The Catholic Life of our Junior School
At St Mary’s Catholic Junior School, our children continue the lifelong journey of faith that they began in the Infant School.
We take pride in the prayerful way that children conduct themselves every day, and their growing understanding of prayer as an encounter with The Lord.
Year 3 is an important year for our children, as the majority receive formation in their parishes in preparation for receiving the Blessed Sacrament for the first time. They are supported in school by our learning scheme, ‘Come and See’, as they encounter the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Blessed Eucharist.
In Year 4 our children begin to take on more responsibility for liturgy; as they plan, rehearse and present the Nativity to the rest of the school. The children interpret the different familiar strands of The Nativity of The Lord from the Gospel sources and combine them into a narrative for the other children.
In Year 5 our children are encouraged to look outward into the wider community and share their faith. As part of the ‘Mini Vinnies’ initiative children have the opportunity to work for social justice and share their experiences. The older children are also asked to engage with other faith communities in our neighbourhood.
In Year 6 our children become leaders in faith and learn to take responsibility for leading prayer and celebration. The children in Year 6 are responsible for reading the Gospel every Friday, celebrating the successes of others in assembly and leading the whole school in a Leavers’ Mass every July.
The pattern of the week allows children to engage in prayer and reflection each day.
Every Monday the Head of School leads the children in a reflection, based on the particular week in the Liturgical Year. On Tuesdays the school meets for a simple Liturgy before all the children gather together to praise The Lord in song, as they practise hymns for the other assemblies of the week. On Wednesday a class teacher leads an assembly on a theme from either our RE learning or PSHE curriculum.
Each Thursday the children from one class present an assembly to the rest of the school which includes prayer, praise and reflection. Parents and carers are welcome to join in and the dates for each class are advertised in advance in our weekly newsletter.
Every Friday we come together to celebrate the successes of the week in a special Celebration Assembly which is led by our Head Boy and Head Girl.
Our School Council is a key part of the way that we reach out to the wider community, and for children taking responsibility for their faith journey. Each September the children from each class vote for two children to represent them as members of the Council. They are asked to consider when voting which children are best able to represent them in community work and leading the spiritual development of the children.
The children elected to the Council learn that communication is a two-way process. They are guided to listen to the needs of the children, and prompted to encourage children to bear witness to their faith.
In September, the School Council Members introduced themselves to the school and wrote introductions to be shared.
In October, they led the children in choosing charities for the coming months and organised a food collection for Harvest.
In November, the plan is to ask the School Council members to direct our acts of Remembrance by gathering names of loved ones to be recorded on our altar in the School Hall.
Please take time to read the School Council's minutes at the foot of this page, which give more detail (in their own words) about their activities.