Ash Wednesday Mass
To mark the beginning of Lent, we take part in a special Ash Wednesday Mass, led by Father Richard, in St Mary’s church. Children from the Upper Juniors read the readings and the prayers of the faithful and children from the Lower Juniors take up the gifts for the offertory. Miss Hume leads the school choir in singing the responsorial psalm and hymns and Miss Vasylenko plays the piano. Altar servers from school assist Father Richard in the celebration of the Mass. We receive ash on our foreheads to remind us to be sorry for our sins and we are all encouraged to fast, pray to God and give money and help to other people.
Ashes for Infants
Foundation stage and Key Stage one children attend an afternoon service in school led by Father Casper. He marks their foreheads with ashes and reminds them that the ashes are made from the burnt palms from Palm Sunday the previous year. They too are reminded to fast, pray and to give to others.
Every spring term, we hold a reconciliation service for the Junior school, within the season of Lent. Priests from the parish visit the school to share in our liturgy which focuses on the forgiveness that comes from Christ. The children take part in a symbolic washing of the hands which reinforces their understanding of how Christ washes away our sins. Following this, the children are invited to go to confession.
The children derive great pleasure in fundraising for our chosen charities during Lent, as part of our focus on almsgiving during the season. Each class takes ownership of their fundraising endeavours by finding creative ways in which to raise money. Past activities have included:
- Cake sale
- Shoot the goal
- Guess the sweets in a jar
- Find the treasure on the map
We have raised money for many charities dear to our hearts, including:
- Mary’s Meals
- Aid to the Church in Need
- The Little Way Association
To mark the closing of the Lenten season, both Infants and Juniors have a special liturgy which recalls the final moments of Our Lord’s passion and death.
The children tell the story of Holy Week through music, drama and scripture readings. Each class prepares their own scripture reading which they reflect on prior to the liturgy. They prepare a dramatic presentation of their reading to show to the infant classes and their families.
In the weeks leading up to the Junior Lenten Reflection, the children reflect upon the journey that Our Lord took as He carried His cross.
During the Lenten reflection, pupils, their parents, staff and governors gather together in St Mary’s church and the Juniors narrate The Way of the Cross through mime, music and prayers.
Easter Bonnet Parade Foundation Stage
After the Easter holidays, Foundation Stage retell the story of Easter through music and drama.
Parents and families attend this presentation and children wear their own specially decorated Easter bonnets for the occasion. Later on in the day, Foundation Stage pupils parade around the playground presenting their bonnets to the juniors.
Whole School Easter Celebration
As Pentecost approaches, the whole school gathers in the hall to recount the events which occurred between Our Lord’s Resurrection and the feast of Pentecost.
Each class prepares a reading which they present to the school through drama, music and scripture readings.