Chaplaincy at St Cuthbert's
Chaplaincy is understood as the way help and encouragement is offered to staff and pupils as they try to fulfil their respective roles within the school community. We recognise and appreciate the role played by staff, parents, priests, governors and pupils as we try to fulfil our aim of being “the best we can, showing Christ’s love in all we do.” Our Chaplaincy Team exists to foster the Christ-centred Catholic ethos of the school and to create and maintain God’s peace in our school. Through a variety of liturgical and spiritual opportunities, we support and encourage all pupils and staff in their faith journey.
The welfare of staff and pupils is given high priority by the leadership. However, through the pastoral care exhibited towards the needs of the pupils, all members of staff within the school contribute to a whole school approach to Chaplaincy.
Our school’s Chaplain is Ms Donna Broxup, who supports and leads our Chaplaincy team.
The Young Chaplains team comprises of two children from Years 3-6. They lead, with guidance from our School Chaplain Leader, lunchtime interactive prayer sessions called, ‘Footsteps in Faith’ in our Chapel, based around the teachings of the Bible and prayer. They provide a voice to the school chaplaincy team and evaluate the effectiveness of the school by contributing to the school’s Pupil DSEF whilst working closely with the School Chaplain. The Young Chaplains aim to enhance the prayer life and spirituality of the school through their input and example. They also contribute to liturgical displays, various Sacred Spaces around the school and prayer tables.
The Chaplaincy team aim to:
Support the school in emphasising its spirituality and Catholicity as set out in the school’s mission statement
Support and encourage the school’s pastoral care for the whole school, pupils, staff and parents
Promote, plan and organise the celebration of liturgies and cooperate with others in developing the school as a Christian community
Develop the prayer environment and Sacred Spaces across and outside of the school
Children are prepared for Reconciliation and Eucharist in Year 4. During this time of preparation, staff, parents and priests all contribute to the children’s spiritual development.
Children have the opportunity to receive the Eucharist at school and class masses.
Children have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
A Bible reading group led by the Young Chaplains is offered for children from KS1 and KS2 weekly through our Footsteps in Faith group, giving the children an opportunity to share thoughts of readings and a time for prayer.
We also have a ‘Wednesday Word’ for all children in KS2 to allow them to explore scripture in the theme of prayer and praise.
All pupils are made aware that all staff are available at break and lunchtimes if they have anything they wish to discuss. The School Leadership Team work with all staff, including the Chaplaincy Team, to provide support for pupils with health and well-being issues. The Student Council provide a lunchtime drop-in surgery to discuss any friendship issues or worries that children may have in an effort to ensure the holistic care of all children. Any change of circumstances that necessitates a need for all to know is passed on to the relevant staff. As the children move through the school, information is passed on to the next year teacher at the end of each school year or on a need to know basis. We appreciate the value of mutual support and actively encourage staff to share any concerns they may have.
Planning and Organisation
The Senior Leadership Team, in liaison with the chaplain and local parish priest, organise the dates of school Masses, Liturgies and Class Assemblies. All staff are made aware of the dates at the beginning of each term. The Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are celebrated at St Cuthbert’s Church. Regular meetings are held with our School Chaplaincy Team and Student Council. The Young Chaplains are organised and prepared for by our School Chaplain Lead.