Our Mission Statement, “With Christ at our centre, we love, listen and learn,” is the focus of each day in all we teach, learn and play. RE is at the root of everything we do in our school and is a vital part of our curriculum. A variety of whole school liturgies and Daily Act of Worship led by the children ensure the Catholic ethos is a central part of the daily routine at Our Lady & St Joseph. It is important for children to plan and lead the DAOW with the aid of an adult in KS1 and independently in KS2, allowing children to focus and reflect on their own spiritual journey as well as being given the opportunity to lead the prayer service and intrinsically live a Catholic life. In addition to this, we have a prayer room, which is a special place where children and staff can reflect, light a candle and say a prayer.
Throughout each term there are whole school and class masses as well as opportunities to take part in Reconciliation. Parents are invited to class led assemblies, which take place on a Friday. Dates for these can be found in the school newsletter. Church seasons are also reflected in our worship such as Harvest, Christmas, Lent and Easter. The Parish, supported by the school, undertakes preparation for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. We have a very close relationship with our parish priest Father Keith, who celebrates mass for us and is a regular visitor to our school to support in classroom learning.
Religious Education is taught through the Westminster Scheme of Work and the Diocesan support materials, with Westminster Diocese's guidance. Within our RE programme, children are also taught about aspects of other faiths to develop a positive attitude towards living in a religiously diverse society. A variety of teaching styles are used to deliver the RE curriculum and children produce written work, artwork and drama. At all times, scripture is at the heart of our learning. The Agreed Levels of Understanding are used to provide meaningful learning opportunities for all and to challenge pupils to examine their own standing in life, to deepen their personal faith and commitment and respect that of others. All children regularly receive religion homework and are given the opportunity to discuss the AT2 ‘Big Question’ of the half-term with their families and record their responses on the RE Blog.
The school has links with outside agencies such as CAFOD, the CCS, St Matthias Community Centre and The Salvation Army. At OLSJ, we regularly raise money for good causes, enabling our children to become aware of the needs of the wider world of children and families overseas. Our chaplaincy team help fundraise and volunteer in our local community also. Our KS2 children visit local residential homes for the elderly and include them in our Christmas celebrations.