At St Mary’s we aim to provide quality experiences of prayer and liturgy that support pupils’ spiritual development. These communal acts of prayer and the liturgical celebrations of the Church form part of everyday life in our school. Every child is given the opportunity to pray by giving praise and thanks to God using traditional prayers of the Catholic Church and other sources of prayer that enable this to take place. We encourage the children to nurture a relationship with God through words, symbols, song, gestures and silence.
Central to our prayer life in St. Mary’s is the weekly Collective Worship. Children participate in a variety of ways: praying, reading, singing to name a few. In addition to Collective Worship, we attend our local church to celebrate Mass with our parishioners on special days.
Other opportunities for prayer take place within the classroom at the start of each day, before and after lunch and again at the end of each day. Prayer in the classrooms and in assemblies always includes use of symbols and a focal point for prayer which is appropriate to the liturgical season, for example, Lent, Advent or Easter. During all these times of prayer, both staff and pupils are involved in leading and participating.
The school is blessed in having a very supportive priest, Father Damien who is always there to help our children understand what it means to belong to, or take part in the worshipping community of the Church. The children are fortunate to be able to experience the richness of the liturgical life of the church in many ways throughout the year such as the Holy Week assemblies during Lent, the celebration of the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation, our Early Years and Key Stage 1 Nativity performances and a Key Stage 2 Nativity Tableau and Carol Service at Christmas.
It is our aim at St Mary’s to provide our children with opportunities to experience a variety of forms of prayer that help each individual in the school community to foster their own relationship with God.