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Policies for Catholic Education

Spiritual Development Policy

Relationships and Sex Education Policy 2017-8

Mission Statement

 

“At St Alban’s School we pray together, work together and play together”

This is what our children said when we asked…

“What is special about our school?”

Here at St Alban’s we are inspired to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and to be the best that we can be by being kind and respecting everyone and everything. We do our best in school and at home, working hard and caring for each other and for the whole world. We know that we are all special in different ways and we always try to include everybody in our friendship.

At St Alban’s, we believe that relationship and sex education needs to be a highly personalised area of the curriculum. We encourage parents and carers to discuss education for personal relationships with their child when they feel it is appropriate as these are the first and best educators of their children.

Through the teachings of our Catholic faith, we believe that each person is special and unique in the eyes of God, and it should be so in our eyes also. Every member of staff is therefore committed to developing and fostering a positive self-image in every child from the day they enter our school.

In this policy the Governors and teachers, in partnership with parents and carers, set out their intentions about relationships and sex education (RSE). We set out our rationale for and approach to relationships and sex education in the school.

Defining Relationships and Sex Education

The DFE guidance defines RSE as “lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage and family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality and sexual health”. It is about the development of the pupil’s knowledge and understanding of herself or himself as a sexual being, about what it means to be fully human, called to live in right relationships with self and others and being enabled to make moral decisions in conscience. The DFE identifies three main elements: “attitudes and values, personal and social skills, and knowledge and understanding”.

‘I HAVE COME THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT TO THE FULL’ (Jn.10.10)

We are involved in relationships and sex education precisely because of our Christian beliefs about God and about the human person. The belief in the unique dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God underpins the approach to all education in a Catholic school. Our approach to RSE therefore is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the human person and presented in a positive framework of Christian ideals.

At the heart of Christian life is the Trinity – Father, Son and Spirit in communion, united in loving relationship and embracing all people and all creation. As a consequence of the Christian belief that we are made in the image and likeness of God, gender and sexuality are seen as God’s gift, reflect God’s beauty, and share in the divine creativity. RSE, therefore, will be placed firmly within the context of relationships as it is there that sexuality grows and develops.

Following the guidance of the Bishops of England and Wales and as advocated by the DFE, RSE will be firmly embedded in the PSHE framework as it is concerned with nurturing human wholeness and integral to the physical, spiritual, emotional, moral, social and intellectual development of pupils. It is centred on Christ’s vision of being human as good news and will be positive and prudent, showing the potential for development, while ensuring the dangers and risks involved are understood and appreciated.

All RSE will be in accordance with the Church’s moral teaching. It will emphasise the central importance of marriage and the family whilst acknowledging that all pupils have a fundamental right to have their life respected whatever household they come from and support will be provided to help pupils deal with different sets of values.

Values and Virtues

Our programme enshrines Catholic values relating to the importance of stable relationships, marriage and family life. It also promotes those virtues which are essential in responding to God’s call to love others with a proper respect for their dignity and the dignity of the human body. The following virtues will be explicitly explored and promoted: faithfulness, fruitfulness, chastity, integrity, prudence, mercy and compassion.

Aims of RSE

Objectives

To develop the following attitudes and virtues:

–  reverence for the gift of human sexuality and fertility;

–  respect for the dignity of every human being – in their own person and in the person of others;

–  joy in the goodness of the created world and their own bodily natures;

–  responsibility for their own actions and a recognition of the impact of these on others;

–  recognising and valuing their own sexual identity and that of others;

–  celebrating the gift of life-long, self-giving love;

–  recognising the importance of marriage and family life;

–  fidelity in relationships.

To develop the following personal and social skills:

–  making sound judgements and good choices which show integrity and which are respectful of the individual’s commitments;

–  loving and being loved, and the ability to form friendships and loving, stable relationships free from exploitation, abuse and bullying;

– managing emotions within relationships, and when relationships break down, with confidence, sensitivity and dignity;

–  managing conflict positively, recognising the value of difference;

–  cultivating humility, mercy and compassion, learning to forgive and be forgiven;

– developing self-esteem and confidence, demonstrating self-respect and empathy for others;

–  building resilience and the ability to resist unwanted pressures, recognising the influence and impact of the media, internet and peer groups and so developing the ability to assess pressures and respond appropriately;

–  being patient, delaying gratification and learning to recognise the appropriate stages in the development of relationships, and how to love chastely;

–  assessing risks and managing behaviours in order to minimise the risk to health and personal integrity.

To know and understand:

–  the Church’s teaching on relationships and the nature and meaning of sexual love;

–  the Church’s teaching on marriage and the importance of marriage and family life;

–  the centrality and importance of virtue in guiding human living and loving;

–  the physical and psychological changes that accompany puberty;

–  the facts about human reproduction, how love is expressed sexually and how sexual love plays an essential and sacred role in procreation;

–  how to manage fertility in a way which is compatible with their stage of life, their own values and commitments, including an understanding of the difference between natural family planning and artificial contraception;

– how to keep themselves safe from sexually transmitted infections and how to avoid unintended pregnancy, including where to go for advice.

Outcomes

INCLUSION AND DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING

We will ensure RSE is sensitive to the different needs of individual pupils in respect to pupils’ different abilities, levels of maturity and personal circumstances; for example their own sexual orientation, faith or culture and is taught in a way that does not subject pupils to discrimination. Lessons will also help children to realise the nature and consequences of discrimination, teasing, bullying and aggressive behaviours (including cyber-bullying), use of prejudice-based language and how to respond and ask for help. (In looking at these questions, it is important to draw links to the school’s inclusion policy).

EQUALITIES OBLIGATIONS

The governing body have wider responsibilities under the Equalities Act 2010 and will ensure that our school strives to do the best for all of the pupils, irrespective of disability, educational needs, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, pregnancy, maternity, sex, gender identity, religion or sexual orientation or whether they are looked after children.

BROAD CONTENT OF RSE

Three aspects of RSE – attitudes and values, knowledge and understanding, and personal and social skills will be provided in three inter-related ways: the whole school / ethos dimension; a cross-curricular dimension and a specific relationships and sex curriculum.

PROGRAMME / RESOURCES

Appendices to this policy provide further information about the programme and resources for suggested use.

Teaching strategies will include:

–  establishing ground rules

–  distancing techniques

–  discussion

–  project learning

–  reflection

–  experiential

–  active

–  brainstorming

–  film & video

–  group work

–  role-play

–  trigger drawings

–  values clarification

–  anonymous questions (worry box)

PARENTS AND CARERS

We recognise that parents (and other carers) are the primary educators of their children. As a Catholic school, we provide the principal means by which the Church assists parents and carers in educating their children. Therefore, the school will support parents and carers by providing material to be shared with their children at home and workshops to help parents/carers to find out more. Parents/carers will be informed by letter when the more sensitive aspects of RSE will be covered in order that they can be prepared to talk and answer questions about their children’s learning.

They will be able to view the resources used by the school in the RSE programme through our website; paper copies will also be available on request. Our aim is that every parent and carer will have full confidence in the school’s RSE programme to meet their child’s needs.

Meetings will be held annually to inform parents about what will be taught during their child’s RSE lessons (particularly for those in Years 5 and 6). Resources that school use will also be made available for parents to ensure consistency and to ensure that they are aware of what their child has been discussing in school. Also, it allows parents to do through the topic with their child first if they feel the need to do so.

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from RSE, except  those elements which are required by the National Curriculum science objective. Should parents wish to withdraw their children, they are asked to notify the school by contacting the head teacher. The school will provide support by providing material for parents to help the children with their learning.

We believe that the controlled environment of the classroom is the safest place for this curriculum to be followed.

Delivery of RSE

RSE is taught through our lifestyle in school and through the subjects of Religious Education using ‘Come and See’, Science and PSHE (using the SUMO – Stop, Understand, Move on –  programme). Parts of RSE are taught specifically using ‘A Journey in Love’ by Sr. Jude Groden et al, as recommended by the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Teachers will use their professional judgment when addressing issues in RSE. Careful consideration will be given to the wide and varied experience and backgrounds of the pupils in their care. While personal views are respected, all RSE lessons are taught without bias. Topics are presented using a variety of views and beliefs so that pupils are able to form their own, informed opinions but also respect others who may have different opinions.

Children will be taught in whole year groups and boys and girls will not be separated. This is to enable children to understand more about themselves, and those of others, and to learn that, particularly in Year 5 and 6, that physical and emotional changes happen to both boys and girls. This also stops secrecy and prevents children sourcing answers to their questions from the wrong places.

Responsibility for teaching the programme

Responsibility for the specific relationships and sex education programme lies with the children’s class teachers. However, all staff will be involved in developing the attitudes and values aspect of the RSE programme. They will be role models for pupils of good, healthy, wholesome relationships as between staff, other adults and pupils. They will also be contributing to the development of pupils’ personal and social skills.

Other roles and responsibilities involving RSE

Governors

  • Ensure that the policy is available to parents;
  • Ensure that the policy is in accordance with other whole school policies, e.g., SEN, the ethos of the school and our Christian beliefs;
  • Ensure that parents know of their right to withdraw their children;
  • Establish a link governor to share in the monitoring and evaluation of the programme, including resources used;
  • Ensure that the policy provides proper and adequate coverage of relevant National Curriculum science topics and the setting of RSE within PSHE.

Head teacher

The Head teacher takes overall delegated responsibility for the implementation of this policy and for liaison with the Governing Body, parents, the Diocesan Schools’ Service and the Local Authority, also appropriate agencies.

RE/RSE Co-ordinator

The co-ordinator with the head teacher has a general responsibility for supporting other members of staff in the implementation of this policy and will provide a lead in the dissemination of the information relating to RSE and the provision of in-service training. They will also liaise with the PSHE lead when needed.

All Staff

RSE is a whole school journey. All teachers have a responsibility of care; as well as fostering academic progress they should actively contribute to the guardianship and guidance of the physical, moral and spiritual well-being of their pupils. Teachers will be expected to teach RSE in accordance with the Catholic Ethos of the school. Appropriate training will be made available for all staff teaching RSE. All staff have been included in the development of this policy and all staff should be aware of the policy and how it relates to them.

Pupils with particular difficulties whether of a physical or intellectual nature will receive appropriately differentiated support in order to enable them to achieve mature knowledge, understanding and skills. Teaching methods will be adapted to meet the varying needs of this group of pupils.

Children’s questions

As a school, we want to promote a healthy, positive atmosphere in which RSE can take place. We want to ensure that pupils can ask questions freely, be confident that their questions will be answered, and be sure that they will be free from bullying or harassment from other children and young people.

We encourage children to ask questions, but we will also give them the opportunity to ask questions anonymously. If questions come up with topics that are not covered on the school’s RSE programme at the children’s year group, teachers will explain to the children that they cannot answer the question, but they can ask their parents, or they will find out later on in school when they learn more about the topic.

Controversial or Sensitive issues

There will always be sensitive or controversial issues in the field of RSE. These may be matters of maturity, of personal involvement or experiences of children, of disagreement with the official teaching of the Church, of illegal activity or other doubtful, dubious or harmful activity. The governors believe that children are best educated, protected from harm and exploitation by discussing such issues openly within the context of the RSE programme. The use of ground rules, negotiated between teachers and pupils, will help to create a supportive climate for discussion. (See also Sex and Relationship Guidance, 4.5 ‘Dealing with questions’ 0116/2000, Department for Education and Employment, July 2000 for more detail)

Some questions may raise issues which it would not be appropriate for teachers to address during ordinary class time (for example, where a child or young person’s questions hints at abuse, is deliberately controversial or is of a personal nature). In this instance, the safeguarding officers will be notified.

Supporting young people and children who are at risk

Children will also need to feel safe and secure in the environment in which RSE takes place. Effective RSE will provide opportunities for discussion of what is and is not appropriate in relationships. Such discussion may well lead to disclosure of a safeguarding issue. Teachers will need to be aware of the needs of their pupils and not let any fears and worries go unnoticed. Where a teacher suspects that a child or young person is a victim of or is at risk of abuse they are required to follow the school’s safeguarding policy and immediately inform the designated senior member of staff responsible.

Confidentiality and Advice

All governors, all teachers, all support staff, all parents and all pupils must be made aware of this policy, particularly as it relates to issues of advice and confidentiality.

All lessons, especially those in the RSE programme, will have the best interests of pupils at heart, enabling them to grow in knowledge and understanding of relationships and sex, developing appropriate personal and social skills and becoming appreciative of the values and attitudes which underpin the Christian understanding of what it means to be fully human.

Pupils will be encouraged to talk to their parents/carers about the issues which are discussed in the programme. Teachers will always help pupils facing personal difficulties. Teachers should explain to pupils that they cannot offer unconditional confidentiality, in matters which are illegal or abusive for instance. Teachers will explain that in such circumstance they would have to inform others, e.g., parents, head teacher, but that the pupils would always be informed first that such action was going to be taken.

Assessment, Recording and Reporting

A record will be kept in each teacher’s planning of the delivery of RSE and assessment will be ongoing throughout, both within each year and across each Key Stage, in accordance with the Journey in Love programme structure and our monitoring and evaluating arrangements. Children will have the opportunity for self-evaluation at a level suitable to their age. Reporting is made in each pupil’s individual annual report under ‘General Comment’.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The RSE Co-ordinator will monitor the provision of the various dimensions of the programme by examining plans, schemes of work and samples of pupils work at regular intervals. The programme will be evaluated biennially by means of questionnaires/ response sheets/needs assessment given to pupils, and / or by discussion with pupils, staff and parents. The results of the evaluation should be reported to these groups of interested parties and their suggestions sought for improvements. Governors will consider all such evaluations and suggestions before amending the policy. Governors remain ultimately responsible for the policy.

Moral Development Policy

Mission Statement

“At St Alban’s School we pray together, work together and play together”

This is what our children said when we asked…

“What is special about our school?” 

 Here at St Alban’s we are inspired to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and to be the best that we can be by being kind and respecting everyone and everything. We do our best in school and at home, working hard and caring for each other and for the whole world. We know that we are all special in different ways and we always try to include everybody in our friendship.

 Rationale

In St Alban’s we recognise that Moral Development is an intrinsic part of every child’s education.  It allies with a holistic view of child education and its promotion provides a framework for children to build their own understanding of the world and to make suitable decisions.  In our school we view moral education as a process of decision-making based on conscience, self-awareness, knowledge and freedom of responsibility.

Our understanding of morality is rooted in the willingness of an individual to see his or her own good in relation to that of the common good:

“The Lord Jesus came to live among us in order to show us the Father’s love.  His ultimate sacrifice testifies to his love for his friends.  And the Lord’s new commandment is at the centre of our faith: ‘This is my commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you’.  The ‘as’ is a model and a measure of Christian love.”

(The Religious Dimension of Education in the Catholic School, para 85)

We therefore acknowledge that our approach to moral development will be a process that allows each person to gain a sense of the greater good and of what is right and wrong.  We endeavour to promote an awareness of conscience, informed by discussion and reflection.  It is thus, important to make our children aware of the scope and complexity of morality and its consequent decision-making challenges.  Paramount is the need to be well informed, to think rationally and impartially across the curriculum about moral issues and experience the use of values in the decision-making process.

Practice

Developing each person’s morality is the responsibility of the whole school community.  Moral development is made through the planned and hidden curriculum.  In other words, in St Alban’s we address morality both explicitly and implicitly.

We address morality explicitly through:

  • the teaching of ‘Come and See’
  • the teaching of our Mission Statement, both explicitly during our Mission Day and on ad hoc occasions
  • SEAL and Citizenship
  • PSHE through the use of SUMO (Stop. Understand. Move On.)
  • Circle time
  • Questioning and exploring the meaning of experience
  • Collective Worship and assemblies
  • Cross-curricular approaches where appropriate
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Reflections
  • Residential and day visits (such as those with Active Hope)
  • the teaching of other Faiths
  • After school clubs and other extra-curricular activities

We address morality implicitly through:

  • actions
  • relationships and personal interactions, both individually and collectively
  • school rules and routines and how they are addressed
  • the Behaviour Policy
  • unspoken expectations expressed in tone of voice, posture, facial expressions, etc
  • the living-out of our school ethos led by our Mission Statement
  • the planned and maintained environment throughout the school

Planning these opportunities for moral development takes the form of highlighting appropriate occasions within every aspect of school life.  It is recognised that ‘Come and See’ provides a wealth of opportunity for staff and children to develop their sense of self within the world, and additionally, PSHE provides specific opportunities for all to explore moral decisions and experience free choice motivated by knowledge and conscience.

Evaluation

The evaluation of Moral development within St Alban’s School, carried out by the SLT and the RE lead, must be of a qualitative nature which impacts upon the school ethos and the maturation of the individual.  It is measured by the extent to which the school provides:

  • a secure community in which the Gospel-spirit of freedom, justice and love permeates every aspect of its life and work
  • opportunities to develop a personal sense of morality in relation to self, others, local, national and global issues
  • opportunities to decide what each holds as right and wrong, and the ability to voice and act out that belief appropriate to the maturity of the individual
  • opportunities to consider questions of intention, motivation and attitude
  • opportunities for choice and decision-making
  • opportunities for all to know about, understand and discuss the moral teaching of the Church, again appropriate to age

We endeavour to provide children with the abilities to promote their morality by demonstrating qualities such as:

  • knowledge of the language and ideas of morality and, increasingly how these differ from other kinds of statements, logical or factual
  • understanding of the nature and purpose of moral discussion, with the desire to persuade, combined with respect for other’s viewpoints
  • personal values in relation to the self, to others, locally, nationally and globally
  • the disposition to act and behave in accordance with the values they learn, including the skills of making moral decisions and forming moral judgements

Collective Worship Policy

Mission Statement

 “At St Alban’s School we pray together, work together and play together”

This is what our children said when we asked…

“What is special about our school?” 

 Here at St Alban’s we are inspired to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and to be the best that we can be by being kind and respecting everyone and everything. We do our best in school and at home, working hard and caring for each other and for the whole world. We know that we are all special in different ways and we always try to include everybody in our friendship.

Introduction

We believe that Christian worship in a Catholic school names and celebrates God’s presence in our lives. It is concerned with giving glory, honour, praise and thanks to God. It is our loving response, in word and action, to God’s invitation to enter into relationship, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit.

The Come and See programme provides opportunities for celebration, prayer and reflection in implicit and explicit ways.

Religious education is a collaborative activity that respects and promotes the capacity for wonder, awe, reverence and imagination.

“Celebrations of various kinds which help children to understand some of the elements of liturgy (greeting, silence, community praise, especially in song) have a great part to play in the liturgical life of the church.”

(Directory of Children’s Masses)

It is a legal requirement that collective worship is provided daily for all registered pupils.  It is, however, more than this.  It is an integral part of school life and central to Catholic tradition and in school is monitored by the SLT and the RE lead.

Collective worship can take various forms.  It can be an assembly celebration at the end of a topic or a simple celebration in the classroom situation, but it should be concerned with reverence or veneration to God. In a Catholic school, prayer is addressed to the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Spirit.

In collective worship we must consider the audience we are addressing.  Simple searching questions, that relate to children’s everyday experience and age should be asked.  Subject matter should relate to pupils’ understanding of life, religion and worship, as well as including relevant current affairs as a time to reflect and pray.

Aims

We believe that Collective Worship in our school aims to provide opportunity for all pupils and staff:

  • To contemplate something of the mystery of God
  • To reflect on spiritual and moral issues
  • To explore their own beliefs
  • To be respectful and reverent towards the beliefs of others
  • To respond to and celebrate life
  • To experience a sense of belonging and develop community spirit
  • To develop a common ethos and shared values
  • To enrich religious experience
  • To introduce children to aspects of the Gospel message and to reflect and celebrate the Word of God at their own level
  • To grow in liturgical understanding and development
  • To reinforce prayers which are part of the Catholic tradition
  • To reinforce positive attitudes
  • To participate fully
  • To take time out ‘to wonder at’, ‘to come to terms with’ and ‘to give worth to.’

Principles

Acts of Worship in this school will:

  • Give glory and honour to God;
  • Be a quality activity, fundamental to the life of the school and its Catholic character;
  • Develop in pupils skills that enable them to prepare, organise and lead worship rather than always participating or contributing in a token way;
  • Give pupils positive liturgical experiences, appropriate to their age, aptitude and family backgrounds in order to prepare them for the liturgical life of the Church.

In order to do this, celebrations will:

  • be kept small wherever possible or appropriate to help to personalise the experience;
  • be short and appropriately paced (A child’s attention span is said to last in any one activity for an average of one minute per year of life e., 5-6 minutes for Key Stage 1 and 7-10 minutes for Key Stage 2 );
  • be simple, including a range of experiences offered in a variety of groupings and in a variety of settings.

Collective worship in our schools will be:

  • properly planned
  • adequately resourced
  • recorded
  • monitored
  • evaluated

Setting

The setting should be conducive for prayer, reflection and celebration. Sometimes worship will be quiet and contemplative and at other times it will involve music, laughter and dance. The mixture needs to be creative and varied, joyful and reverent, penitent and spirit filled.

Assemblies

Collective worship is carried out as part of an assembly or within individual classrooms.  Our assemblies are a coming together of the school community. They provide an opportunity to extend, enhance and support the programme used in the classroom.

Our assemblies can be a time of greeting, reflection, praise, thanksgiving, meditation and celebration, and take place each week along with a celebration of the week or on a specific subject, for example, within the Come and See programme.

Key Stage Assemblies take place on Monday for Key Stage Two, Thursday for Key Stage One and Tuesday for Early Years. Whole school assemblies take place on Friday, which include worship led through Rejoice assemblies (to mark the celebration at the end of each topic within the Come and See Programme – to which parents are invited), and class assemblies at different points throughout the year. Prayers are led by each class in turn every Friday morning.

Structure

All forms of collective worship follow the accepted four-fold structure of gather, listen, respond and go forth and particular emphasis may be placed on specific parts as appropriate.

All Collective Worship must contain some form of scripture, whether it be a full passage or just a short sentence for reflection and meditation and a responsive prayer element, such as a litany or bidding prayers.

Liturgies in School

“All those concerned with education should work and plan together to ensure that the children have some idea of God and the supernatural, in proportion to their years and degree of maturity.  They can have experience of human values which are involved in the Eucharist celebration by acting together as a community; exchanging greetings; the capacity to listen; to forgive and ask forgivenss; to express gratitude; experience symbolic actions; conviviality and festive celebrations.”

(Directory of Children’s Masses)

Eucharistic celebrations in school will highlight a special occasion and will normally be celebrated with children whose faith development has reached an appropriate stage. The same general principles will apply to planning a Eucharistic celebration as other acts of school worship, therefore opportunities for children to participate will be maximised. When preparing these celebrations reference will be made to the Directory for Masses with Children as a basis for our practice.

The Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist  are celebrated in Year 4 of Key Stage 2 and the children are prepared for their reception by the parish catechists and their class teachers (when applicable).

Although children in Years 3 and below are not able to take part in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, all children attend school Mass at various points throughout the year. These are sometimes held in Church and sometimes in school.

Celebrations other than Eucharistic

Key Stage One children are gradually introduced into the mysteries of faith which the Community celebrates in Eucharistic liturgy.  They can be introduced to the Gospel message with a time to reflect and celebrate the message at their own level and pace.  Children can be introduced to symbols and movements of the liturgy.  Celebration enables children to experience being part of a community of faith.  As children are aware of a sense of ritual, parts of the Mass can be incorporated in the following ways:

  1. a) Introductory Rites – simple welcome to celebration
  2. b) Penitential rite / Gloria / Opening prayer – Although all three aspects can be incorporated, it is better to choose one and preference might be given to one liturgical season, e.g. Gloria during Easter season.
  3. c) A scripture passage should always be included in celebration.
  4. d) Using various methods i.e. pictures, simple responses, children can be encouraged to internalise God’s message to his people.
  5. e) Art and music offer wonderful opportunities for children to enjoy and respond to celebrations.

Prayer

Prayer is a spontaneous expression of joy, sadness and other emotions, and leads to a growing awareness of self and others in the world, and our relationship with God.  Informal prayers can arise from children’s simple everyday experiences and this can encourage them to be focused, still, quiet or expressively joyful.

Children are encouraged to write their own prayers throughout the school.

Formal prayers are introduced gradually throughout the primary years (Appendix 1). Children will become familiar with them through hearing them said and joining in.  They may focus on phrases which are appropriate to topics or sing simple prayers and phrases set to music.

Appendix 1

Traditional Prayers are introduced to children in line with the Come and See guidance as follows.  Additionally, those marked with an * can be learnt by memory:

Age 3-5 years

Sign of the cross*

Our Father

Hail Mary

Morning and Evening prayers

Prayers before and after meals

Simple responses at Mass

Greeting the Gospel (acclamation)

Simple litanies of thanks and  praise

Prayerful reflection on the day

Prayers for the blessing of the Advent wreath / candles

Age 5-7 years

All those listed above, plus:

Our Father*

Hail Mary*

Glory Be to the Father*

Morning offering*

Grace at Meals*

Act of Sorrow*

Mass responses*

Prayers at Mass

Prayers used at Baptism

Prayer for Lent (This is the wood of the cross)

Simple examination of conscience / review of the day

Age 7-11 years

All those listed above, plus

I confess*

Angelus*

Benedictus (Luke 1:67-79)

Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55)

Eternal rest*

Act of Contrition*

The Mysteries of the Rosary

Stations of the Cross

Prayers at Mass:

Penitential Rite

Glory to God

Creed

Offertory prayers

Eucharisitic Prayers for Masses with Children

Holy, holy*

Lamb of God*

Rite of dismissal

Litany of the Saints

Prayers used for Scaramental rites

Prayers from the litugy for special feasts

Funeral Mass prayers

Blessing and giving of ashes

Saints’ prayers eg St Teresa of Avila, St Francis of Assisi

Some simple phrases from the Psalms

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