RE Latest News
Welcome to our RE Latest news page. This page is full of stories of how RE is incorporated into everything we do at St Joseph's. Led by Mrs McGrath, Mrs Osman and our Chaplain Mrs Barnes, Our faith is showcased in liturgies, helping others, attending church as well as taking part in activites that are both fun and educational. The calendar year is full of celebration and we hope you can see here just a small part of what happens at the school. To add our RE dates into your own calendar you can click the small +Google Calendar. Please do check back regularly for new content.
Important RE Dates - Spring 2024
Catholic Social Teaching Day - 3rd December 2023
During the season of Advent, we reflected that because God loves us we must love each other- so it was a perfect time to dedicate a whole day to Catholic Social Teaching. We were delighted to welcome back Jan Beaumont from CAFOD who visited each class to support us with our activities.
Here are just a few examples of how we embraced CST on this wonderful day!
Good Samaritan Workshops led by the Faith Leaders
The workshops were held in the hall, where children gathered in a circle around the Faith Leaders.
Each year group was asked to imagine that they were part of the crowd listening to Jesus telling this wonderful parable. Children were invited to help the lawyer answer the question, “Who is my neighbour?” Others were chosen to walk down the road to Jericho and act out what they would have done had they seen the injured man. Years 1 to 4 took part in role plays led by the Faith Leaders to think about how we can be like the Good Samaritan today. In addition to these role plays, Years 5 and 6 were challenged further to think about why Jesus chose a Samaritan to be the hero of the story and were asked to reflect and share their experiences of being like the Good Samaritan or like the passers-by.
Every child was given something to take away to enable them to keep the message of this story in their hearts.
Years 1 and 2 were given Good Samaritan puppets and were asked to write an example of a time they have been like the Good Samaritan.
Years 3 and 4 were given a helping hand template and asked to reflect on how they will use the season of Advent to be Good Samaritans at home and at school.
Years 5 and 6 were given a sealed envelope as they entered the hall, which contained a message from Pope Francis about the choice we face each day to either be Good Samaritans or passers-by. At the end of the workshop the children opened their envelopes and reflected and discussed the challenge of this choice and how they will act on it.
The Faith Leaders are already thinking about what they will do for their next workshop!
Cake Sale after School
The Faith Leaders ran a cake sale after school to raise money for CAFOD. Among the delights on offer were biscuits freshly iced by Year 1 and Year 5 that day.
Principle Focus for each Year Group
Each year group spent the whold day focussing on one of the principles. This included finding out about an area of CAFOD’S work, and linking it to a piece of scripture. All activities had the theme of doing good for others. Here are just some examples.
November - December 2023
Autumn term has been an incredibly busy term at St Joseph’s. We celebrated Harvest as a school and your very kind donations were shared between St Matthew’s foodbank and Sutton food store.
Year 6 faith leaders are doing an amazing job and leading collective worships and assemblies whilst also supporting younger children across the school.
We have celebrated the feast days of St Matthew, St Andrew, St Cecila, St Francis. Children across the school marked all saints day with two liturgies at school. Year 6 led the whole school in a liturgy for Remembrance day with the whole school community observing a two minute silence. Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 have all attended Mass at St Joseph’s and had an opportunity to chat with Father Tony afterwards.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather and everyone had an incredible day attending the Wintershall workshops. The children moved from station to station and were given an item to recall the part of the Nativity story. Children have been using these bags in the class collective worship sessions.
Comments from Children
Reception child- ‘We learned the story of Jesus - I was shocked that sheep’s wool was oily.’
Year 1 child- ‘I loved seeing the wise men and the donkey.’
Year 2 child- "I liked the donkey and he must have had a hard job holding Mary on the journey to Bethlehem."
Year 3 child-’I really enjoyed going to each station and collecting all the items for my bag which reminds me of the story. I enjoyed listening to the story of Jesus and how he changed our lives.’
Year 4 child-’I enjoyed preparing and remembering the Nativity story.’
Year 6 child-’It was fantastic the visit in my opinion it was one of the best ways to understand the story of the Nativity.’
Year 6 child- ‘It was the highlight of my year, so far.’
Mrs Osman with the Faith leaders led an incredible CST day with each year group having a different activity that was focused on the different principles. They ran a cake sale and raised an amazing £ 606.00 for CAFOD.
Childrens thoughts on the Day
‘I enjoyed learning about how to care for the world.’-Reception child
‘I loved learning about the Good Samaritan.’- Year 1 child
"I loved learning that everyone is special."- Year 2
‘We were taught about how Jesus Christ makes a better world for everyone to live in.’- Year 3 child
"We thought and learnt about how we can be like the Good Samaritan.’- Year 4 child
‘I enjoyed decorating the biscuits and giving them to people to say thank you for all they do to help others.’ Year 5 child
‘CST day was fun and the idea of making Christmas cards for prisoners was creative’-Year 6
The Year 6 Faith leaders met with Marie Norbury from Pact and she shared information about her job and how the charity supports both prisoners and their families. She linked the charity's work to the CST principles and they discussed ways they could help and support the charity. Following her visit the faith leaders worked with Mrs Osman - they made a powerpoint and presented this information to Year 6. They shared the workshop in a Collective worship session and the Year 6 children then made prayer cards and Christmas cards for the prisoners and their families. Marie came back in early December and collected the cards. She sent an email to the school afterwards saying- 'Once again, thank you for the opportunity to speak to Year 6. The Christmas cards have been given to our Family Services team at HMP Downview (women) so they will be written by the mums and given to their children at the Christmas family days. I will be at HMP High Down and HMP Downview for Mass on Christmas Day so I’ll give the prayer cards out then. Bishop Richard is celebrating both Masses.'
Each day in class we have two Daily Disciples who help lead prayers. Mr Aldridge has made each year group a lanyard with their year group saint picture on the back. This reminds the children of their important job for the day
Fr Tony and Fr Binoy have visited the school children in Years 5 and 6 and staff had the opportunity to attend reconciliation or just have a chat should they wish
Key stage one have shared with us their Nativity productions at school. Key stage 2 have led Nativity concerts at the Church - reminding us of the true message of Christmas. This year our chosen charities for our retiring collection are Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes fund at the request of our Bishop and East Surrey hospital children’s appeal, which the faith leaders discussed and decided was the charity they wished for us to support.
Again many thanks to you all when things are hard for us-for your continued support and generosity with our Christmas foodbank appeal.
Our Previous RE News
September - November 2023
Welcome back to a new academic year. This Year Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be using the new Religious Education Directory guidance, ‘To Know you more clearly’ to support the teaching and learning of Religious Education in classes. Many of you attended your child’s year group curriculum evenings where the teachers gave you an overview of the learning for the year- copies of the powerpoints are on Google Classroom and will be on our website soon. The new Prayer and Liturgy directory has also been updated, ‘To love you more dearly’.
The children of St Joseph's know that it is their mission to help others, especially those in need. On the 9th October our Faith Leaders lead an assembly to promote Harvest Festival . They explained why we need to donate items to our local food bank and 50p to CAFOD. Father Tony will join the school community in a Harvest Liturgy on the 19th October. Thank you to all those who contributed to help provide food to those who are not as fortunate. We thank you for your kindness and generosity.
As a staff on our first day back Mrs Osman led us in a beautiful collective worship. At the end of the session we were each given a paper heart and asked in silence to reflect on our hopes for the school and the children in our care over the coming academic year.
Some of our staff hopes for our children this year.
I hope they have fun and feel safe.
These reflections can be found in a book next to the St Joseph statue in the foyer
Mrs Barnes went on a pilgrimage to Medugorge at the beginning of September and very kindly has had a Mass offered up for the intention of all pupils, staff and their families at St Joseph’s.
Mrs Lawlor and Mrs McGrath interviewed the Year 6 children who had applied for the position of Head Boy and Head Girl- it was fantastic to meet with them all. One of the questions posed to the candidates was about our Catholic school - what we do well and what we could do even better. The children had lots of fantastic and positive things to say about life at St Joseph’s- they also came up with some wonderful ideas of things we could do which we will endeavour where possible to put into place.
Mr Aldridge is working with the children and staff about sustainability and how we can all play our part in helping the planet, this links with our Catholic Social Teaching principles. Keep an eye out for further information about this.
Children will be given the opportunity to apply to become part of the Stewardship council - St Joseph's Eco Warriors! This will be in addition to our Primary Leadership team. We feel these positions are important for the children as they represent their peers and their ideas are incorporated into various aspects of school life.
This year's Faith Leaders are already in post. A key part of their role is to find ways that children can contribute to the Catholic life of the school. They have already got off to a flying start! During their first meeting they have come up with ideas about how the school can gather for assemblies more reverently.
⇐We are delighted to announce that The Wintershall Education Team will bring their live travelling crib, including donkey, sheep, a wise man and Mary, to the school and will run a day of workshops for the whole school. They have visited the school before and the children thoroughly enjoyed how it brought the Nativity story alive.
⇒A huge thank-you to the SJA who have ordered new Bibles for KS2 replacing some of our existing books- this will be very welcome as children use them each week. Additionally they have provided each class with a YOUCAT book which is a resource that can be used to help children with further questions they may have about our faith and help to deepen their understanding.
Mrs Barnes will be running her October rosary club and all children in Key Stage 2 have been invited. The children will be able to take the rosaries that were kindly donated last year by Catenian Rosary Group and Father Tony blessed at the May procession.
Over the course of the year each year group will lead an assembly on their Year group Saint and they will present what they have learnt to their buddy class.
You can find out more about our Year Group Saints by clicking the button below.
A Plea for help
Years 4, 5 and 6 will where possible attend Mass on Holy days of Obligation, and over the course of the Year each Year group will attend Mass or Church. To help us facilitate this for the children we need adult helpers to support us with walking classes to and from Mass. We will inform you of dates so do keep an eye out, but please do let Mrs McGrath know if you can be of assistance- it is greatly appreciated.