At St Bernadette’s Catholic School, the children participate in communal acts of prayer and /or liturgical celebrations every day. Sometimes this will be in class prayer, other times it may involve children in the year band joining together in prayer or it may be in a key stage assembly or a whole school mass.
Children are encouraged to learn a selection of traditional prayers in each year band, but are also encouraged to devise their own personal prayers. A list of prayers can be seen here for each year band.
Prayers take place at the beginning of the school day, before and after lunch and again at the end of the school day. Every classroom has a focal point for prayer, which is appropriate to the liturgical season. Each classroom is also named after a Saint and the children learn about their saint and the lives they lead.
Every year band will prepare a year band mass each month, which is held in school. We also have a key stage mass in school every term and a whole school mass which takes place at Holy Family Church every two to three weeks. Parishioners are invited to celebrate mass with the school and are asked to become prayer partners for children who are receiving the sacraments.
The children are able to experience the liturgical Life of the church in many ways throughout the year, such as the Stations of the Cross during Lent, Rosary Club during the months of October and may and a Carol Service at Christmas. They also celebrate their Saint’s feast day and join in Mass, with their Sister school of Holy Family, during Holy Days of obligation.
In addition to the children’s prayer life, the staff in school begin every meeting with a prayer. Different members of staff will lead the prayer, providing the staff with the opportunity to reflect on the Gospel Values. One training day every year is set aside for a staff retreat, with staff having had the opportunity to attend a retreat in Lourdes and Fatima in recent years.
Father Philip Griffin is our Parish Priest, who is a regular visitor in school. Sister Maura Halpin is also a regular visitor and together they support the children in the sacramental year bands of year 3 and year 6. They also visit the other year bands to support them in their RE lessons and in the preparation of mass.