- to lead the children to a deepening knowledge and understanding of our Catholic Faith.
- to provide opportunities for the children to develop a loving relationship with God and their neighbours.
- to encourage children to respect and be fully aware of the needs of others as equal members of God’s creation.
The Dr Margaret Carswell Framework Model, which is taught in a three year cycle and which links to the liturgical year, is used to deliver the RE curriculum. The content of this Model offers a systematic programme of study which comprehensively covers all the strands and requirements of the Curriculum Directory. Each topic plan sets out the areas taught from Revelation, Church, Celebration and Life in Christ ensuring progression and depth of provision.
The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster who resides over the Diocese, has been created a Cardinal by Pope Francis. On Saturday 22nd February, Archbishop Vincent Nichols along with 18 other prelates, received the ring, scarlet zucchetto and biretta from the Holy Father in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He has been designated the titular church of St. Alphonsus Liguori located on the Via Merulana on the Esquiline Hill of Rome.
As part of our Religious Education programme the children are taught about world faiths, we study Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism and Islam. Each term begins with a week long study, where children being taught about different faiths.
The teaching about other religions is important because:
- Learning about other religions and cultures is one of the ways in which we fulfil our call to love our neighbour. As the Church says, “The love for all men and women is necessarily also a love for their culture. Catholic schools are, by their very vocation, intercultural.” (Congregation for Catholic Education p61).
- The Church states that schools “try to understand better the religion of one’s neighbours, and to experience something of their religious life and culture.” (Catholic Bishops’ Conference p3).
- The Church suggests that schools “find ways in which pupils can learn to engage in dialogue and to develop an attitude of respect for religious diversity. This will necessitate the inclusion of a broader study of both Christianity and of other world faiths in the Religious Education syllabus.” (Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, 1997)
- It prepares our children for life in modern Britain, giving them an understanding of the beliefs of others.
Children participate in collective worship every day. This may be part of a whole school assembly, an assembly in their own key stage or through class worship. These assemblies relate to the liturgical year, class RE topics and can be linked to the Wednesday Word, a publication which each family takes home every week. Pupils also love organising their own class worship.
We work very closely with Our Lady of Walsingham Parish. Children attend mass at the church numerous times throughout the school year, as well as hosting mass at school. Parents are always warmly invited to attend as well as local parishioners. As well as a mass at the start of each term, a second mass each term reflects the church liturgical year, including All Saints, Ash Wednesday and Ss. Peter and Paul.
Additional whole school celebrations or liturgies include assemblies relating to Harvest, Advent and Mothering Sunday as well as a very reflective Holy Week.
During the Harvest Festival, we celebrate with mass, donate food to local food banks and invite the elderly community into school for the children to perform to. The children present a display all about the harvest and then serve them tea and cakes.
At different points during the year, pupils are able to visit Westminster Cathedral for special services with other schools across the diocese.
Each year group has additional prayers to learn throughout the year, beginning with the Our Father in Reception. As children grow older, they also learn the Hail Mary and a number of other important prayers.
Throughout all of the RE topics, there are also a number of opportunities for the children to write and say their own prayers.
The Prayer Garden, which is positioned outside, next door to the dining room, is a wonderful place for the children to go to at lunchtime if they need to spend some time in prayer. Classes also make use of this space as part of their RE learning or class worship.
Our morning prayer
O my God, you love me.
You're with me night and day.
I want to love you always,
in all I do and say.
I'll try to please you Father.
Bless me through the day.
Our lunchtime prayer
Bless us O God
as we sit together.
Bless the food we eat today.
Bless the hands that made the food.
Bless us O God.
Our end of day prayer
God our Father, I come to say,
thank you for your love today.
Thank you for my family
and all the friends you give to me.
Guard me in the dark of night
and in the morning send your light.
Faith Friends - Meet Our Chaplaincy Team
Congratulations to our new faith leaders for the year:
Our Chaplaincy team ‘Faith Friends’ representatives were chosen after completing the initial application and interview process.
- Y1 Alex / Soraiya
- Y2 Ola / Carter
- Y3 Tiago / Carolina
- Y4 Calvin / Karis / Ella
- Y5 Max / Ali
We aim to:
- Promote the Catholic character of our school.
- Encourage pupils to show their Catholic values in daily living.
- Develop good relationships within and beyond the school community.
- Support the liturgy, prayer and spiritual life of the school.
- Involve pupils to act positively and fundraise for charities.
- Maintain the Chaplaincy Team webpage and Prayer Station.
- Promote Saints’ Days.
- Provide a link with the parish and Chaplaincy Teams in other schools.
- Support our school with our Mission Statement.
Chaplaincy Team in the Community
The Chaplaincy Team have a Call To Action plan in which they serve our local, national and global community and neighbours in order to promote the Common Good for all.
Over the last two years the school has supported the following charities:
- Catholic Children’s Society
- Air Ambulance
- London Colney Foodbank
- Borehamwood Foodbank
- St Alban’s Women’s Refuge
This year we have also begun working more closely with the charity - Aid to the Church in need. The children have been working collaboratively with the charity to raise important funds for the children in Lebanon.
The Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Feast
The Exaltation of the Cross – Feast
St. Matthew – Feast
St. Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)
Our Lady of Walsingham
Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
St. Therese of Lisieux
Holy Guardian Angels
Harvest Fast Day
Our Lady of the Rosary
St. Edward the Confessor
World Mission Day
St. John Paul II
All Saints – Solemnity (Holy Day of Obligation)
World Day of the Poor
St. Hilda of Whitby
Youth Sunday/Christ the King
First Sunday of Advent
St. Andrew – Feast
2nd Sunday of Advent
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity
3rd Sunday of Advent
4th Sunday of Advent
The Nativity of the Lord – Solemnity (Holy Day of Obligation)
St. Stephen, the first Martyr
The Holy Family
Mary, Mother of God – Solemnity
The Epiphany – Solemnity (Holy Day of Obligation)
The Baptism of the Lord – Feast
Sunday of the Word of God
Racial Justice Day
The Presentation of the Lord
Our Lady of Lourdes
1st Sunday of Lent
St. Peter’s Chair
2nd Sunday of Lent
3rd Sunday of Lent
4th Sunday of Lent
St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity
5th Sunday of Lent
The Annunciation of the Lord – Solemnity
Divine Mercy Sunday
St. George – Solemnity
World Day of Prayer for Vocations
The English Martyrs
The Ascension of the Lord – Solemnity – (Holy Day of Obligation)
Our Lord Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest
The Most Holy Trinity – Solemnity
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Feast
Corpus Christi – Solemnity
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Solemnity
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sts. Peter and Paul – Solemnity (Holy Day of Obligation)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
St. Mary Magdalene – Feast
Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Jean Vianney
The Transfiguration of the Lord
Blessed Nicholas Postgate, Martyr
St. Maximilian Kolbe
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Solemnity (Holy Day of Obligation)
“Because we are interdependent, the common good is more like a multiplication sum, where if any one number is zero then the total is always zero. If anyone is left out and deprived of what is essential, then the common good has been betrayed.” – The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Choosing the Common Good, paragraph 8.
“Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of His love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades.”
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
The themes of Catholic Social Teaching are:
- Human Dignity
- Community and Participation
- Care for Creation
- Dignity in Work
- Peace & Reconciliation
Our Focus for the Year
January - Solidarity - All people are God's children -. That makes us brothers and sisters. We are connected to each other. We can be very different from each other, but we are still one family - God's family.
February - An option for the poor and vulnerable - You need food, water, a house, your school, a doctor. So does everybody else on the whole Earth, but there are many people who do not have these things. Jesus wants us to take extra good care of these people.
March - The dignity of the human person - Each of us are special because of God's love. We must treat others in a caring way because they were made by God too.
May - The diginity and rights of wokers - All people work in the same way - Their work should be safe and helpful to them because God made them. By our work we help ourselves and others, and we show our love to God.
June - We are called to Stewardship - God made the earth and sky, the people, animals and flowers. God tells us we must take good care of them. It is an important job.
September - We are called to live as family and community - Jesus knows that people can only be happy if they have families and friends. He tells us that we can let these important people help us. He asks us to help them too.
October - Rights and Responsibilities - All of God's people need food, clothes, work, a home, school, a doctor. Some people have what they need, but many people don't. Jesus wants the people who have what they need to help others.
November - Promotion of Peace - When we fall our with our friends we must say sorry. We must try to live in peace and get on with everyone. This is not easy but Jesus wants us to keep on trying.
Pope Francis has declared a special Year of St Joseph to mark the 150th anniversary of Bl Pius IX’s proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
The Year of St Joseph will run from Tuesday, 8 December 2020, to Wednesday, 8 December 2021.
Pope Francis has also decreed a plenary indulgence for the Year of St Joseph, available to the faithful under the usual conditions, for various acts of devotion detailed in a report from Vatican News.
In an Apostolic Letter, Patris corde – With a father’s heart – Pope Francis describes the guardian of Our Lord as beloved, tender and loving, obedient, accepting father; one, who is both courageous and industrious, content to live and work “in the shadows” while he protected and provided for our Lord and Our Lady.
“His patient silence was the prelude to concrete expressions of trust,” Pope Francis wrote in the Letter. “Our world today needs fathers,” he said. “It has no use for tyrants who would domineer others as a means of compensating for their own needs,” and “rejects those who confuse authority with authoritarianism, service with servility, discussion with oppression, charity with a welfare mentality, power with destruction.”
Vatican News explains that Pope Francis wrote the letter “against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic” and seeks to articulate some of the manifold ways in which the global emergency has laid bare to us out interdependence and our common humanity.
“Each of us,” Pope Francis wrote, “can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
“A word of recognition and of gratitude,” Pope Francis wrote, “is due to them all.”
The Letter concludes with a prayer to St Joseph, reproduced here below in its official English translation:
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
Pope Francis challenges us to consider the kind of world we want to leave to those who come after us. It discusses the damage being inflicted on the Earth by humans and calls on ‘every person living on this planet’ to make urgent changes to our lifestyles.
It’s not just an ‘environment encyclical’, it leads us to ask ourselves about the meaning of existence and the values at the heart of social life: “What is the purpose of our life in this world? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us?” (Bishops’ Conference- The Catholic Church in England and Wales)
We have been looking at ways in which we can care for our common home and making our school community aware of global goals and the important part we all play in looking after our world.
Visit the link below to see Laudato Si’ – CAFOD animation for schools.
At St Bernadette we have dedicated this year to be ‘Our Year of the Word’. Throughout the year we shall be seeking opportunities to celebrate, live and share God’s word with our children, our parish and our school community. We are all invited to listen afresh to the word of God, to encounter anew the presence of that word, and to proclaim it afresh in the Church and the World.
There is also a website dedicated to ‘The God Who Speaks – A Year of the Word’ which can be found using this link – The Catholic Church - The God Who Speaks
Below you will find a powerpoint with additional useful information.
Sacred Scripture, the Bible, the word of God, the Holy Book is at the heart of everything the Church says and does. It is permeates our prayer and worship, how we understand the world, how we are called to live and how we relate to each another. With this in mind, we have organised for the children to have their own personal Matthew’s Gospel which they can keep for their own reflection.
Pope Francis wants to hear from you. He is listening!
Pope Francis is planning a special meeting called a ‘Synod’, to discuss how we as a Church can be better at journeying together. This is a special Synod because he wants to hear from everyone and especially those who don’t always feel that they have a voice.