St Joseph's as a Catholic Community
The school as a Catholic Community
St Joseph’s is built on the foundations of the Catholic faith and its beliefs. It is the shared responsibility of the staff and governors to convey these Christian values to the children in our care.
All staff, led by the Headteacher, Senior Leadership team, R.E Leader and Governors are aware that the school's foundations are built on the Catholic faith and beliefs and that it is our shared responsibility to transmit the Catholic faith to the children in our care. Staff pray and work together in order to provide the very best Religious Education possible for the pupils, modelling how to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. All staff receive regular in-service training as part of their continuous professional development. Staff pray and work together to support each other in providing the very best Religious Education possible for the pupils.
We hold the belief that we share the role of educators of the faith with the parents of our pupils and we strive to keep them fully informed of what their child is learning at school and to support them in what they can do at home to further their child's understanding of the faith. Parents are welcomed to assemblies, Masses and other liturgies throughout the year.
The Catholic life of the school is rich in opportunities for children to encounter God and to deepen their relationship with Him as a loving, compassionate Father. Through prayer, both traditional and informal, through liturgies and Religious Education lessons, where children receive direct teaching of the faith, through the relationships and support for each other that children, staff and parents enjoy within the school community, we enable children to come to know and love God.
Father Andrew Cole frequently visits the school to lead collective worship and also to share his knowledge of Catholicism with the children. The school actively supports Parish activities whenever possible.
The relationship between school, home, parish and the wider world is an important one. We support this bond through initiatives such as the Travelling Nativity, discussion homework, charity fundraising, such as for CAFOD, food collections, such as at Harvest time and inviting parents and members of the local community to attend Masses and liturgies at school, as well as other events.
Religious icons can be found throughout the school. Displays of work in RE are of very high quality and can be seen in classrooms and all around the school, including the school's main reception area. Each class has a prayer focus area, with a liturgical cloth in the appropriate colour.
The Christian values at the heart of our Catholic faith incorporate the British values and we aim in everything we do to further each child's sense of commitment and responsibility to themselves, to others and in the wider world.
Learning in R.E. is at the core of the curriculum and we ensure that the Bishop’s directive is followed in allocating 10% of curriculum time to R.E. lessons. The Governing Body, led by the Chair and the Governor responsible for RE, provide outstanding support and commitment to the central place of RE in the school.
We teach our pupils to have the utmost respect for others, including those of other faiths. Children learn about aspects of Judaism each year, along with one other faith such as Sikhism or Hinduism. Leaders from other faiths are welcome at St Joseph's to support the children’s learning and the pupils also have the opportunity to visit their places of worship.
Prayer and worship
Prayer and worship are central to the daily life of our school. We aim to provide opportunities for children's spiritual growth and development through participation in a variety of forms of worship and through experiencing all forms of prayer: formal, informal, spontaneous, private, shared, petitionary and meditative.
Pupils are actively involved in planning and leading worship, both in class groups and whole school settings. Shared acts of worship take place in an atmosphere of reflection and stillness, where we encourage each other to listen to God speaking to us and to respond. Children are encouraged to write prayers and this is a skill which we explicitly teach, just as we teach other genres in literacy.