At St John Vinanney we always strive 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 many 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.
Prayer is such an integral part of school life that it can never be confined to ‘timetabled’ slots but may take place in a variety of contexts other than those specifically structured.
Have a look at the photos below to see the variety of prayer in our school.
Statements to live by
The school gather in key stages weekly to listen and act upon a weekly statement to live by. Pupils participate in the assembly by reading the statement and thinking of ways they can follow it.
The resource is rooted in nine guiding principles which support the distinctive nature of Catholic schools. The statements make the Catholic values of the school explicit, promote a positive and caring Christian ethos that is understood and communicated to everyone, promote emotional literacy and contribute towards community cohesion and the common good. They ensure that children and young people are given opportunities to:
- Hear the Christian story and encounter the person of Jesus
- Understand their uniqueness as made in the image and likeness of God
- Experience a sense of belonging within a range of communities, including the local Eucharistic community
- Know, appreciate and understand the importance of social justice
- Know that our limitations are also opportunities for growth
- Understand the connection between knowledge and living
- Know that everything has the opportunity to reveal God’s presence to us, ie to see the divine in the ordinary
- Forgive and be forgiven, to reconcile and be reconciled
- Experience fun, humour, imagination, creativity, play and excitement in life
Each week a different statement such as ‘I try to be just and fair’ is displayed in every classroom and around the school, and introduced and explained to the children, usually through an assembly. Children are encouraged to think about the statement at the beginning of the school day, it is reinforced throughout the day, explored in collective worship and circle times (written specifically for each statement) and reflected upon before going home. Rewards are often linked to the statements and certificates are presented to those children who have lived the statements well that week.