Catholic Worship: Prayer & Liturgy

Catholic worship: prayer and liturgy

Catholic worship is central to the operation of the school – each day begins with a prayer in
the tutor base: This is largely led by the students themselves and reflects their concerns
such that it is made relevant to their lives and experiences; it follows the liturgical calendar.
For special occasions (such as Mary Ward week, Advent and Lent) our school chaplain
provides additional material to support student prayer and provide cohesion to our school
prayer life.
Whole-school assembly each Monday is a mixture of student-led, Senior Leadership Team,
School Chaplain and outside speakers. Students are eager to volunteer to participate and
often volunteer or bring topics to the SLT they would like to present to the school (e.g. Black
History). Largely reflecting the liturgical year, the assemblies actively link world events to
our common spiritual journey. Each assembly begins with the sign of the cross, incorporates
scripture (normally that used in the previous Sunday’s gospel) and involves a prayer and
hymn. Time is provided for reflection and often there is a degree of student participation.
The school actively seeks student and teacher evaluation in order to develop further.
Each form class has the opportunity of leading and contributing to the voluntary Mass on
Friday lunchtime. Each voluntary Mass has about 32 students present and 10 staff.
Whole school Masses take place on a number of occasions throughout the year – in addition
to Holy Days of Obligation, we have Masses for St Michael’s Day, the end of term,
Introductory Mass for Year 7 with parents, Key Stage Masses, Year 11 Leavers and Year 13
Leavers. These are held in the Sports Hall (except in the summer when St Alban’s Church is
used). Liturgies involve a range of student input such as drama, orchestra, vocal groups,
readings and dance. Although communion can be congested, student respect is excellent
and staff actively encourage a prayerful atmosphere. We welcome a number of students of
other faiths or none into our Sixth Form and they are inducted and attend our Masses so
that the entire community celebrate together.
Year groups from Year 7 to Year 11 undertake a one-day retreat each year. In KS3 these are
run by the RE staff (with input for Year 8 from the Dominican Sisters). In KS4 these are run
by external organisations (such as SPEC). Retreats are run off-site and students can wear
their own clothes. A Sixth Form retreat will take place in 2024, along with a trip to Rome.
Evaluations of retreats are very positive and students appreciate the opportunity to spend
time thinking about their spiritual journey.


Love one another, as I have loved you