Here at St Joseph's we believe our children really live out their motto of 'love, care and share'. Our faith permeates through all we do. Our vision for our school is to 'learn with Jesus, to be the best we can be', which was chosen by the children, staff and governors together.
We are often asked: Why does the Catholic Church provide schools? In his document, 'Christ at the Centre', Bishop Marcus writes that the Catholic Church provides schools to:
- Assist in its mission of making Christ known to all people.
- Assist parents, who are the primary educators of their children, in the education and religious formation of their children.
- Be at the service of the local Church - the diocese, the parish and the Christian home.
- Be “a service to society”
At St Joseph's, this is what we strive to provide.
"Go ye therefore and teach all nations" Matt 28: 19
- We aim to grow in knowledge and friendship with God
- We, the governors, the Headteacher and the staff will uphold the Catholic Values of our school life
- We will feel compassion for others in difficulties
- We aim for a welcoming, Christian atmosphere
- We live our lives according to Gospel values, following the examples of the Saints
- We will achieve the best we can academically, spiritually and in everything we do
- We will work in partnership with our families, our parish, other schools and our diocese to create a community of faith
- We welcome other faiths working in harmony with Catholic traditions
- We will deliver a high standard of Religious Education which will be reflected in all of our teaching
- Prayer and Collective Worship will be at the heart of our school life and we will enjoy regular visits from our parish priest who leads us in our spiritual development
- We will care for our world and everything in it
In our latest RE Inspection (March 2019) it was said that:
"Pupils’ contribution to the Catholic Life of the school is outstanding. The pupils are rightly proud of their Catholic school and know that they benefit from attendance there...
High quality Collective Worship is central to the life of the school and is a key part of every school celebration being a prayerful and reverential experience for all.
Pupils are extremely polite and helpful to visitors and this goes hand in hand with their exemplary behaviour towards each other. They willingly accept responsibility for caring for each other.
A majority of the creative Religious Education teaching is outstanding but is never less than consistently good. Staff subject knowledge is excellent and pupils are motivated and enthused by the creative challenges presented to them in lessons."
For further details, please read the full report here.
Here are some examples from 2021-22 of how we live our faith:
Academy Trust Art Project
In Lent, we are thinking about the importance of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
During Lent this year, we will be supporting Mary's Meals alongside our parish community. Each child in school has brought home a collection box for ‘Mary’s Meals’. This is a charity that provides a daily meal for children in poverty in their school, to encourage them to come to school and receive an education. This may well be the child’s only meal of the day. We are asking you to use the box to encourage our children to think of others during Lent, by putting in money they may well have spent on sweets or other treats, or some or all of money you may give them for cleaning their room or other jobs around the home. Maybe you can think of other fund-raising activities! To feed a child for a year cost only £15.90 so if you can raise that amount, you will have fed a child for a year.
As part of our 'Well-Being Week', our Mini Vinnies met with Mrs McArthur from the SVP, to explore what it means to 'give to others' and how we can all give our help and time to support those who are in need.
Faith in Action
Some of our Y5s and Y6s are undertaking their 'Faith in Action Award'. To achieve this award, the children have to earn 1000 points in the following areas: Parish Practise, Pilgrimage and Procession, Prayer and Social Action. You might see them raising money for charity, leading worship in school, or helping out at Mass on Sunday. Look out for them!
Good Shepherd Celebration
The Good Shepherd Appeal is an opportunity for children to help children in our Diocese. The partnership between schools and Catholic Care provides funding to ensure that loving families are provided for those children who depend upon the support of Catholic Care. It also provides care and support for other vulnerable groups within the Diocese.
During Lent we were given an opportunity to reflect upon the very heart of Christian life: charity. It is a favourable time to renew our journey of faith, both as individuals and as a community, with the help of the word of God and the sacraments. This journey is one marked by prayer and sharing, silence and fasting, in anticipation of the joy of Easter.
We are called to help build up God’s Kingdom here on earth and Lent is a good time for us to help our children realise that they too can help those who are in need. We raise money during Lent to help others and present a cheque to the Bishop.
All the children in school have an opportunity to lead prayer in their class at an age appropriate level. Some of the Y5/6 children are Faith leaders and they plan and deliver acts of worship for other classes (See the worship section for further details!)
There are opportunities for prayer every day, but especially during the seasons of Advent and Lent.
Remembering the Fallen
The Faith Leaders led a Remembrance Liturgy for the fallen soldiers of WWII and subsequent wars. They also represented the school at the Bingley Memorial Parade.
Prayer is a fundamental part of everyday life at St. Joseph’s. Staff and children pray together regularly. Pupils increasingly prepare and lead worship with confidence and enthusiasm. All are at ease and act with respect when praying with others who have different beliefs and attitudes towards spirituality. High quality Collective Worship is central to the life of this school and a key part of every school celebration. Pupils enjoy celebrating their faith through their actions, prayers and hymns. Although space is very limited, a small prayer room has been created inside the school building and following recent sad bereavements in school, a memorial garden has been created outside within the school grounds. Relatives visit regularly.
"The cross curricular approach to RE at the school enables pupils to make out of school visits to places of worship. Speakers of other faiths are also invited into school to talk about their particular beliefs, customs and practices. Pupils say how much they enjoy taking part in these activities."
Our RE curriculum is predominantly based upon the Catholic tradition. However, we believe it is vital that all children understand and appreciate our multicultural society and celebrate the similarities as well as the differences of belief and faith practise between each faith. We find out about Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism on a rolling programme. The children find out about aspects of the other faiths, their core beliefs and practises. They benefit from visiting speakers and school trips to other places of worship. The children especially enjoy hearing from children, staff and parents of other faiths sharing that faith with them and explaining their beliefs and practises.
Displays Around School
"RE displays are of a notably high standard and have a very positive impact on the learning environment of the school. RE displays are frequently accompanied by appropriately thought provoking quotations from scripture and prominently feature pupils’ own work. Displays conform to diocesan guidelines and the school’s own RE Display Policy."