The Theotokos Prize will give children the opportunity… ‘to explore the Gospels and the messages of love through art and the images of Christ.’
Constantina Wood, a Christian artist and iconographer, generously donated prizes and joined us as a judge at a special assembly. The scripture focus for the 2017 prize was The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40).
We had one winner per class, overall winners and special prizes were awarded to those who showed a detailed and prayerful response to the scripture. Well done to everyone for the excellent standard of work produced.
St Thomas Aquinas Feast Day
Happy Feast Day - 28th January - take a moment to say a prayer.
Mary, Mother of God
St. Michael's Priory, Willen, kindly supported Constantina Wood, a fine artist and iconographer to come into school to work with our Year 5 children in a series of icon workshops. The children started each of their sessions with a prayer and continued to work in a prayerful, reflective manner, remaining calm and focused as they ‘wrote’ their icon of Mother Mary and Child.
They developed techniques of tracing, transferring an image using red ochre pigment, shading, colouring, mixing egg emulsion and gilding with gold-leaf – all traditional techniques used for iconography. Each child completed their own representation of the image and their work was blessed by Fr. Benedetto at a special service in school. A wonderful experience for everyone involved.
Look in the Mirror First
Natasha from the Bridgebuilder Trust led our assembly today.
She read a passage from George’s Marvellous Medicine where a boy tries to make a magic potion that will turn his angry and rude grandmother into a kind and friendly person.
We all thought that we knew somebody who often seemed grumpy or sulky so we made a potion too, but we didn’t let any of our grumpy friends have a taste of it. Instead, Natasha showed us ways how we might change our own behaviour which could then influence others and how they feel. We might need to look at our own actions and change them first before we criticise how others might be feeling. In our daily prayers we should ask God to help us become better people.
As part of our Lenten Journey, Key Stage 2 children attended a Penitential service in school which was led by some members of the Children’s Chaplaincy Team along with Fr. Christopher and Fr. Benedetto. It gave the children an opportunity to reflect on the times that they have not acted in a way that pleases God, time to say sorry and time to think about ways to make things right again.
There was the opportunity for children to go to individual Confession and it was lovely to see them spending quiet time in the courtyard, in prayer.
Spend some time with the Lord
Our parish held 40 hours of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament over 4 consecutive days during Lent.
Each day, children from Year 6 and the Rosary group went to the incense-filled St Thomas Aquinas Church to spend quiet time in the true presence of Christ. It was a reflective and holy time and a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our relationship with God.
Prayer Bags are Blessed
Prayer is an important part of our friendship with God. Bishop Peter has launched a scheme to encourage children and families to take time to pray at home. Our new themed prayer bags contain a cross, rosary beads, prayer cards and guidance and every child will have the chance to take the bag home during the year.
Fr. Clement is visiting from Kenya and he came into school to bless the new prayer bags today. He also collected the letters to take for our Year 5 and 6 penpals at St. Daniel Comboni School in Gilgil, Kenya.
Year 6 Pilgrimage to Walsingham – July 2015
During the last week of our primary school education, we went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. We went with the Year 6 children from Bishop Parker School.
After our long journey and then snacks in the sunshine, we met with Mr Julian Frood who told us about the history of the shrine and what it means to be a pilgrim.
We celebrated Mass together and visited the Slipper Chapel for quiet prayers. After lunch, we met with a Sister from the Community who helped us understand what it means to be a witness of Christ in today’s world and then we walked the Holy Mile with Fr. Christopher. We spent time at the Anglican shrine to see the Holy House before our journey back to Bletchley.
Mrs Durcan’s Friendship Bench
Father Christopher came to bless the friendship bench in memory of our wonderful colleague, special friend and super teaching assistant, Mrs Linda Durcan. May she rest in peace.
A BIG thank-you to the staff, children and parents who helped to raise a fantastic £1,100 for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice during Advent.
Mrs Durcan, our wonderful friend, colleague and teaching assistant, was cared for by staff at the hospice during her illness.
Ten Ten Theatre
On Monday 10th June the Ten Ten Theatre Company visited our school.
During the day, the actors performed 3 separate plays which each had a Gospel message for the children to think about. Reception and KS1 classes watched Freedom Fighter and learned the importance of good choices and that rules are important to keep us all safe and happy.
Year 3 and 4 joined in with Master and Servant, a play that shows the importance of loving and serving others as a way to find true happiness. Year 5 and 6 watched Called Up, a play which encourages children to embrace change and new situations or friendships knowing that God has a plan for their lives.
It was a great opportunity for the children and the day was very much enjoyed by everyone.
Children from the Chaplaincy Team raised a fantastic £74 for the St Agatha’s project supported by Ariba by organising a ‘Rabbit Raffle’ and ‘Name the Bunny’ event during Parents’ Evening.
Well done girls for giving your time and enthusiasm so generously.
Real Easter Egg
Out of the 80 million chocolate Easter eggs sold each year in the UK, The Real Easter Egg is the first and only Fairtrade chocolate Easter egg to explain the Christian understanding of Easter.
We also give a sizeable donation from profits and Fairtrade Premium fees, to our farmers allowing them to invest in their community, buying everything from school books and solar panels to providing fresh water.
The Real Easter Egg is now in its fourth year of production with more than 400,000 sold so far.
Ash Wednesday Service
Fr. Christopher joined us for an Ash Wednesday service. We gathered to hear some wise words from the prophet Joel and the children told the story of The Good Samaritan as we reflected on the choices we need to make in order to become good friends of Jesus.
Everyone received the ashes and went forward into their Lenten journey with the words “Be strong and turn your life to God.”
There was lots of excitement on Tuesday as we learnt about the history and traditions of Shrove Tuesday. Well done Mrs. Mailer for winning the pancake tossing competition!
At playtime, Year 2 sold delicious pancakes and toppings for us all to enjoy and raised £185.75 for Ariba.
A great start to our Lenten Appeal!
Lenten Fund Raising Launch 2014
Mrs Callaghan returned from Zambia with lots of photos and information about the community in Mongu who are supported by Ariba.
Previously our efforts have helped the Sisters of the Holy Spirit in Limulunga to set up a feeding programme for vulnerable children and a student sponsorship scheme to help promote education.
This Lent we are raising money for St. Agatha’s Women’s Centre which will teach girls and young women new skills such as sewing and knitting, floristry and they will also be running an adult literacy programme.
These skills can then be used to set up small businesses and trade stalls so that each family has a sustainable source of income.
Children’s Chaplaincy Team
The Children’s Chaplaincy Team have had a busy start to their new roles.
12 children from KS2 are meeting each fortnight to discuss ideas to help and support their fellow pupils in school, in the parish and in the wider community.
The team made a great start by getting involved with collecting, sorting and pricing the tins and groceries for the parish bazaar. They were all involved in preparing for our Advent Mass and they helped Mrs Hackett with the special Nativity assembly.
Coffee, cake and cash for care
Coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support raised £203.32
Thank you for your support.