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Spiritual Life

Our School Chaplain - Fr. Barry


Helping our children to value their Faith (OLR Newsletter 17/24 September)
Are you a parent or grandparent and sometimes feel overwhelmed when it comes to helping your children or young people? Help is at hand! CELEBRATE have produced three exciting faith-filled sessions full of ideas and activities to help reignite enthusiasm and engage the young people in your life.
  • Christ Centered Families - Tips and practical ideas abound in this exciting session
  • Helping our children learn to love the Bible - Great story telling fills this session which is superb for First Holy Communion and Children's Liturgy catechists too.
  • Helping Children have a personal relationship with God. Many children are a bit uncomfortable talking to God or knowing how to 'hear' him. The speaker is the Founder of Parenting for faith and has some amazing tips and hints that children will love.
To join in, go to www.celebratetrust.org and scroll down.

The spiritual life of St. Thomas a Becket Catholic Primary School community is strong, with staff, children, priests and parents taking an active part.

Big Questions

Children are encouraged to ask Big Questions about God and our faith. These do not have to be linked to the current RE topic, they can simply be questions they have pondered about. Each class has a Big Questions book on their RE table which children have access to in which to write their question. Members of the school community, teachers, TA’s, Head Teacher, Governors and priests, will respond to the question. The responses are often used during class liturgy time. If your child has a Big Question, please encourage them to write it in their class book.  

In September, January and April we celebrate mass together in the school hall to ask God’s blessing on the new terms.  In December, March and July we also come together for mass to thank God for the times that we have shared and all that we have learnt.  Holy days of obligation are also celebrated with mass in school.

Infants and juniors gather in their respective halls for assembly and collective worship.  The themes chosen follow the liturgical year or the topics in the Come and See scheme. On Tuesdays in the infants and Wednesdays in he juniors a hymn practice follows morning prayers and on Thursday in the infants and Fridays for the juniors, classes take it in turn to lead the assembly. These are open to family members and parishioners and are well supported. During assembly in October children learn about the Rosary and pray the Joyful Mysteries and in May, the Glorious Mysteries are explored.  In the season of Lent, children learn about the Easter story and follow the Stations of the Cross. 

On other days, teachers lead their children in class liturgies.  There are opportunities during this time for Bible readings, periods of quiet reflection, spontaneous and whole class prayers.  Candles are lit and music played which sets the tone for the liturgy.  In addition, meditations are sometimes used with our older children to deepen their understanding of prayer.

All children follow the “Come and See” programme as their main scheme during RE lessons. 10% of our overall teaching time is allocated to RE in line with diocesan guidelines.

First Holy Communion preparation is supported by this programme of study; however, lessons take place in individual parishes outside school time.  Staff members attend each parish First Holy Communion celebration to be with our children as they receive Jesus for the first time.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated in school during Advent and Lent.  There are also opportunities for individual confessions. During lent children may take part in a class mass.  These provide further opportunities for children to experience a more intimate mass with parents and class mates and take an active role. 

During the year classes of children attend a variety of parish masses and liturgical celebrations.  On the last day of the term in December, infant and junior children lead a carol service at Our Lady of Ransom church.  This is attended by parents and parishioners.

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