In the Bag - Lenten Inspiration
Our travelling Lenten prayer bag has started its journey!
Ash Wednesday Mass
We had a very special mass on Wednesday, Father Kieren explained the importance of the cross of ashes on our forehead. He told us we are wearing the 'badge of Jesus' telling the world that we follow Jesus. Our GIFT team made pretzel prayers gifts for all the parishioners and children. They explained to the congregation the meaning behind the shape of the pretzel and the prayer attached.
It's Mardi Gras Time!!!
This year we learnt about the link between Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) and the international celebration of Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. The children listened to jazz music, had parties, made masks, marched in parades and had lots of lovely things to eat! We finished with a Mardi Gras assembly led by the GIFT team.
Here at Saint Monica's we have learnt about the letter that Pope Francis sent out the world encouraging us all to look after our common home (Laudato Si). Within school we have been living this for many years and it is intrinsically built into our daily lives and many of our topics across the curriculum. Nursery have their allotment where they grow their own vegetables, upper Key stage 2 have learnt about Fairtrade and palm olive products, EYFS cover a topic all about reduce, reuse and recycle. We care for all generations with the Nursery visiting a local residential home. We look after our local environment with volunteer days where parents and families can help keep our school and church grounds tidy. Our pupils won a local community competition to design logos for Urmston in Bloom, promoting care for the local community. Year 5 have made videos and radio podcasts to promote reduction of pollution. Travel tracker, which is used throughout school promotes a healthy lifestyle encouraging children to walk, cycle or scoot to school and not use carbon dioxide producing vehicles. We have also planted trees with the forestry commission along the fencing between school and Wellacre's field.
Saint Monica's Parish Refugee Sponsorship
Mr Ryan came into school to talk to the children about the refugee family that our parish have successfully sponsored and how we are the first parish in the whole country to step forward and take on board what the Pope asked us to do.
Mr Bob Turner came into school to talk to the children about how we can make eco-bricks to help clean up the environment. He explained how we should ultimately try to use less plastic and wherever we can recycle the plastic we do use. We are launching this project in school with the aim of making some benches and tables from the eco-bricks. Our school council, GIFT team and Head and deputy head pupils learnt how to make the bricks and shared this with the rest of the children in classes. Clips can be found on line and a leaflet is available in school for how to make them.
All Saints and All Souls
Recently at church we celebrated All Saints Day, which is a celebration of all the saints, living on earth and alive in heaven. It is a day when we can to turn to the joyful example set by saints in the past and present.
Of course, one problem we have is that we often think of saints as ancient, dead, very holy, special people. However, the biblical understanding of a saint is someone whom God has made holy and it will affect the way they live their lives.
This week each class has been learning about a Saint and also someone from now or recent history, it could even be someone they know but it is someone who is living their life in the way that reflects God.
Reception and Nursery have learnt about Saint Monica, they learnt about how she was a mummy who prayed and prayed for her son and never gave up on him, just as their Mums love and care for them.
1K learnt about Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, how she wanted dignity for all. They also learnt about Sister Ruth who helps run Cornerstones helping the homeless of Manchester.
2F learnt about Saint Bernadette, a young girl who was often very poorly that Mary chose to appear to. They also learnt about how doctors and nurses help the sick today.
2S learnt about Saint Anthony the Patron Saint of lost things.
3JM learnt about Saint Jerome who translated the Bible into Latin to make it accessible to many more people. They also learnt about how Prince Harry has worked with the injured armed forces, raising awareness and developing the Invictus games.
4C learnt about Saint Francis of Assisi and how he encouraged people to solve problems through love not fighting. They also learnt about Nelson Mandela who fought for social justice for black people in South Africa and always advocated peaceful protests.
4G learnt about Saint Christopher the Patron Saint of children. They also learnt about Esther Rantzen's Childline which works to give children in danger a voice.
5B learnt about Pope John Paul 2nd and how he overcame personal difficulties and lived a life of forgiveness.
6E learnt about Saint Vincent de Paul and how he turned concern for the poor into action creating a charity in his name. They also learnt about Pope Francis who is currently encouraging the youth of today to stand up and be counted proclaiming that new modern situations require new energy and a new commitment.
6G learnt about Joan of Arc, a young girl who stood up for what she believed in despite being very young and also a girl in times when women had very few rights. They also learnt about Rosa Parks a young woman who stood up for what she believed in, equality regardless of race. Rosa fought the establishment despite being young and a woman and black in times of great prejudice.
Life in the Spirit
As a continuation in their journey in Faith, the Year 4 children worked with Mrs Boswell on the Life in The Spirit programme.