Catholic Life at St Joseph’s
Welcome to our page about the Catholic Life of our School. Here, we aim to share with you and celebrate the many elements that make our Catholic school so special. You will also find information to help us to support the development of our children’s faith and Religious Education. We are proudly part of the Diocese of Birmingham.
Our religious teaching is not confined to specific daily lessons but permeates the whole life of the school and our dealings with the children, each other and with visitors. Awareness that we are called to serve those in need beyond the school community is developed through an understanding and the implementation of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti; where he stresses the importance of global citizenship and responsibility as ‘brothers and sisters together’ to create a fairer and more loving world. A central plank of our Catholic Life is our Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Here is a 3 minute video, which explains what social teaching is in the context of our school. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELyLdMlFdzA. The Social Justice Group are using CST to inform their fundraising decisions.
The Diocesan Scheme of Work, Learning and Growing as the People of God, is supplemented by the celebration of the Liturgical Year of the Church. This is achieved through class teaching, collective worship, assemblies, spiritual focus weeks and through Mass.
A Picture of the Liturgical Year at our School:
In the Autumn Term:
- At the start of the academic year the prayer tables have a green cloth, symbolising hope and life, for ordinary times. There is a Harvest Thanksgiving with produce collected for local food banks. October is the month of the Rosary; classes are encouraged to pray at least a decade of the Rosary each day. Rosary club also takes place during every lunch time in October. During Advent, the cloths on the prayer tables are changed to purple which is associated with penance.
- This is the season to prepare for Christmas. KS2 are given the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation in school. We have an Advent Service for the whole school community. There is a celebration of the Nativity through drama and song in EYFS and KS1. The choir and orchestra lead a carol concert. All retiring collections are donated to a local charity providing Christmas lunch for the homeless.
In the Spring Term:
- Prayer tables have a white cloth symbolising joy and light for the Christmas season. After the Feast of Baptism of Our Lord and a return to ordinary times, the cloths on the prayer tables are changed to green. During the season of Lent, the cloths on the prayer tables are changed to purple. If we are in school on Ash Wednesday the children receive ashes. During the season of lent all KS2 children have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation in School. Stations of the Cross take place where we have our own ‘Way of the Cross’. Depending on when the school holidays occur, the children are prepared for Holy Week either whilst at school or at home. We observe Holy Week as a school through partaking in Stations of the Cross and by whole school Mass.
In the Summer Term:
- The Resurrection of Our Lord is celebrated during the school holidays; however, the Easter season continues until Pentecost so there are assemblies and displays to highlight the importance of this feast. Prayer tables have a white cloth for Easter until Pentecost when they are changed to green for Ordinary Time. On the 1st of May if it is a weekday, or on a weekday near to that date, we have a mass in school to celebrate the feast of our patron, St Joseph. The children in Year 3 make their First Holy Communion in their own parishes. Representatives of the school community celebrate with all the children in their parishes. There is also a Thanksgiving Mass in school when the children may wear their special clothes – the children also receive a treat! May is the month of Mary, so in honour of Our Lady there is procession to crown the statue of Mary in the school grounds. KS2 say the Angelus daily whilst KS1 recite the Hail Mary at noon. The Ascension and the Pentecost are marked by dedicated assemblies. Around the time of the Feast of the Corpus Christi, there is a time of Eucharistic adoration in the Church. The Feast of St Peter and Paul is celebrated with mass in school. The children in Year 6 are confirmed in their own parishes. Representatives of the school community celebrate with all the children in their parishes. There is also a Thanksgiving mass in school and a treat for the children!