At Sacred Heart we always strive to provide quality experiences of prayer and liturgy that support pupils’ spiritual development. These communal acts of prayer and the liturgical celebrations of the Church form part of everyday life in our school. Every child is given the opportunity to pray by giving praise and thanks to God using traditional prayers of the Catholic Church and many other sources of prayer that enable this to take place. We encourage the children to nurture a relationship with God through words, symbols, song, gestures and silence. Prayer is such an integral part of school life that it can never be confined to ‘timetabled’ slots but may take place in a variety of contexts other than those specifically structured.
Central to our prayer life in Sacred Heart is the weekly Pupil Led Collective Worship. Children prepare reflective sessions themselves and share this with their peers.
The Eucharist is the very core, the very essence of our Catholic life and therefore is celebrated regularly as a whole school and with the extended community. Our school Masses take place on a Thursday morning, with children participating in a variety of ways: praying, reading and singing. The opportunity to celebrate Mass with our parishioners, in our church, helps to further the children’s understanding of the richness of the Eucharist.
Other opportunities for prayer take place within the classroom at the start of each day, before and after lunch and again at the end of each day. Prayer in the classrooms and in assemblies always includes use of symbols and a focal point for prayer which is appropriate to the liturgical season, for example, Lent, Advent or Easter. During all these times of prayer, both staff and pupils are involved in leading and participating.
In addition to children's Collective Worship, Sacred Heart staff gather together every Friday morning, before the school day for Staff Prayer and Reflection. This is an opportunity for colleagues to reflect on biblical values and promote Gospel messages.
The school is blessed in having very supportive parish priests, Father Owen Gallagher as Assistant Priest and Father Nick Kern as Parish Priest. Father Owen is in school regularly helping our children to experience what it means to belong to, or take part in the worshipping community of the Church. The children are fortunate to be able to experience the richness of the liturgical life of the church in many ways throughout the year such as the Stations of the Cross during Lent, the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation, weekly masses and a joyful Carol Service at Christmas.
It is thus our aim at Sacred Heart to provide our children with opportunities to experience a variety of forms of prayer that help each individual in the school community to foster their own relationship with God.
For details of Assemblies please see our Calendar of events.