Catholic Life of The School
At St Columba’s, we believe that Christian worship in a Catholic school celebrates God’s presence in our lives. It is concerned with giving glory, honour, praise and thanks to God. It is our loving response, in word and action, to God’s invitation to enter into relationship, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit. This website page will explore the Catholic Life of our school including, Collective Worship and School-Parish links. Please also see our Gallery of Liturgical Events to see how we celebrate the school’s liturgical year.
In our school, Collective Worship takes many forms. There are whole school liturgies which focus on the school’s virtue for the half term. These use scripture to emphasise the way Jesus lived his life using our virtues – Be Just, Be Courageous, Be Loving, Be Attentive and Be Wise.
What does Collective Worship look like at St Columba’s?
There are many different types of Collective Worship which take place at St Columba’s. Twice a week, the children gather together as a whole school community to listen to the teachings of the Gospel. On a Monday, the children explore how the Gospels teach our school virtues and on a Friday, we prepare the Gospel that will be read on the following Sunday.
Other acts of worship take place in classes. These may be teacher or pupil led. Children use a range of resources to develop their worships and include examples from Mark 10 Mission, The Wednesday Word, Pray Together and our whole school worship planners.
All worships follow the following structure:
- Welcome – the children gather together in prayer.
- Word – a piece of scripture that leads the worship is read.
- Worship – a reflection and explanation of the Word.
- Witness – setting a mission to go and live out the meaning of the Word.
Our school worships often include a reflective piece of music that can allow the children time to sing, or reflect on the Word of God. Children have opportunities to meditate as part of their daily worship and complete bible journals to show their understanding of key messages from the Gospel. The children have worked really hard this year to develop their understanding of Liturgical Dance. There are some great examples of these on our school Twitter!
Parish and School Links
Fr Patrick is our Parish Priest. He works closely with our school leaders to make sure the children develop their faith fully.
How do the school and the parish work together?
- Each week classes attend Mass in the parish.
- The children regularly take part in Mass both in school and within the parish. These Masses include: a Welcome Mass, Harvest, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Leavers, the school’s feast day as well as celebrating any other Holy Days of obligation which fall on a school day.
- Throughout the year we hold ‘Family Masses’ on a Sunday where children lead the readings, singing and liturgical dance. Events are celebrated together such as Joy Sunday Christmas Fayre, Mothers’ Day Mass and May Procession.
- Fr Patrick comes into school to celebrate whole school liturgies such as Guardian Angels, Advent and Remembrance. He also blesses our class candles, nativities, rosaries and Easter Gardens.
- We are in the process of training altar serves who can work with Fr Patrick at week day and Sunday Mass
Children experience prayer in a variety of forms throughout the school day. The day will start and end with a prayer. Children will says prayers before lunch and may return to class after their lunch for some meditation.
During Advent and Lent, additional opportunities for prayer and worship are provided. This includes voluntary prayers during breaktimes. We pray the Rosary during the months of October and May . During these special times of the Church’s year, children have the opportunity to take home ‘prayer bags’ with items in that help to tell the story of the season and give them the chance to pray at home with their parents.
The children are also given the opportunity for confession with our priest, when appropriate.
Our House Saints
Every child in school belongs to a school House Team. Each week the children work together to earn house points for their teams. Our House Saints were chosen because they were inspirational people who helped the most vulnerable of people in society. They inspire us today to take action and live out our school virtues. We learn and celebrate each Saint on their Feast Day.
How to Pray at Home
Spending time at home and praying as a family is really important. It allows the whole family to develop their faith. There are many ways in which you can do this including:
- Attend Mass at your local church.
- Create a small prayer focus in the house, this could be a crucifix and a candle.
- Read Bible passages together before bed time.
- Share prayers at different parts of the day.
As a school we facilitate family catechesis in the preparation for the sacraments of Reconciliation in Year 3, Holy Communion in Year 4 and Confirmation in Year 6. Pupils are able to develop their understanding of faith through the Diocesan sacramental preparation programmer ‘Heart Speaks to Heart’.