At St. Joachim’s, we know that Christ is at the centre of everything we do. The Catholic life of the school is rich in opportunities for children to encounter God and to deepen their relationship with Him as a loving, compassionate Father. Through prayer, both traditional and informal, through liturgies and Religious Education lessons, where children receive direct teaching of the faith, through the relationships and support for each other that children, staff and parents enjoy within the school community, we enable children to come to know and love God.
Jesus is our motivation to live out our mission statement: Playing and Praying, Loving and Learning, We achieve through God.
This mission statement helps us to work together to reach our aims
• To inspire children to grow spiritually and morally through developing their knowledge and understanding of Catholicism.
• To raise standards and aspirations through providing creative, inspirational and enjoyable learning opportunities and experiences.
• To inspire and enable children to grow in confidence, to take risks and develop an understanding of the world they live in and actively be part of it.
All of our actions and decisions are underpinned by our Gospel Values: love, justice, honesty, forgiveness, solidarity and hope. Whilst we acknowledge that these may be shared by those from all faiths and none, our foundation for these values are found in the Bible and Catholic tradition.
We recognise that it is not simply enough to pray and to go to Mass each week; we must put our faith into action, guided by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. As outlined in Genesis 1:27, because we were all made in the image and likeness of God, each and every one of us is sacred and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.Prayer and worship are central to the daily life of our school. We aim to provide opportunities for children's spiritual growth and development through participation in a variety of forms of worship and through experiencing all forms of prayer: formal, informal, spontaneous, private, shared, petitionary and meditative.
Pupils are actively involved in planning and leading worship, both in class groups and whole school settings. Shared acts of worship take place in an atmosphere of reflection and stillness, where we encourage each other to listen to God speaking to us and to respond. Children are encouraged to write prayers and this is a skill which we explicitly teach, just as we teach other genres in literacy.
Each day, there is a communal act of worship. This can be at a whole school, key stage or class level. We use a variety of means of worship to raise our hearts and minds to God. Weekly masses take place throughout the year. Parents are welcomed to assemblies, Masses and other liturgies throughout the year.
Every child in school belongs to a house with an assigned saint. Our house saints are St. Josephine, St John Bosco, Blessed Father Tansi, St Theresa. Throughout the school, religious artefacts and displays help to educate us, focus our prayer and demonstrate our pride in our faith. Beginning with our entrance way, this continues through the corridors and flows into each classroom. Every classroom has their own displays and a prayer focus to aid with both academic and spiritual guidance.
All staff, led by the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, R.E Leader and Governors are aware that the school's foundations are built on the Catholic faith and beliefs and that it is our shared responsibility to transmit the Catholic faith to the children in our care. All staff receive regular in-service training as part of their continuous professional development. Staff pray and work together to support each other in providing the very best Religious Education possible for the pupils RE is at the heart of our curriculum. It is a core subject and, as such, takes 10% of teaching time. As a Catholic school, Catholic Christianity forms the foundation to our learning but we do learn about Other Faiths throughout the year too, using the Come and See programme. Whilst this is a discrete subject, faith and spirituality are embedded throughout the whole curriculum.
We are acutely aware of our duty to support the Domestic Church, advocating parents as the first educators of their children. Driven by our strong belief that our purpose as a Catholic school is to nurture the ‘whole child’ – that is the body and the soul, from our divine origins to our eternal destinies – we recognise our vocation to work together with parents and the parish in ensuring every child achieves their full potential, utilising all of their gifts given to them from God.