and an atmosphere of reflection and stillness is created.
Children join together for communal prayer in Key stages (Foundation Phase / Key Stage 2) once a week. Children engage in Bible stories or explore Global issues. Children are actively involved in planning and delivering collective worships in their classrooms weekly.
Further celebrations include:
- Class led assemblies to celebrate the end of a Come and See topic
- Mass in school / school grounds to celebrate feast days / Holy days (Parish community welcome to attend)
- Children lead Mass at St Mary’s church half termly
- Advent service
- Ash Wednesday service – burning of palms and distribution of ashes
- Holy Week liturgies
- Passover (Year 6)
- May Procession
- Penitential services
- Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Let’s say the Rosary together (May / October)