St Joseph’s is a child centred school where children are given the opportunity and responsibility to help shape the ethos of our community. Throughout their time at this school, they are helped to become reflective and work out what it means to live a Christ centred life and put the school’s mission statement into practice. There are many topics, discussions and question times for children to explore who they are and their place in the world. They are keen to express their ideas about their backgrounds and culture to other children and are inquisitive when listening to others. In proportion to their years, they show a capacity for community praise and celebration, and ability to listen, to give thanks, to forgive and be forgiven. During lessons and when interacting socially, children are happy to share their views, ask questions and make links between the teachings of the Bible and their own daily lives. They value and respect the Catholic tradition of the school and its links with the parish communities. Their behaviour is excellent and most children naturally think of others. The school council are involved in implementing procedures to foster good relationships, for example, the behaviour policy and guidelines. When mistakes are made the pupils are encouraged to be reflective, accept responsibility and aim to live more like Christ. They are alert to the needs of others and seek justice for all within and beyond the school community. When other children succeed their class mates share their joy. All children participate in our distinctive Catholic community through whole school liturgies, masses and collective worship. Following on from the Year of Mercy, we remind ourselves and the children ways in which we can show compassion to others. We have pupil chaplains to lead prayer groups and support our Parish priests in preparing for mass. All of the children in the juniors had the opportunity to submit a letter to the deputy head outlining why they would be a suitable candidate for this important role in St Joseph’s.
Our Faith Leaders
We have one faith leader from each KS1 class and two faith leaders from each class in KS2. These children were selected carefully based upon their application letter as well as knowledge and application of our Catholic ethos in school. We are proud to have these pupils not only support the school and parish priests in developing our ethos but also in their capacity as role models to the other pupils in school. These children have badges to identify themselves so that other children can talk to them about things that may be troubling them or to pray with them.
In addition to our daily prayer, we all take time to practice Catholic Meditation. We enjoy finding beautiful pictures of God’s creation and taking time to reflect on these pictures in peace.
We are lucky at St Joseph’s to have our very own prayer garden. This is accessible all year round to those pupils who want to use it. In addition, the teachers take pupils there to take time to reflect at various points in the school timetable.
At St Joseph’s we are very lucky to have our own Mary’s Garden.
The purpose of this garden is to encourage children to learn about Mary and honour her in their own way.
Mary’s Garden is an outdoor space dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. This space connects us to Jesus through Mary’s intercession and God the Father through his creation. Mary’s Garden inspires prayer, peace, love, and creativity.
The Faith Leaders are responsible for the garden. The children as well as the parents are encouraged to Come and Pray with Mary…
Every Wednesday either the faith leaders or Mrs Garofalo lead the children in reflection and prayer having discussed the Wednesday Word. This is a peaceful assembly in which all the children sit in a circle to represent the never-ending circle of God’s love.
An example of the presentations our Faith Leaders prepare can be found by following this link
Prayer Book and Rosary
When our children enter the Juniors and are preparing for their First Holy Communion, we support them in this by giving them a copy of our own prayer book and some Rosary Beads.
Useful Web Links
http://www.wednesdayword.org The official Wednesday Word website
http://directory.rcsouthwark.co.uk/rotherhithe_stpandga.html St Peter and the Guardian Angels Website
https://stgertrudesbermondsey.wordpress.com St Gertrude's Website
https://rcaoseducation.org.uk/ Southwark Diocese's Education Site
http://www.comeandseere.co.uk Official website of our RE scheme of work
http://www.missio.org.uk Missio is the Catholic Church's official charity for overseas mission
https://missiontogether.org.uk Mission Together is the Pope's official children's charity for overseas mission
https://cafod.org.uk CAFOD stands for the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development