St Joseph's Catholic Academy

Mobberley Road, Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST6 5RN, Tel: 01782 235393

"Learning and Growing Together in Faith and Friendship"

Catholic Life

Catholic Life

 Our Parish Community

Our Parish church is St Joseph's, Goldenhill which is part of a partnership of parishes. Our parish priest, Fr. Julian Green, works very closely with the school to enhance our Catholic Life and frequently comes into school to say Mass and prepare children to receive the Sacraments. 

Please click the link below to take you the the Parish Partnership website:

http://www.partnershipparishes.org/parish-churches/st-josephs-goldenhill/

Our Catholic Virtues

Each term, we focus on two of the Birmingham Diocesan Catholic Pupil Profile 'Values and Virtues', which help to teach our children the importance of living as good Christian followers today. This half term (Summer 1), we are focussing on being Curious and ActiveThrough these virtues and values. we are encouraging children to ask searching questions about God and their faith, and actively engage in the life and work of our Catholic church.  

Religious Education

As a Catholic school, Religious Education is a core subject and is at the forefront of our curriculum. We follow the Birmingham Diocese strategy, 'Learning and Growing as the People of God'. This scheme of work enables all of our children to learn about the five strands of our faith:

*Scripture

*The Sacraments

*Living as Christians

*Prayer

*The Liturgical Year

Children are taught the strategy from the Nursery class up to Year 6. Each unit builds upon children's prior learning from the previous year and enables progression of knowledge, understanding and skills to develop children's understanding of our Catholic faith. Children are given opportunities to learn in a wide variety of ways, including learning through studying Bible stories, guided mediations, reflections, collective worship, art, drama, etc. There is a 4-yearly cycle of assessment, to enable staff and leaders to monitor and moderate Religious Education. The assessment focus for this year is Living as Christians, including Prayer. 

World Faiths

In addition to Catholic education being at the heart of our curriculum, children are also given the opportunity to learn about other cultures and faiths: notably Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. The Church calls us to be committed to respecting people from other religions and to recognise that God is at work within them, our brothers and sisters.  Pupils are encouraged not merely to learn facts about other religions but to also reflect upon them and gain insight from them. We teach each world faith separately through assemblies and visits from people of other faiths, and to places of worship, ensuring that comparisons are not made to our own faith as Catholics,  so that the integrity and practice of each faith is not compromised. This provision is mapped into both the whole-school calendar and class timetables. 

Relationships and Sex Education

As a school, we follow the RSE programme, 'A Journey in Love', written by Sister Jude Grode, as recommended by Birmingham Diocese Education Service. This programme is rooted in our Catholic faith and is progressive in its teaching of children's discovery of themselves and the wider world, from Nursery right through to Year 6. 'A Journey in Love' focuses on friendship, family, community, relationships and spirituality; providing a guide to children’s development as young Catholics. In addition to this, Year 6 children receive a visit from the school nurse to inform them about their changing bodies as they mature. Parents are informed prior to this visit and have the option to remove their child from part or all of this session if they so wish. 

Prayer Life

To help our children to develop their understanding of Catholic prayer, we are now saying a prayer of the month daily in class. The prayers for Key Stage 1 this term are:

April: Prayer to the Guardian Angel

May: Hail Mary

June: Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester

July: Glory Be

In Key Stage 2, we are continuing to develop our understanding of traditional Catholic prayer, and will be learning the following prayers and their traditions each month:

April: Prayer to the Holy Spirit (to support our Confirmandi who will be confirmed on April 7th)

May: The Angelus

June: Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester

July: The Magnificat

Prayer is central to the life of our school and there are many opportunities for children to pray together frequently throughout the school day. There are 4 set prayer times in which all classes pray together: during morning gathering, grace before and after lunch and at hometime. In addition to this, children prayer during RE lessons and collective worship using a variety of prayer approaches, such as open prayer, choral prayer, guided meditation, etc to further develop their personal relationship with God. 

Throughout the months of October and May, a Rosary prayer group takes places every lunchtime for Key Stage 2. This is led by our RE champions, Chloe and Phoebe. 

During Lent and Advent, liturgies take place during the school day. These prayer group sessions are led by staff and pupils.

Sacramental Life

The school and parish work closely together to bring children preparing to receive the Sacraments of Reconcilation, Holy Communion and Confirmation closer to God.

Confirmation

Fourteen of our Year 6 children received the Sacrament of Confirmation on Sunday 7th April. The were confirmed in their faith by Bishop David McGough in a beautiful celebratory Mass. We then held a Thanksgiving Mass with the children, parish and families on Thursday 11th April, followed by a celebration at school, including sharing a beautiful cake made by one of our wonderful, talented parents, Mrs Wakefield. Thank you very much to Mrs Wakefiled, and to Fr. Julian for all of his support throughout our preparations. 

      

First Holy Communion

The school and parish are working together to prepare many of our Year 4 children to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion on either 23rd or 30th June of this year. We follow the sacramental programme, 'I want to make my home in you', which is a thorough, visual catechetical course designed to deepen understanding of the Eucharist for both the children preparing to receive First Holy Communion, and also their parents who attend along with their children several times per month. 

Vocations- children who lead our faith

At St Joseph's, we encourage children to be active in their life of faith. Two of our Year 6 children, Phoebe and Chloe, are our RE Champions, who support Mrs Wilson, the RE Leader, in her work in sharing the Catholic faith with all pupils, through monitoring the school environment, preparing and delivering assemblies and prayer groups, etc. We also have an active 'Mini-Vinnies' group, who meet weekly with Miss McGough to promote faith and charity within our school.

Charitable Work

As a Catholic school, we always seek to give alms to those in need. We fundraise throughout the year for a variety of charitable causes, including global, national and local charities:

Global:  Mary's Meals, which sets up a schools' feeding programme in the world's poorest countries and CAFOD

                                                                                       

National: The Good Shepherd Appeal- Fr. Hudson's Care

                                               

Local: Stoke-on-Trent Food Bank