‘St Francis is an Outstanding Catholic school.’Section 48 Diocesan Inspection Report 2020.
In all aspects of our school life, we aim to provide opportunities that enable children to grow in their relationship with God through Jesus. Religious Education goes beyond the RE curriculum itself to inform and enrich all areas of learning. Every aspect of school life influences the moral and spiritual development of the children
‘St Francis is a place where strong Catholic values are given the utmost importance.’Section 48 Inspection Report.
Prayer and worship are a fundamental part of the life of our school. We celebrate masses and liturgies together and the children are offered daily opportunities for prayer and quiet reflection. The school environment, both indoors and outdoors, is designed so that the children and staff are aware that Christ is at the centre of all we do.
‘The creative and vibrant environment is outstanding and celebrates the diversity of the Catholic faith with the rich traditions of worship, prayer and service’.Section 48 Inspection Report.
Children play an active role in the planning and delivery of school masses, liturgies and assemblies. A Junior Chaplaincy Team meet regularly to share ideas for spreading God’s Word and celebrating His love for us. Working with the adult Senior Chaplaincy Team, they help organise and deliver worship and celebration events throughout the year, such as Rosary Days and Taize reconciliation sessions. The Junior Chaplains also sit with the younger children during Collective Worship, in order to model correct responses and quiet reflection.
We have an active and popular CAFOD Club which meets regularly and helps lead on Catholic social teaching and fundraising throughout the school and local community.
Rosary Club is an additional opportunity for children to participate in the Catholic life of the school.
Throughout the year, classes walk up to the Cathedral to celebrate Mass with the Parish, and our school chaplain visits St Francis weekly to meet with pupils, parents and staff.
Through the teaching and learning of RE we develop the children’s ability to reflect upon and explore the beliefs, values and ways of life of the Catholic faith and other faith traditions. The school follows the Diocesan Primary Religious Education Curriculum which is based on the national ‘Curriculum Directory for Catholic Schools’. The scheme broadly follows the liturgical year and includes topics on the Sacraments, the Universal Church, the Bible etc. Within the scheme, the children learn about the beliefs and the teachings of the Church and about the celebration and ritual of worship. They investigate how faith is reflected in the social practices and moral decisions of life. They learn to talk about their own experiences and feelings, and to respect those of others. They are encouraged to engage with questions of meaning and purpose, questions that are sometimes difficult to answer
The children also follow a programme of Gospel Values, one each month, in order to find out how we are asked to live in a community of God’s children. These values are introduced in school assemblies and then further explored in class curriculum time and collective worship.
‘Pupils are given opportunities to extend their learning in RE through cross-curricular themes and mediums thus promoting moral, ethical and theological development’.Section 48 Inspection Report.