The Catholic Life of the School
At Saint Teresa’s RC Primary School, love is placed at the heart of all we do because “God is love”.
Our school mission is:
“Loving to Learn, Learning to Love”
Saint Teresa of Lisieux centred her whole life around love. Her motto was to “Live in Love”. We are all trying to follow Saint Teresa’s 'Little Way' and want to grow in God’s love.
“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” (Saint Teresa)
From the moment the children and their families enter Saint Teresa’s we celebrate them becoming a part of the Saint Teresa’s school family.
Our Chaplaincy Team welcomes new families by leading us in prayer at our new parents meetings, by giving a welcome card and a packet of sunflower seeds. We believe that we are a nurturing school where love lies at the heart of all we do.
As our children leave our school they all give their parents a rose. Just as Saint Teresa sent roses down from Heaven, we too will always be part of the St Teresa’s school family. They also receive a crucifix as a sign that God will be always with them and that Jesus will journey with them on their path.
Living the 5 Ws at Saint Teresa's
We follow the 5 Ws at Saint Teresa’s School as recommended by the Salford Diocese - Welcome, Word, Welfare, Worship and Witness.
Welcome of all is at the heart of our school community. We respect the rights and dignity of every individual as a child of God made in His likeness. We recognise each individual child as a child of God. We want to enable every child and adult to be fulfilled in their roles at school cultivating an attitude of respect for each other among the whole community. We follow Gospel Values such as forgiveness and kindness . We recognise that the values of love, respect, passion and care are key elements in the life of our school. We all have a responsibility to follow Jesus and help and support each other in our community.
Through our WELCOME we show that we celebrate our uniqueness that we are all welcome in God’s name, as God’s children. Jesus said “Let the little children come to me for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” . We embrace that welcome and work hard to foster Gospel values with all our children . At Saint Teresa’s we are part of a special school family. We embrace our whole school community and offer the hand of friendship. We do our best to include all within our community and we celebrate our diversity. We are a family school who try hard to follow Saint Teresa’s “little way” through kindly words and a welcome that is centred around love ; Love of God, love of one another and love of life itself. We have a secure and stable staff who are very happy in their jobs and love our special school. Staff join St Teresa’s and find that it is a school that many want to stay at as their “forever” school partly because the welcome at the school is so warm. Many supply teachers, students and visitors comment on the warm welcome and support they receive.
Through our WORD we celebrate the word of God through our Religious Education Programme. Our curriculum uses the Come and See Scheme for Religious Education and our SRE programme is called Journey in Love. Our teaching and learning is inspired by the Word of God. We learn from Scripture about who Jesus was and how he acted. We learn how God wants us to be and how we should follow his message of love. The children are encouraged to reflect on the 'Big Questions' of our faith. We are starting to use the H.E.A.R model to enable us to reflect upon scripture and respond to it. We hear God through “the voice of his word".
H - His word- what stands out to you ?
E - Examine – what does it mean to you ?
A - Apply it- respond to God’s word by applying it in your own lives.
R - Respond in prayer to the scripture.
We celebrate the Word of God in many other ways in our school not just through the RE curriculum. We celebrate WORD through our collective worship, through whole school, Key Stage and class assemblies, reflection days, plays, Masses in school and Masses at Saint John’s. We join up with our buddy classes to celebrate God’s word in varying ways such as class liturgies and prayer reflection stations. We also actively follow God’s example through our school motto “Loving to Learn and Learning to love” We think carefully about our school mission statement and what it means to us as a staff and to us as pupils too.
Our WELFARE we show concern for each other, we try to help each other and those less fortunate than ourselves within and beyond our school community. We ensure our children feel safe, nurtured and loved. We pride ourselves in our care for all- pupils, staff, parents, governors, parishioners and the wider community. We work with a wide variety of outside agencies to support our children. We have the support of the Caritas Social worker. Our wonderful learning mentor supports many children who staff may have concerns or worries about this could be from a child who is very shy, a child with attachment difficulties or a child who has personal circumstances which they need support with such as bereavement, divorce etc. Our SENCO is highly skilled in supporting SEN programmes in school. We take on board many initiatives to enable our children to succeed in school such as speech and language programmes, lunch time clubs, after school clubs which include Sport, Science and Mini Vinnies (SVP). We have an excellent sports coach who works regularly with classes in school. Training is undertaken regularly in terms of First Aid, Epi Pen Training etc and we actively seek out the support of professionals for children with additional health needs. The welfare and happiness of the children in our care is pivotal in the teaching at St Teresa’s. We are a small school who work hard to nurture the children in our care. We are an open and honest staff who also support each other well in what is an ultimately rewarding job but one which offers challenges too.
Through our WORSHIP we develop our relationship with God and with each other. We nurture and deepen our love of God. We celebrate through song, through dance, through prayer, through mass, through assemblies, collective worship and through reflections throughout the year. We learn to know and love God and to recognise and respond to the person of Christ in others. Our worship is wide and varied from reflective / quiet prayer areas to the use of engaging music to arouse the children’s emotions and provide moments of epiphany and oneness with God. Through WORSHIP opportunities we reflect on spiritual, moral social and cultural issues. At St Teresa’s we encourage active participation in Liturgy, Collective Worship and personal reflection . At St. Teresa’s our prayer can be traditional prayer of the Church, prayers such as our school prayer, prayers before and after meals, or a more philosophical approach where we ask the BIG questions or reflection on the Word of God. We aim to provide as many worship opportunities for our community as possible throughout the school including small groups, year groups, the whole school, parents and parishioners. We hope that this develops, nurtures and deepens our relationship with God and with each other. Our GIFT Chaplaincy are active leaders of worship in our school and develop varied ways to worship, for example through craft workshops, reflection stations, active participation on the playground eg Ash Wednesday Sorry activity. There are many opportunities for children to reflect in prayer such as prayer boxes, prayer walls, prayer chains and prayer books.
Through our WITNESS we are all “learning to love” and are all witnesses to Gospel Values of love, respect, forgiveness, justice and peace.
We are all witnesses to God’s word through our deeds and our behaviour. We nurture, support and challenge the children to live out and to give witness to the Gospel values in their everyday experience of school life and by developing their sense of responsibility to play their part in caring activities for good causes in the wider community. We are witnesses to our environment and all God's world by being good stewards of Creation. As a staff we try hard to lead by example in our witness and strive to be good role models for the children in our care.
We believe that at Saint Teresa’s through our mission statement and school prayer we are fostering a love of learning and that we teach our children how to love through the example of Jesus Christ. We believe that “God is love”and therefore our mission statement “Loving to learn, learning to love “ is at the heart of our school. We aim to develop within our school a love of one another, love of learning, love of life itself and most importantly a love of life itself within an atmosphere of care and nuture. Love is at the heart of our school “So many hearts make our school".
Religious Education at Saint Teresa's
At Saint Teresa's we use the 'Come and See' Programme of Religious Education as recommended by the Salford Diocese. The aim of this programme is to explore the religious dimension of questions about life, dignity and purpose within the Catholic Tradition. Links are made with the pupil's own experiences and with universal experience. Links are also made with the experience of other faith traditions. The programme is therefore both 'objective' and 'subjective'.
For all children the programme will raise questions and provide materials for reflecting on their own experience. It will help them to explore the beliefs, values and way of life of the Catholic tradition and where appropriate, of other faith traditions
Each term a question is explored about a mystery of life and the Christian belief, which answers it.
Autumn Term Where did I come from? Life - Creation
Spring Term Who am I? Dignity - Incarnation
Summer Term Why am I here? Purpose – Redemption
The question is explored through three areas. A different dimension explored each term.
AREA:- Faith community - The Church
Autumn Term Family - Domestic Church
Spring Term Community - Local Church
Summer Term World - Universal Church
AREA:- The Celebration in ritual - The Sacraments
Autumn Term Belonging - Baptism, Confirmation
Spring Term Relating - Eucharist
Summer Term Inter-relating - Reconciliation
AREA:- Way of Life - Christian living
Autumn Term Loving - Advent, Christmas
Spring Term Giving - Lent, Easter
Summer Term Serving - Pentecost
RELATING THE TOPICS TO THE THEMES
Community of Faith - Church Themes
Celebration of Ritual - Sacramental Themes
Way of Living - Christian Living Themes
The programme follows the liturgical year
Autumn Domestic Church, Baptism/Confirmation, Advent/ Christmas
Spring Local Church, Eucharist, Lent/Easter
Summer Pentecost, Reconciliation, Universal Church
Study of other Religions
Vatican II was a major step forward in openness of attitude and relationships with believers of other faiths. Catholics are called to be committed to respecting people of other faiths and to recognise that God is at work in them. In the multi-faith society of today, RE should introduce children to the background and beliefs of people of other faiths so that prejudice and misunderstanding can be overcome from an early age.
We follow the recommended approach and teaching material for other faiths provided in ‘Come and See’, using other resources to supplement this.
Marist Centre Visits
Year Three and Year Six visit the Marist centre. The Year Three Children are given the opportunity to reflect upon their Sacramental Journey. Year Six focus on Transition. The Chaplaincy team also visit the Marist Centre for training.
Robinwood residentials /Training
The Year Six children visit Robinwood each year.
Collaboration with St John’s for Chaplaincy Training
Gift Chaplaincy training from Cafod
Gift Chaplaincy training in house
Attending Diocesan planning meetings for Gift Chaplaincy Celebrations
Inset with Saint John’s for Religion and liturgy.
Reflection stations led by Chaplaincy team during Advent and Lent
Chaplaincy led Assemblies throughout the year
Craft Based Religious activities led by Chaplaincy Team in Summer term.
Crucial Crew Year 6
Mini Vinnies Club after school
Cycling Proficiency Year 6
Regular Staff Liturgies
Regular RE training for Staff
Cafod and Caritas representatives often visit to lead assemblies in school. Training of Chaplains by the Cafod team. Training of Staff in delivering Mini Vinnies. Working with the diocese on GIFT chaplaincy training and diocescan planning meetings and celebrations.
We support many charities throughout the year including CAFOD, St Joseph's Penny, Macmillan, Wood Street Mission, Francis House, Cornerstones and other charities which we as a school may want to focus on eg Alzheimer's.
At Christmas classes shared Carols and hot chocolate , had a stay and pray session and made Christmas Gifts which were all used to raise money for CAFOD world gifts . Classes organise sponsored events during Lent to raise money for Cafod and Caritas . We also hold an Easter egg raffle where proceeds go to Cafod . Our Race for Life event takes place during Healthy Lifestyles week to raise money for worthwhile cancer charities. Our Chaplaincy team and School Council often come up with ideas to raise money for charities close to their own hearts . This year our EYFS team raised money for Save the Children by participating in Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk . Our Christmas and Summer fairs raise money for our school with the wonderful support of FROSTY ‘s .
Children in Year 3 receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Preparation is carried out in class with the class teacher. Meetings are held in the parish centre and parents attend with their children. School supports this process by encouraging participation and reminding families of the dates and times of the meetings. The teachers go through booklets with the children on the day of the meetings whilst Fr McMahon talks to the parents about the Sacramental journey at St Teresa’s.