Please click here: 2015 RE Inspection Report

staug3 10   BJD 2882-127

 

‘We live, love and learn together in the light of the life of Christ.’

 

St Augustine’s is a Catholic School, which makes this a very special place to be, but we also welcome children from other faiths. 

 

Why does the Church provide Catholic schools?

“The Church provides Catholic schools to be more than just places where pupils are equipped with learning and skills for the workplace and responsible citizenship.  Rather, they are to be the communities where the cultural, spiritual and personal worlds within which we live are harmonised to form the roots from which grow our values, motivation, aspirations and moral imperatives that inform our choices and actions as persons.” Christ at the Centre, The Diocesan Schools Commission

We are very proud to be a Catholic school.  Our faith permeates every aspect of our school life and in the way the whole community treats and respects one another.

 

How can I support my child in the Catholic faith, especially as a non-Catholic?

We recognise that some of our parents are not Catholics or do not attend church regularly and that it can be a little overwhelming, particularly when your child first starts school!  There is no one approach to faith so we can’t give you answers but we can try and help.  Please remember we are here to help you in your child’s school journey - talk to your child’s teacher or Mrs Ritchie for support and ideas or just reassurance. We would also recommend chatting to other parents, who are a very valuable source of support, information and reassurance!

 

Collective worship

Children take part in collective worship every day, either as a whole school, a keystage (infants or juniors) or as a class.  On a Monday morning the whole school gathers to celebrate the start of a new week and will focus on a theme underpinned by Gospel virtues.  Each half term we focus on a specific Gospel virtue; this half term our focus is on being Curious and Active.  Parents are given information about the Gospel virtues to help them understand and support their children’s learning.

We have a strong relationship with our parish clergy who celebrate mass regularly with the children, either as the whole school community or in class groups.  There is an open invitation for parents, grandparents, governors and parishioners to come and celebrate the mass with us. Mass dates are published in the school and church newsletters. 

We are very fortunate to have a lovely Pugin church on site, used to celebrate some of our masses as well as being a resource for R.E, Histort and Art lessons!

StAchurch

 

Spirituality, reflection and prayer

Our children are encouraged to develop their own faith as they progress through the school, through formal RE teaching, opportunities for prayer and reflection, displays and religious artefacts around school plus dedicated physical areas. We have a Prayer Garden and the Garden of Eden. The Prayer Garden is for prayer and quiet reflection.  The ‘Garden of Eden’ is used by the children across all years for ‘treat time’ to play in and be reminded of the Glory of God.  Our Reception children often use it for stories and hot chocolate! 

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Each classroom has a ‘Prayer Corner/table’ dressed in the liturgical colours of the season, helping the children learn about the Church’s year.  The children are responsible for looking after and updating the area, changing the colour of the cloth to reflect the correct season.  They can include their own prayers, religious artefacts, living plants as well as other objects to help them think about God and others, such as pebbles and pretzels! Each class has a bubble box, where children can write their worries in a bubble and offer them to God for help and guidance. 

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We have displays around the school in the main corridors and in classrooms appropriate to the liturgical season and linked to collective worship focus.

our lady

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display

 

RE curriculum

At St. Augustine’s school, we plan and teach our RE lessons using the Birmingham Catholic Diocese Syllabus ‘Learning and Growing as the People of God’. This is a selection of documents aimed at each year group in the school, which covers all of the aspects of our Catholic faith curriculum. The work we do in RE also covers other faiths and children are encouraged to celebrate faiths that are different to their own, as well as share their own faiths and beliefs. We dedicate 10% of our teaching time to directly teaching RE each week.

 

Prayer

Prayer is a key part of Catholic life at our school and the children say a short prayer 4 times a day: at the start of the day, before meals, after meals and at the end of the day.  Please click to read the prayers -  St Augustines Prayers.  Children also regularly take part in and lead prayer times and reflections within their classes.

 

Blessing of the Stones

Children at the school take part in a special ceremony entitled “The Blessing of Stones.” Each new child to the school, no matter when they join, in Reception or further up the school, is invited to decorate a stone which is then blessed by Father Kevin and placed in the Prayer Garden.

This stone stays there and is a reminder that the child will always be a part of the school and will be remembered in prayer for as long as there is a St. Augustine’s school!

Pictures are taken of the children and are used as a start to their prayer books, which are developed each term throughout their life in the school.  Each child also takes home the picture to share with their family.

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Lenten Charities

As a school we are committed to teaching our children to look after those less fortunate than ourselves.  During Lent we support the Father Hudson’s Society, a Catholic social care charity in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.  Each class prepares a fundraising activity, ranging from car washing to cake sales. 

Children are also welcomed and supported to undertake their own fundraising activities for a charity close to their heart.

 

Trinity Catholic School

Trinity is our local Catholic secondary school in Leamington, and offers our children some fantastic opportunities to experience secondary school life and facilities in Year 5 and 6.   This year, our Year 6 pupils have been on a 'Confirmand Day' thinking about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and 'Who are You?' before their Confirmation, as well as a STEM day (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), doing DT, Food and Science lessons. In Summer 2017 our Year 6 children went to Trinity to make memory boxes.

Please click below to read a letter from the prinical of the school.

Trinity Letter

 

 

Sacramental Preparation

 

First Holy Communion

This is a truly special occasion for children in Year 3.  During Year 3 the children are prepared by their class teacher for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and the Eucharist. At the start of their sacramental preparation, the class leads a Sunday Mass at St Francis Church, celebrating with the wider parish community. 

Parents are invited to a meeting jointly led by the school and Father Kevin to explain the sacrament, the preparation the children will undertake and how they can support their child.

Children are invited to find “Prayer Partners” to pray for them by writing a letter asking someone of their choice. This could be a friend, cousin, grandparent, the choice is theirs.  They begin to be more involved in the Masses shared through the year as they join with the older children during the time of Holy Communion by receiving a blessing from Father Kevin.

Leading up to the First Holy Communion, Year 3 and their families are invited back to school to learn about the Jewish background to the Mass and share a Passover meal.

All children in the class follow the preparation and those children who are not Catholic are invited to join in on the day also, receiving a blessing and thanks from all for supporting their classmates.

The children are also supported on the day by staff and governors from the school plus a choir formed of many of the children in Years 4, 5 &6. The beautiful pew decorations are organised and made by Year 4 parents. First Holy Communion is a celebration not just for our Year 3 children but the wider school community. 

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Confirmation

Towards the end of Year 5, children at St. Augustine’s enrol for the Sacrament of Confirmation. This involves attending 9:30 mass at St. Francis church and stating Baptismal promises which were shared by their God parents at Baptism. During mass the children take a certificate of enrolment which is given to Father Kevin and then the children are presented to the parish.

Confirmation is a very important step on the children’s faith journey and shows that they are committed to becoming adult faith followers.

Parents are invited to an information evening, jointly led by the school and Father Kevin to discuss the sacrament, the preparation required and how to help support your child.

Preparation for Confirmation takes place mainly in Year 6 when the children, led by their parents, class teacher and Father Kevin priest, explore what it means to be a confirmed person and then finally decide to be confirmed.

At the mass, the bishop or Archbishop invokes the Holy Spirit to come down on the children and help to guide them through their lives.

The Year 6 children are involved at every stage of the mass and take part in a very reverent and mature manner, reading, singing and being supported by their sponsor.

The children are also supported by a choir of children from Years 3, 4 & 5 plus all the staff from the school and governors, reflecting what an important event this is for the whole school community.

bishop

 

Alton Castle Retreat

The 3-day Year 5 retreat to Alton Castle in Staffordshire has become an integral part of the Year 5 curriculum, as the start of the children’s preparation for Confirmation. It takes part during the Spring Term and is a wonderful springboard for the children to begin thinking about their commitment of the Catholic faith as well as growing in independence and maturity while having great fun.

It is a very spiritual event but also focusses very much on team building and life outdoors with lots of exploration, cycling, rock wall climbing, toasting marshmallows, den building etc – all things that Year 5 children should be doing. Alongside these activities is the capacity to spend time considering the wonderful world that God has given us and time for meditation and consideration of Bible passages. The children are given quality time to think about God’s greater plan for them and celebrate Mass together.  Our children are joined by another Year 5 group from a Catholic school elsewhere in the Diocese and join together in mixed teams for their activities.  This is a wonderful opportunity to spend time exploring their faith with others who may have different experiences and thoughts.

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alton3 

 

Year 6 Retreat Day

In the last few weeks of the school year, Year 6 go on a retreat day.  They spend time reflecting on their life at St Augustine’s, valuing friendships they have made along the way and looking forward to the future.  At the end of the day they share a mass together which they have prepared.