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2023 - 2024

 

September 2023

Noah’s Day  - Season of Creation

In preparation for Noah’s Day, Season of Creation on the 27th September, the Discipleship Team met to organise the plant pots for all of the classes to pot. They also decided on the assembly point for the stones in our prayer garden.

‘We celebrate the Season of Creation because it allows all people to recognise ourselves as “the work of the Lord's creative act,” to contemplate nature and all that dwells in it, and to care for our Common Home.’

‘It is necessary for all believers to join in the celebration of the Season of Creation.’

Throughout the day the children, who were inspired by what they had seen, created individual prayers of commitment to look after our world.

Every child found a stone from around the school grounds and brought it to our prayer angel in the prayer garden, where we made a collective commitment wall.

Each class planted a plant pot full of winter flowers in recognition of God’s creation. They then tied a coloured ribbon around a tree in the prayer garden, representing the rainbow and children offered spontaneous prayers about Creation, their love and their thanks for it.

 

Harvest Food Bank Donations

Karen Poxon, from Stoke on Trent Foodbank, to come into school to deliver an assembly about the fantastic work that the foodbank does in our local area. This was in preparation for the Harvest Festival, where we have asked the children in our school to think of people in need and donate food to this cause.

 

Macmillan Coffee morning

The whole school supported the Macmillan Coffee morning. All children gathered together and enjoyed juice and a cake in their classrooms. Here, we thought about the work that Macmillan do and the importance of almsgiving.  The children offered prayers to God to thank Him for the people who help us. Parents were also invited to join their children in our school hall to enjoy a coffee and cake together, which helped raise money for the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

October 2023

During this month of Mary, the children were invited to join our Rosary Club at 8.30am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Here, they prayed the Rosary together guided by members of the Discipleship Team and Minnie Vinnies.

 

The Mark 10 Mission - The Rosary Challenge 

 

 

October is the month of the Holy Rosary and our challenge, as a school, was to pray a decade of this prayer every weekday, at school or at home.

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Harvest Festival

The Discipleship Team and some of our Year 6 pupils helped to set up the church in preparation for the Harvest Festival. The children carried benches from school to church and displayed the food in preparation for the celebration of mass. They then carried the vast amount of food that had been kindly donated by our school community.

 

 

Members of the Discipleship Team loaded the minibus with all of the food donated for the Harvest Festival. This was then taken to Stoke Foodbank in Blurton, where the children unloaded the food and had a tour of the premises. They found out how the food reached the most vulnerable people in our community.

 

 

 

North Staffordshire Combined Schools Mass

A group of children, representing St Mary’s, attended the annual Combined School Mass at St Gregory’s, Longton.

Year 4 Inspire Workshop

Year 4 welcomed their parents and grandparents into school as part of an Inspire Workshop. The adults joined Year 4 in a child led worship, which focussed on praying The Rosary. They then made Rosary bracelets together.

 

 

One Million Children Praying the Rosary’ by Aid to the Church in Need.

 

On the 18th November, the children and staff gathered together in our school hall to pray the Rosary.  This was part of a prayer initiative ‘One Million Children Praying the Rosary’ by Aid to the Church in Need. It aims to rekindle faith in the power of prayer and is a worldwide campaign.

The Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child appeal

The Minnie Vinnies delivered an assembly to introduce The Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child appeal.

The children promoted the charitable outreach to the school community and asked for filled shoe boxes to be brought into school so that they could deliver them to a drop off point in early November.

 

CAFOD for the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis appeal

The school council and discipleship team decided to have a non-uniform day on Friday 27th October, for a minimum donation of £1.  All money raised was donated to CAFOD for the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis appeal.

Pope Francis had called for Prayer and fasting on this day.

Pope Francis called us, ‘I urge believers to take just one side in this conflict: that of peace. But not with words — with prayer, with total dedication.’

During the day,  we shared in prayer as a school community – praying for peace.

CAFOD’s Prayer for peace in Israel and Gaza

Let us pray for the many people whose lives have been torn apart by conflict in Gaza and Israel. We remember especially those who have died, those who are grieving, the injured and those now without food, shelter or medical supplies. We pray also for those who have the power to bring peace. May they be touched by a spirit of compassion and kindness.

Amen

 

The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

The Discipleship Team along with the School Council are supporting The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal by selling poppies to the school community.

 

November 2023

Dougie Mac Assembly – Newman Catholic Collegiate Charity

Sam Holgate, from the Dougie Mac charity, came to deliver an assembly about fundraising.  She told us all about the hospice and the great work that the charity do.  Sam told us that the Newman Catholic Collegiate has chosen to fundraise for Dougie Mac this academic year.  We are excited to help others by raising money with a toy appeal and Christmas Jumper Day this term.

 

 

God’s Planet Retreat Day

We welcomed Rise Theatre into school for a whole school retreat day linked to the Catholic Social Teaching principle of stewardship. We all enjoyed an assembly, followed by workshops for each Key Stage and then a performance at the end of the day.

 

 

Remembrance Sunday

🌹 This Remembrance Sunday, our school council honoured and remembered the brave souls who have served and sacrificed for our freedom.

Lest We Forget 🌹

 

 

Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Appeal

The Discipleship Team and Minnie Vinnies delivered an assembly in October to ask the school community to help with the Operation Christmas  Child Shoe Box Appeal.  We were blown away with the response of 46 filled shoeboxes. 

 

 

Members of the Discipleship Team then delivered the boxes to a local drop-off point where we discovered what would happen next to the boxes on their journey. We are sure these boxes will delight many children on Christmas Day.

 

December 2023

Advent – One Life Music Livestream

On the 1st December, our school community gathered in the hall to join Dan and Emily from One Life Music. They helped us to mark the start of the Advent season with wonderful singing, signing and prayer.

 

 

 

Advent Prayer Services

All of our classes are preparing and delivering a prayer service to help us to prepare in this Advent Season.

Dougie Mac Toy Appeal

The Discipleship Team and Minnie Vinnie helped to collect and pack all the toys that were kindly donated by our school community. Six whole charity bags were collected! The staff at the Dougie Mac drop off point, in Burslem, were very appreciative of our help and kindness.

St Mary’s Church Christmas Fayre

The school and parish community gathered together in the school hall to hold the annual Christmas Fayre. There were a variety of stalls, chocolate and bottle tombola’s, live music and even a visit from Santa. This event helped to raised  £250 for each of the following: Dougie Mac, Cafod, St Mary’s Events Team and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

 

 

Reception Class Inspire Workshop

 

Foundation Stage and KS1 Christmas Productions

After many weeks of preparation, the children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 finally performed their Christmas productions in front of their families. Our talented children performed amazingly, celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Parishioner's Christmas Lunch

Our Minnie Vinnies and Discipleship Team hosted Christmas Lunch for some of the parishioners in our parish. The meal, prepared by our wonderful kitchen staff, was served by our children.  Adults and children alike had a wonderful time together.

The lunch was then followed by a performance of the KS1 Christmas production ‘Don’t be  Afraid.’

 

Christmas Jumper Day

The children and staff in our school took part in Christmas Jumper Day. Wearing Christmas jumpers and donating to our chosen charity DougieMac.  We helped to raise £30.

 

Bradeley Village Carol Service

Our choir, accompanied by Mrs Amison, visited Bradeley Village, bringing festive cheer to the residents by singing Christmas Carols and festive songs.

School Pre-Christmas Mass

Children, staff and parishioners joined together in faith at our Pre-Christmas Mass.  The third Advent candle was lit and Father John blessed the Bambinelli, which all the children had created in class during their Advent preparations.

Christmas Family Breakfast

We welcomed our families into school to share a Christmas breakfast with their children. The hall was filled with love and laughter as the families enjoyed breakfasts made by our wonderful Breakfast Club staff.  

 

Key Stage 2 Nativity and Carol Service

We invited our families to join us at our KS2 Nativity and Carol Service. KS2 children had been preparing over the last few weeks and this certainly showed as the hall was filled with such beautiful singing.  This, along with Year 5’s re-enactment of that very first Christmas, made for a wonderful end to our schools Advent preparations.

 

 

 

January 2024

Collegiate Discipleship Meeting at St Margaret Ward

The Discipleship Teams, within our collegiate, gathered together for a meeting at SMW to discuss collegiate fundraising in preparation for the summer term. Our Discipleship Team enjoyed joining the other teams to share ideas.

 

February 2024

One Life Music Retreat Day

The whole school took part in a retreat day led by ‘One Life Music’. The day was filled with prayer, praise and reflection, focussing on God’s wonderful creations.

 

Lenten Prayer Services

Year 6 - Thursday 22nd February

Year 5 – Monday 26th February

Year 4 – Tuesday 27th February

Year 3 – Thursday 29th February

Year 2 – Tuesday 5th March

Year 1 – Thursday 7th March

Year 5 – Tuesday 12 th March

Reception –Thursday 14th March

Year 6 – Stations of the Cross

 

 

 

 

Year 3 Inspire Workshop

Year 3 welcomed their parents and grandparents into school as part of an Inspire Workshop. The adults joined Year 3 in a child led worship, They then decorated a Lenten cross together.

March 2024

Minnie Vinnies and Discipleship Team Visit to The Hive and Stoke Foodbank

Some of our Minnie Vinnies and Discipleship Team members visited The Hive and Stoke Foodbank to find out how this service helps our community. The children discovered how people in need of food can access the service and how the service is organised. They discovered how this service is very much needed in our community and the children came back into school filled with ideas of how they can help more…watch this space!