St Swithun Wells is a Catholic school in which each individual grows in the knowledge and love of being a part of the family of Christ. Children and families benefit from the Catholic Life at St Swithun Wells in many ways. We see our school as family and like all families we share in joys and sadness together and are there to celebrate with and support families and each other through both.
At the heart of our school lies our mission statement;
‘As God’s children, we learn, achieve and succeed together.
We touch the lives of others by our faith, prayers, words and actions.’
In everything that we do, we remember that we are each called by name to lead a life as brothers and sisters in Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit in the service of God.
As an integral part of our Catholic ethos, all pupils are made aware, throughout the school year, of the changes and celebrations relating to the Church's Liturgical Year. These events are highlighted in our prayer space in our classrooms and in our prayer space in School. The children are aware of the liturgical changes with the changing colours of our cloths and displays.
At key times of the Liturgical Year, as well as the beginning of a new term, we gather in School as a community, along with parents and family, staff and parishioners to worship together in a Mass.
Prayer is central to the life of the school and the school day is punctuated with prayer. Through opportunities of meaningful worship, children are supported in strengthening their own and others’ faith and are able to explore their faith further. Through whole school assemblies, prayer-partners, joint class worship, teacher led worship and child led worship, our children are given time to reflect and pray daily. As children grow through the school, they are encouraged to become confident prayer leaders, to be able to lead and guide others in their worship and in a closer relationship with Jesus.
We are privileged that ohas strong links with the parish and are able to
The children at St Swithun Wells receive a high quality of R.E education, are engaged and take pride in their work and achieve high standards. Through their R.E. learning, the children are able to make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world. R.E is the centre of the life of the school and it has a strong impact on the children’s values, interaction with community and the world around them.
Through fundraising events for local and international charities and links with homeless shelters and care homes within our community, the children at St Swithun Wells are encouraged to put the themes of Catholic Social Teaching into action in their own lives. These fundraising events are often planned and organised by our Year 6 House Captains and leaders, who set an example of how to
Ash Wednesday is on 17th February. It is traditionally a day which starts our 40 day journey with Christ to Easter. During Lent, we ask for God’s grace and mercy and aim to spend the next 40 days doing something to show we “Live our lives like Jesus” through our faith, prayers, words and actions. There are 3 principles to help us prepare for Jesus’ resurrection: PRAYER - FAST - ALMSGIVING.
From Ash Wednesday, our school Lenten Challenge will begin. This year, the challenge will be focused on working towards a Discipleship Award. In order to gain a Discipleship Award, we are asking the children to complete a Lenten task each week. Each child will receive an overview of suggested tasks that they may like to follow and each week there will be a focus such as fasting (perhaps giving up a favourite food or screen time!), prayer and scripture, being thoughtful, vocal and creative. The purpose of the Discipleship Award is to help the children learn, explore, and experience our Catholic faith in a way that leads them to a greater understanding of and a deep, lifelong commitment to our faith.
As a school community, this Lent we are also supporting CAFOD and raising money to support some of the poorest communities around the world by holding a Walk for Water fundraising day. In doing so, it encourages our children to put their faith into action and inspiring them to become active global citizens and living out our school mission.
As family, you might also like to complete the Lenten Action Cards that are uploaded on the school website below as a way to guide your Lenten journey with Christ. You could cut them out and place them in a jar or small box in a central location in your home - perhaps on the dining room table or the counter next to the fridge! You could then invite each family member to each draw out an action card and focus on its Lenten living suggestion as a family that day or week.
We hope that these ideas for practicing prayer, fasting, and almsgiving can help you as a family to grow closer to God this Lenten season.
Jesus told us that whatever we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we do to him. Jesus continues to suffer and die in many of the hurting people of the world. Below are some suggestions to help guide you as a family during this Holy Week to help you reflect on the connections between the Passion story and suffering in the world today.
- Worship, reflection and activities for Palm or Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday
- A prayer service devised by Wintershall Education department of the Stations of the Cross along with images and suggested ideas for doing this at home. (A suggestion is that you may want to keep the 15th Station until Easter Sunday to pray together.)
- Copies of the images for the Stations of the Cross
- A craft activity on crosses
- https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/primary-subscription/prayers-for-home/daily-prayers-for-home/ - which links to Tenten resources that have daily worships for Holy week
- https://www.tentenresources.co.uk/primary-subscription/prayers-for-home/15-prayers/ - which links to prayers for specific needs at this time of school closure.
During Advent, our Priests join us for Penitential Liturgies where we have the opporunity to experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The hall is set up with prayer stations where we reflect on the theme of reconciliation. We can also go to Confession with one of the Priests.
During Advent, families across the school host our Travelling Nativities. They take home a nativity set, the Christmas story and a candle and spend the evening reading the story and reflecting on the meaning of Christmas. Children and their families are invited to add a prayer to the Prayer Book.
Laudato Si Week
The children have been responding to Pope Francis' letter Laudato Si and have been thinking of ways we can look after our Common Home and God's creation.