Prayer is an integral part of our school. Children pray throughout the day at St John’s. Classes say a morning prayer, lunchtime prayer and end of the day prayer together. They pray during collective worship, in RE lessons and spontaneously using the prayer area in their classrooms. We inspire children to pray in a range of different means to allow all to be able to access both academically and spiritually.
Children are expected to know certain prayers by the end of each key stage. In each class, children regularly practice these prayers and what they mean to ensure they have an understanding of what the prayers represent.
Click here to see the ‘Prayers children need to learn‘ according to their year group
Collective Acts of Worship
Worship in a Catholic school should be joyful and purposeful in order for it to become a truly spiritual experience. Collective Acts of Worship take place every day either in class, as a key stage group or as a whole school. Faith leaders lead worship and model this to classes within the school. As children go through the school, they are expected to take the lead in delivering the collective act of worship session with their peers.
“What I like about collective act of worship is reading the Bible and Lectio Divina. I like those things because I find them very peaceful and fun. I also enjoy planning collective act of worship because I get to see other peoples’ ideas and thoughts.” Catherine – year 5
Ten:Ten Collective Worship
This Collective Worship programme helps our school to grow in faith, love, understanding and compassion. You can access the parent section of the Ten:Ten website and find a wide range of media-rich prayer, liturgy, and worship resources to help your family’s journey with Jesus Christ.
The Liturgical Year
When pupils start school in September, it will be Ordinary Time, the colour for which is green. This means the prayer tables around the school will be covered in green cloth and at Mass we will see our Parish Priests, Fr Jakub and Fr Rajiv, wearing green.
This will last until the beginning of Advent when the colour changes to purple for the preparation of Jesus’ birth at Christmas time.
Whilst the date of Christmas is fixed every year, the day of the week on which it is celebrated will vary. For this reason, the date of the beginning of Advent will vary too. It will be celebrated on a Sunday four weeks before Christmas (not the 1st December as often thought). This year Advent will start on Sunday 3rd December.
September: Month of Creation
During the month of September, children will learn about the Catholic Social Teaching principle, Care of Creation in assemblies and in their class learning.
October: The Rosary / Harvest
During October, the children will develop their own understanding of the Rosary and the prayers we say for the Rosary. Each class will have a set of Rosary beads and Fr Jakub visits each class to explain how and why we use them to pray.
Some classes made their own Rosary beads
Each class will plan and lead a collective worship for a whole school Harvest liturgy on Friday 21st October.
November: Month of Remembrance
Please join us for All Saints Day Mass 10am on Wednesday 1st November 2023
Each class prayer area will have a ‘Book of remembrance’ and children will be encouraged to add names of their loved ones who have passed away to the book. The children will pray for those in their books.
December: Advent – Preparation for Christmas
We will start the Season of Advent with a whole school ‘Spirituality Day’.
Throughout this month, children will learn about preparing and waiting for Christ.
Children will make and decorate their own Bambinelli. This will then be blessed by Fr Jakub before children bring it home to place in your home nativity or in a special place in the home.
Children will make their own Advent wreaths and Advent Candles.
Children will also make a Christingle. This is a lovely experience we haven’t been able to have for a number of years due to COVID and we are looking forward to it this year! Please join us for a Christingle Service in the Church on Friday 1st December at 3:45pm. Please collect your child from school at 3:15pm and bring them to the Church for the service with their Christingle to light.