During our last RE inspection, chaplaincy provision was deemed as ‘outstanding’. The inspectors noted that ‘prayer is central to the life of the school and pupils are given many opportunities to plan and lead worship’. Our young chaplains support and lead other children in developing their faith through lunch time clubs and assemblies, and they contribute to Sunday masses in parishes wherever possible. Our school choir sing at masses and carol services alongside children from St Mary’s, the Good Shepherd and Thomas Becket Catholic Schools.
'Behaviour for learning is very good and pupils achieve well and make good progress.'
RE Inspection Report, July 2016
Our Chaplaincy Policy
Chaplaincy is understood as the way help and encouragement is offered to staff and pupils as they try to fulfil their respective roles within the school community. We recognise and appreciate the role played by staff, parents, priests, governors and pupils as we try to fulfil our aim of being “a community which has Jesus at the heart of all we do.” Our Chaplaincy team exists to foster the Christ-centred Catholic ethos of the school. Through a variety of liturgical and spiritual opportunities, we support and encourage all pupils and staff in their faith journey.
The welfare of staff and pupils is given high priority by the leadership. However, through the pastoral care exhibited towards the needs of the pupils, all members of staff within the school contribute to a whole school approach to Chaplaincy.
The Young Chaplains team, comprises of twenty Year 5 and Year 6 children who lead, with guidance, lunchtime sessions in the Emmaus room based around the teachings of the Bible and prayer. They provide a voice to the school chaplaincy team and work closely with the School Chaplain. The Young Chaplains aim to enhance the prayer life and spirituality of the school through their input and example.
St. Gregory’s is also part of the Multi-Academy Trust Chaplaincy Team, which consists of three primary schools and a secondary school who work together for celebratory Masses and collective worship.
The Chaplaincy team aim to:
· Support the school in emphasising its spirituality and Catholicity as set out in the school’s mission statement.
· Support and encourage the school’s pastoral care for the whole school, pupils, staff and parents;
· Promote, plan and organise the celebration of liturgies and cooperate with others in developing the school as a Christian community;
· Children are prepared for Reconciliation and Eucharist in Year Three. During this time of preparation, staff, parents and priests all contribute to the children’s spiritual development.
· Children regularly have the opportunity to receive the Eucharist at school and class masses.
· Our local priests offer children the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis.
A Bible reading group led by the young chaplains is offered for children from KS1 and KS2 twice weekly, giving the children an opportunity to share thoughts of readings and a time for prayer.
All pupils are made aware that all staff are available at break and lunchtimes if they have anything they wish to discuss. The school has an inclusion team who work with all staff including the Chaplaincy team, who provide Aupport for pupils with well-being issues, such as bereavement through death or divorce, domestic abuse, child protection. The school runs “Rainbows for all God’s Children”. The programme operates after school and offers support and help to those children who have suffered or are suffering as a result of a significant loss in their lives. They also provides lunchtime drop-ins to discuss any friendship issues or worries that children may have in an effort to ensure the holistic care of all children. Any change of circumstances that necessitates a need for all to know is passed on at staff meetings. Otherwise, information is passed on to the next year teacher at the end of each school year or on a need to know basis. We appreciate the value of mutual support and actively encourage staff to share any concerns they may have. In addition, staff are encouraged on a regular basis to take time in school to share lunchtimes.
Planning and Organisation
The school management team, in liaison with the chaplain and local parishes, organises the dates of school Masses. All staff are made aware of the dates at the beginning of each academic year, the school Chaplain plans these masses in conjunction with the local priests. The Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation are all celebrated at the local church. Timetables for the bible stories group are published in each classroom and in the Emmaus room. The children and staff are all made aware of when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available. Regularly meetings are had with our school chaplaincy team, parish liaison and governors. The young chaplains are organised and prepared for by our chaplain, lead teacher and NYMO. They lead planned sessions at lunchtime for all children within our school.
Our pupils' thoughts about being a member of the Ethos Team
'I like it because when we pray it helps me to understand what God is saying to me and I want to help others in my school understand too.'
'The Ethos Team helps me feel more Holy and more kind, it helps me to know Jesus better.'
‘When I am at Ethos, God gives me hope and He helps me to help the little children know about God by how I treat others.’
'When I am attending the Ethos Team meetings God gives me hope, and He helps me to help the younger children learn about God.'
'The Ethos Team makes me feel more holy and kind. It helps me to know Jesus better.'
'Being a part of the Ethos Team gives me a feeling of leadership – we went to the Cathedral with the other schools during Lent and Advent. We all helped out.'
'It feels a big responsibility to be able to care for others.'
'We pray at every meeting, we sometimes pray the rosary and we have done assemblies too.’
'We try to make our school a better place.'
'The Ethos Team helps me bring others closer to God.'
'The Ethos Team strengthens my friendship with God.'