At St. Francis we are a Catholic community of faith who pray together, growing in love with Jesus each and every day. We ensure the Catholic life of the school is always going from strength to strength by ensuring:
- The quality and development of prayer across school is outstanding because of the leadership in the school and the commitment of staff. Prayer is at the heart of all we do in school each day, children understand the importance of prayer and they experience a variety of prayer forms. They lead prayer and collective worship with genuine enthusiasm, taking their responsibility very seriously. Children can articulate why we pray and are able to explain the different ways of praying. They have an increasingly secure knowledge of traditional prayers and in particular the responses of the Mass. Their ability to pray spontaneously has improved significantly and children now readily write their own prayers to add to the devotional areas in classrooms. This has been further enhanced this year by the development of the school outdoor prayer rooms.
- The school’s philosophy of providing high quality Collective Worship enables children to develop their personal relationship with God and also has impact on parents and families who are invited to regular liturgies throughout the year (e.g. Remembrance, Christmas nativities, Lenten Stay and Pray, Stations of the Cross, all school masses and celebration assemblies)
- Detailed guidance on prayer and its many forms, high quality resources and the sharing of new ideas are provided for staff along with regular training and support, including the modelling of best practice by outstanding practitioners. Bespoke resources to support the prayer life of the school have also been developed by leaders (e.g. Lenten prayer book, adoration book, Novena prayers, prayer bags). All of this has had particular impact for non-Catholic members of staff and has contributed significantly to the high standards of collective worship across the school.
- Children’s behaviour during whole school liturgies, including fortnightly whole school Mass, is exemplary and this is regularly commented on by members of the wider school and parish community. Children are comfortable with what they are doing, the responses of the Mass, and display a secure understanding of the celebration. They are keen to participate fully, read very well and their singing of a wide repertoire of hymns and Mass settings is of a high standard. Furthermore, many children bear witness to their faith through being committed altar servers and musicians. There is a strong sense of reverence throughout the celebration of Mass.
- High quality celebration assemblies are led by different classes and provide an opportunity to celebrate children’s achievements in and out of school. They include a prayerful focus of praise and thanksgiving thus enabling the children to develop a strong sense of self-worth and the virtue of being grateful for their gifts.
- As a result of the carefully planned Holy Spirit Experience which includes a wide range of shared events (e.g. Masses for staff and for children, MAC retreat days, Carol Service, Marian Prayer chain, Good Shepherd Mass), children have the opportunity to share collective worship and prayer with the wider MAC community.
- The school have embraced the Catholic Pupil Profile and the virtues play an important part of collective worship throughout the school.
- Invitations for staff to join in prayer, meditation and reflection regularly throughout the year are well attended and provide further opportunities for their own spiritual growth.