'Integral Catholic education ...is supposed to form
not just the brain to know the truth
but the heart to desire and choose the good.
It is meant to form people to pass
the final exam of life summa cum laude.'
Blessed John Henry Newman
The day begins with a prayer. We offer the day ahead with all its ups and down to Almighty God and ask the Holy Spirit to open our minds and hearts to His inspiration, offering our prayers through Our Blessed Lord and Our Lady. Our prayers reflect the seasons of the Liturgical Year and the particular devotion of the Church for that month. As the year progresses we pray to our growing litany of saints for their care and intercession.
Our Religious Education lessons reflect the topics in our RE scheme, 'Come and see' as well as the seasons and solemnities of the Church Year, the monthly devotions of the Catholic Church, and the lives of the saints. The children grow in knowledge and understanding of their Catholic faith through a curriculum firmly grounded in the five great themes of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Most Holy Trinity, The Incarnation, The Paschal Mystery, The Church, and the Dignity of the Human Person. In our most recent Class Liturgy, we contemplated the Holy Name of Jesus based on Phillipians 2, and prayers to the Holy Name.
We read from our class novel, currently 'The Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame. Pupils write their reflections there and then or for homework, set on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
We spend some time studying a Shakespeare play - this year it is 'Macbeth' Pupils are becoming intimately familiar with Alec Guinness' Macbeth and have memorised several of his key speeches including 'Is this a dagger I see before me?'.
From day one we will start to memorise and recite well-loved poetry from Sonnet 29 to 'Matilda', covering a range that includes narrative, lyric and dramatic poetry. Primary age boys and girls have a great facility and unlimited capacity for learning by heart and this intimate internalisation of texts complements our efforts to understand and repsond critically. Pupils do a very great deal of writing, not only in English lessons, but across the curriculum. They are expected to write thoughtfully and intelligently using clear, attractive handwriting, with correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and coherent text structure.
The study of mathematics gives us a glimpse of some of perfections of Almighty God - His beauty, His power, His infinity. Our daily mathematics lesson, where pupils are streamed by ability, includes mastering key concepts and skills across the range of number, measure, geometry and statisitics. Pupils learn through well-chosen activities that develop and expected to work with an attitude of thoroughness and accuracy, ensuring that their work is both correct and beautiful. Pupils work on mental arithmetic, problem solving and investigation, as well as test practice using the full archive of SATs papers going back to 1995, when SATs were introduced. The teaching of mathematics is enriched by the use of our interactive whiteboard (IWB).
We'll discuss, read and write about our science, history and geography topics, deploying the skills developed in English lessons, not least critical reading and clear, coherent writing.
Pupils illustrate their work across the curriculum ensuring that the quality of work is enhanced by attractive, meaningful presentation; after all truth and beauty go together.
The pupils are fortunate to have an excellent team of other staff to teach other subjects: Mlle Thouvenin for French, Miss Haynes for music, Miss Coady for PE and Miss Tierney for humanities and PSHCE. I would like to extend a special word of thanks to Miss Doody for her work supporting the teaching of English.
Special thanks also to Mrs Billios and Mrs Whaley, our wonderful Teaching Assistants who do so much to support the pupils' learning.
Please do keep us in your prayers. Ave Maria