Prayer is an integral part of school life. In school we pray in lots of different ways:
During the week pupils from all year groups gather together in collective worship and services.
Prayer at regular intervals throughout the day e.g. for morning offering or grace before meals.
There are regular circle times and prayer services in classrooms.
Each classroom has a dedicated prayer table area which includes words from Scripture, Liturgical images, artefacts and prayers.
Time and opportunities are given for personal prayer.
Weekly participation in Mass for a different class each week.
Lunchtime prayer groups are held for pupils e.g. Rosary group, Adoration group.
During Lent, our Priest leads prayer sessions in our school.
We use our Prayer Garden so we feel close to nature with God.
All children have opportunities to lead prayers, readings and singing.
We work hard to include families in the prayer life of our school by encouraging them to attend assemblies and prayer services throughout the year.
We believe that the school alone cannot undertake a child’s religious education. Religious Education begins at home at Baptism; the parents are the child’s first teachers and support their child with his/her first religious experiences. The school works in partnership with parents and our parishes to enrich the lives of our children.
We have regular assemblies, Masses and liturgies to which parents are always welcome. Each class has regular visits to explore our own parish church and attend Mass.
We distribute a school weekly newsletter to inform parents about school life which also includes the weekly Gospel and we notify parents of Masses and liturgies too.
We have a rich liturgical life in that the experiences we provide are wide ranging and take place in school, out of school, in Church and the wider community, and engage and involve pupils, parents, staff, governors and the parish. Our School regularly supports Parish events and fund raising e.g., CAFOD, SVP, Harvest and Advent appeals, Lenten appeals.
The Celebration of the Eucharist and prayer are central in our school. Our Parish Priest regularly celebrates Mass in St. Bede’s Church. In addition, we celebrate whole school Masses at the beginning and end of term.
By working together for the children; parents and teachers make this school a place which we can truly live out our Mission statement: ‘Love one another as I have Loved you’
In order to develop the faith life of the school, we have a beautiful Prayer Garden that all children and adults are welcome to use when they would like time to reflect and pray.
The garden is located within our school environment and our children helped with the design of the mosaic’s. There are lots of different things to look for which represents God’s wonderful world. The staff and parish community are also able to access the garden as a choice when they would like some quiet time.
We have a house point system, which involves four houses. These houses were named after the four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Upon entry each pupil is allocated to a house which is represented by a different colour.
A pupil can obtain house points for excellent homework, good attendance, being polite, showing kindness, being a good example, trying their best in class, good manners in the dining hall, just showing a little extra effort and good behaviour in and out of the classroom.
Each week the points are counted and, during Assembly, children are told the scores to date. At the end of each week the winners earn rewards, such as extended playtime, and at the end of the year the winners have the House Points Trophy placed on their shield, which is on display in the Hall.
Support for good causes
We enable our pupils to develop an understanding of our Christian obligation to support the poor, vulnerable and those in need. Not only do we hold fundraising appeals throughout the year, but by introducing pupils to the principles of Catholic Social teaching, we also help our children to understand more about why we support the people and charities that we do. We do this by holding assemblies which teach children about related issues and also we encourage pupils to take a lead on selecting certain good causes to champion.
In recent times we have supported CAFOD, North Hants Hospital, the Basingstoke foodbank, The Missionary Sisters of the Poorest of the Poor in Ghana and Abbey Court Care home and Caritas. Our newsletters outline some of these examples in further depth.
First Holy Communion Programme
During the pandemic many of our pupils were unable to make their First Holy Communion at St Bede’s parish, as the programme had to be stopped. As a result, we offered to develop a programme which could be delivered in school, which would enable these children to make their First Holy Communion as normal. This programme proved to be a success and since that point we have continued to use it to prepare pupils for this extremely significant occasion. The materials that we used can be found below and parents who have children involved in the programme are encouraged to view these with their children, in order to reinforce their understanding.
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