Prayer and Collective Worship at St Thomas Aquinas
As a Catholic primary school Collective Worship plays a fundamental part of daily school life and enables us all to join together as one in prayer and worship.
Growing Closer to God
In its simplest form, prayer is defined as “talking to God.” It is a personal time of opening our hearts to our Heavenly Father and bringing everything in our hearts to Him. Prayer can be a powerful force for change in our lives, and the importance of doing it on a daily basis should be instilled in our children.
Communication is the foundation for success in any relationship. When we communicate openly and freely with each other, we learn to know each other as individuals. This principle also applies to our relationship with God. By talking to God, we can learn more about who He is and what plan He has for us.
Prayer Has a Purpose
It is important that our children understand that there is a purpose to prayer. Jesus frequently prayed during His life on Earth. He had a reason for doing so. Our prayers are something that God deeply desires. But our prayers are not for His benefit; as a perfect Divine Being, God is complete in His power and knowledge. Each teaching session begins and end with a prayer. (Morning Offering; Grace Before and After Meals; End of Day prayer.)
Children are encouraged to pray in different ways according to their age and personal development. The most important aspect of prayer for children is that they realise it is their way of communicating with God and is first and foremost a personal occasion.
Our R.E. curriculum offers progression for children as they move through the school.
Children are introduced to a variety of different ways of praying:
quiet reflection / meditation
writing own prayers
prayers through music
learning traditional Christian / Catholic prayers
Staff gather together every morning, before the school day for Staff Prayer and Reflection. Every Friday a different member of staff leads the prayer, this is an opportunity for colleagues to reflect on biblical values and promote Gospel messages.
Our School Prayer
This prayer is said daily in school:
May this school be
a place of learning.
May all of our talents be celebrated.
Help us to find strength when we or others are in need and
help us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who guides us all in
the right direction.
May St. Thomas Aquinas teach us to love everyone
in the way we love you so that our hearts, minds and spirits soar.
Throughout the year we have the joy of celebrating Mass in our school hall. Whole school masses are held at least at the beginning and end of each term and on any major feasts and Holy Days of Obligation that occur within the year Children help to prepare and lead the Mass through Altar Serving, reading and bringing up the gifts during Mass. Parents, parishioners and governors are invited to join us for Mass. Each class from Year 1 upwards will also have a termly class Mass.
Each day worship takes places in the school:
The Foundation Stage join together for daily collective worship.
The school starts the week with whole school assembly on Monday, before the morning break; this assembly focuses upon the Sunday Gospel message.
Key Stage Assemblies
Each Phase gather together each week for collective worship linked to the liturgical season or other religious themes. Teachers from each stage take turns leading the children in worship.
Each Friday the whole school community comes together for a time of collective worship. We also celebrate the achievements of the school that wee kin which we recognise and celebrate our God-given talents.. We end the week together by thanking God for all He has helped us to achieve that week.
These take place termly, with a specific focus upon our Catholic faith and mission.
Child Led Liturgy
Children in each class prepare and lead their class in worship. In key stage one the children are guided by adults to prepare for this. In key stage two the children independently plan their own worship.
Teacher Led Liturgy
Teachers plan worship for their class to allow time for reflection and prayer based on a liturgical/religious theme.
Throughout the year, to mark important events in the Church’s liturgical year, we hold special Liturgies.
Each year our Year 6 children lead the school in a Carol Service Parents, parishioners and governors are invited to join us for this special time of worship.