'Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'' ' John 14:6
Catholic Schools are guided in all they do by an important and coherent vision of education. This vision is based on the truth revealed by God about ourselves, our life together in community and our ultimate destiny with God. This gives rise to an educational endeavour centred on the person of Jesus Christ, who is our Way, Truth and Life.
In January 2000, a National Symposium on 'Expectations of Religious Education in Catholic Schools' was hosted by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. The Bishops' issues a statement highlighting the following points.
What is Religious Education?
Religious Education is about engaging with the deepest questions of life and finding reasons for the hope which is within them (1 Peter 3:15).
It is the Christian Vision of the human person.
It is the core subject which is central to the life of the Catholic School.
Religious Education is the systematic study:
- of the mystery of God as discovered through the Bible and particualrly through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ,
-the teachings of the Church,
- the lives of the saints,
- the relationship between faith and life.
Faith Life at St Antony's
At St. Antony’s, we warmly WELCOME all our visitors to our school, here they can see it is a friendly, happy place where children follow the ways of Jesus.
At St. Antony’s, the WORD of God is placed at the centre of all that we do. Through our enhanced curriculum pupils celebrate the word of God in interesting ways.
At St. Antony’s, we WORSHIP God through our class prayers, school Masses, music, assemblies, class prayer and worship services, through our actions and through the way we live and treat each other.
At St. Antony’s, we WITNESS a loving, caring God in the way we live, the way we treat each other and in the way we care about other people who do not have as much as we have.
At St. Antony’s, the WELFARE of all our school family is important. We show this in the way we treat one another fairly and equally and the way we respect each other. In our school we want everyone to feel safe and know they are valued as unique and made in the image and likeness of God.
“Jesus turned around and saw them following. “What are you looking for?” He asked. They said to Him, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”“Come and see,” He replied. So they went and saw where He was staying, and spent that day with Him. ” John 1:39
Religious Education at St. Antony's RC Primary School is considered to be at the core of our curriculum. It is allocated a total teaching time of approximately 10% of available curriculum time for each year group, as recommended by the Bishops of England and Wales. Planning and timetables take account of this. The 10% time allocation does not include collective acts of worship; it is specific RE teaching.
At St Antony's we strive to ensure that the children receive the best quality teaching across the curriculum as well as RE. All Religious Programmes are to be directed by the Religious Education Curriculum Directory (3-19) for Catholic Schools and Colleges in England and Wales.
The RE Curriculum is delivered primarily through the diocesan approved Religious Education Programme, ‘Come and See’ - central to this programme are three basic human questions and the three Christian beliefs that are the Church’s response in faith:
Where do I come from? Life-Creation
Who am I? Incarnation
Why am I here? Redemption
Within the ‘Come and See’ programme, these three big questions are considered, in the light of the Scriptures and Tradition of the Church; as expressed in the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Learning about other World Faiths
Learning about the religion and cultures of those who do not share the Catholic faith is one of the ways in which Catholic schools embody the call to love one’s neighbour. As the Church says, “The love for all men and women is necessarily also a love for their culture. Catholic schools are, by their very vocation, intercultural.” (Congregation for Catholic Education p61).
At St. Antony’s, as part of our RE teaching, there is an diocesan requirement that encourages us to celebrate other world faiths and teach our children about the similar values that can be found in the world faiths practised in our communities. Our children learn how members of that faith community live as a family and how they worship. Just like Jesus showed respect for those within and outside his own faith community, the children learn to respect the beliefs and traditions of others. This prepares our children for life in modern Britain, giving them an understanding of the beliefs of others. This in turn will improve social cohesion and contribute to the common good by increasing mutual respect between those of different religions.
As part of our RE curriculum children take part in two, week long Inter-Faith Weeks and have the opportunity to visit other places of worship and also listen to visitors talk about their own faith. We are very fortunate to work closely with the Blackburn with Darwen Inter-Faith Forum.
Each week, St Antony’s sends out The Wednesday Word to Key Stage 2 Children, aiming to help school families draw closer to God, to the Church and to each other. The Wednesday Word particularly seeks to reach the parents who are not always able to take their baptised children to church or read the Bible together.
The primary school version of The Wednesday Word is a double-sided A4 leaflet which carries the Sunday Gospel into school family homes. The children receive the leaflet in school each week for them to take home with them to read with the rest of the family.
This way, the Word will be sent out (as in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed), creating a new opportunity for the Word to be present in the homes of school families connected to participating primary schools.
Each class has their own saint which they will learn about. This gives the children the opportunity to learn about a range of saints in great detail throughout their time in school. Through their learning, the children will celebrate the lives of the saints and take guidance from how they lived their lives to make Christ known to all.
On the feast day of the class saint, the children will hold a special celebratory day that will begin with a leading a class assembly about their saint followed by a treat in the afternoon. Also their learning is shared for all to see with a a display in their classroom about their class saint.
Children will all celebrate the feast day of St Antony on June the 13th with a whole school mass.
Class saints for 2016-2017
Nursery and Reception – St Patrick – March 17th
Year 1 - St Francis of Assisi – October 4th
Year 2 – St Dunstan – May 17th
Year 3 – St- Brigid – February 1st
Year 4 – St Sebastian – January 20th
Year 5 – St Andrew – November 30th
Year 6 – St Vincent de Paul – September 27th
Statements To Live By
In Key Stage 2 we have a different 'Statement To Live By' introduced in Key Stage 2 worship each week, which helps us live our life as Jesus taught us to. These statements are displayed in each classroom and in the reflection area. Further discussion is completed throughout the week in class.
Church's Liturgical Year
As an integral part of our Catholic ethos, all pupils are made aware, throughout the school year, of the changes and celebrations relating to the Church's Liturgical Year. Worships, liturgies, reconciliation services, plays and concerts link directly with the season of the church. The children are aware of the liturgical changes with the changing colours of our cloths and displays.
Crowning of Our Blessed Lady was led by the School Chaplaincy Team. Two children from Year 3, who are on the Sacramental Programme, crowned Our Lady. We sang "O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today" as children from each class offered flowers.
World Book Day
On World Book Day, Year 3 welcomed everyone to an assembly about a very sacred book, the book which reveals the word of God. The children explained the Holy Bible is like a guidebook or a map because it shows us the right way to live, it helps us on our faith journey through life.
In the afternoon the School Pupil Chaplaincy Team shared some of their favourite scripture from the Bible and Fr Frankie blessed all the Bibles in school. Children also brought their family Bibles in from home. As always, parents were very welcome to attend.
Year of Mercy
Pope Francis declared an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This Holy Year of Mercy began December 8th, 2015, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. It will close on November 20th, 2016, the Feast of Christ the King. This year’s motto is “Merciful Like the Father.”
Sometimes, when we think of the word mercy, we picture someone throwing themselves on their knees, pleading to be spared some punishment. This is not our understanding of God’s mercy. When we call on God to have mercy, we are calling on God in the only way we know him, as one who responds with compassion to those in need. When we show mercy to others, we are responding as God responds, with compassion.
Members of the School Pupil Chaplaincy Team celebrated mass with Bishop John at Salford Cathedral to mark the start of the Year of Mercy.
The School Chaplaincy Team waited at the school entrance to welcome the Holy Door from St Mary and St Joseph's RC Primary School and prepared a liturgy. Each member of our school family had the invitation to walk through the Holy Door and experience the love of God. We decided to create our own indivdual 'Holy doors of Mercy' that we held as we walked through the Holy Door. Following the liturgy, Fr Barry was available for the children to receive the Sacrament of Reconcilaition.
Each child received a Prayer Card to take home. You can download below.
Members of the School Pupil Chaplaincy joined St Anne's RC Primary School for a prayer service in their hall when we passed over the Holy Door.
Mrs McGowan and members of the School Pupil Chaplaincy Team attended the thanksgiving Mass to mark the end of this special Year of Mercy at Salford Cathedral.
As a school we explored the Corporal acts of Mercy which are:
- Feed the hungry
- Shelther the homless
- Clothe the naked
- Visit the sick and imprisoned
- Bury the dead
- Give alms to the poor.
Year 5's assembly focused on 'Sheltering the homeless' as they explored the desperation of refugees. Through their discussion in "Philosophy for Children" lessons the children developed a commitment to justice, through exploring ways in which individuals and communities can take action to support refugees and asylum seekers.
Prayer and Worship in a Catholic school 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 with Him, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Spirit. Prayer Life at St Antony's is integral in everything we do as we strive to deliver a Christ centred curriculum for all.
The Diocese of Salford organise a procession in honour of Our Blessed Lady through the streets of South Manchester each year on the first Saturday of October. Following the success of last year, St Antony’s were represented again at the event giving joyful and public witness to our faith. Over 1000 people, including Bishop John walked with us. Fr Frankie kindly drove the mini bus for us again.
Light Fever proved to be very popular again this year. The school hall was illuminated by candlelight and music was played to create a peaceful atmosphere to help each individual find a moment of prayer and reflection.
At Light Fever families are given a candle by a memebr of the School Pupil Chaplaincy Team to light as they make their way into the hall. This candle symbolises their prayer intention which continues to burn throughout the afternoon. Each family receive a Miraculous Medal as they leave.
The children in Key Stage 2 led a wonderful Carol Service on the evening before we finished for Chrsitmas at St. Joseph's Church. The children sang beautifully and with the readings, brought the true meaning of Christmas alive. Many of the carols were sung the following day for our Chrisitngle service which was led by the members of the School Pupil Chaplaincy team.
Through Lent we fund raised and split our donations equally to Caritas St Joseph's Penny and Cafod's "Make a Splash" campaign.
Each of our primary phases (EYFS, KS1, LKS2 and UKS2) worked together to raise money. We had crazy hair day, popcorn and cake stalls, juice bars and penny trails. We were thrilled to give each charity £250. Thank you to all our families for your support.