St Francis Primary celebrations began with some members of the school choir, representatives from P1-7 and seven staff members attending the 10 o’clock Mass on Education Sunday in Blessed John Duns Scotus. The children led the music liturgy, our head boy and girl along with some other children and a teacher participated through saying the readings and bidding prayers. Mrs McGeever our Head Teacher spoke at the end of Mass about the purpose and nature of Catholic schools and Catholic education. She shared her faith journey with us. She extended an invitation to the parishioners to visit the school at the end of Catholic Education Week to see our Catholic vision, values and ethos in action.
On Monday, our teaching and non teaching staff participated in a two hour CPD opportunity on Catholic Teacher formation facilitated by Mary Lappin (Senior Lecturer at Glasgow University School of Education– St Andrew’s). This afforded our St Francis team to reflect and pray together, strengthening our vocation and reinvigorating our outlook as a Catholic school.
Father Eddie our parish priest bought all of the children and the staff in school a beautiful prayer card of the Nicene Creed. This statement of beliefs became the focus for all of our RERC during Catholic Education Week, here are some examples across Early, First and Second level of Curriculum for Excellence.
P1 focused on ‘I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible’. The class teacher used this as a stimulus to engage the children to talk about things that were visible and invisible that God had created. The children named trees, flowers, sky and water as visible and the wind as invisible. They then went on a discovery walk to look for the beauty of creation. The children were encouraged to bring something back from the walk which they thought was a beautiful thing that God had made. The children brought a whole range of items from a pebble to a leaf; they shared their precious items through a circle time. They recorded their learning on a big visual which they shared with some of the parishioners at the end of the week.
Primary 4 focused on the same line but looked specifically at ‘…maker of heaven and earth’, this led then to explore the story of Creation. The children examined the wonder and awe of Creation which led them into writing questions to God about Creation. These questions were used by the teacher to plan the next steps in the children’s learning. The children then drew their favourite things from Creation.
P6 focused on the section ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets’. This led the children to explore the concept of prophets with a focus on St Paul travelling and spreading His word. They then discussed the idea of being a prophet themselves spreading the Good News. The children were challenged to consider sharing the Word of God in our world. The children’s ideas were innovative and ranged form setting up internet blogs, designing a t-shirt range with scripture messages, composing a song and making billboard posters.
On Friday, some parishioners were introduced to This is Our Faith by Ms Millar (Depute Head Teacher). There was a discussion about people’s experience of Catholic Education led by Ms Millar and Mrs McGeever. The parishioners were shown our Sacred Space where children come to worship and meditate. Children from Primary 1-7 then came down with their RERC journals, folders and pieces of special work. They shared all they had learned with the parishioners.