Every year, during Lent, we spend one day celebrating our school's mission. Everyone in school takes part in activities that reflect and reinforce the importance of this special season in the church’s year. There are lots of different workshops run by a wide range of visitors to the school.
2011 / 2012
Friday 9th March was our school Mission Day. The theme for the day was ‘Come to me just as you are.’ John 6:37. We all had an exciting and busy day.
Reception children learned that each one of us is special and that God loves us all. They had a visit from Mrs Wheatley who told a story about a butterfly who wanted to change its pattern but then realised that he was just perfect the way he was.
Key Stage 1 children learnt, through prayer and song, that each of us has talents to be proud of and that sometimes it is what is on the inside that is more important that what is on the outside.
In year 3 the children heard a story about a broken pot and began to realise that we all have flaws but we all have strengths too and it is important to recognise each of these and know that God loves us, whatever our faults.
The older children had a chance to have quiet time using the meditation zones in the hall which were provided by the Bridgebuilder Trust. This was a wonderfully peaceful and reflective element of the day.
Some children were visited by Mr. Van Leeuwen who spoke to them about our Lenten Charity, Ariba, and what they are doing to support a village community in Zambia. It was inspirational to hear how a little effort here in the UK can make such a huge difference to someone else’s life in Africa.
Staff from St Paul’s School came to work with the Year 6 children who will be moving up soon. They discussed that it is important to be true to yourself and to God, and not to try to be something that you are not.
Throughout the day children worked with Mrs. White to create individual plaques to remind them of the day and Mrs. Callaghan showed two classes how they could worship God through liturgical dance.
In the afternoon, the whole school gathered together for a special assembly to share what they had done during the day and to hear how Jesus welcomed the poor and sick, the sinners, the children and all those who believe. We came away listening to the message that God loves all of us equally and our differences are what make us special.
2009 / 2010
This year's Mission Day was linked with our charity fundraising efforts for the Ariba project in Zambia and was made extra special by the visit of Bishop Peter who blessed and officially opened our meeting room. We were able to hand over the money we raised for Ariba to Mr. Van Leeuwen.
The whole school did work based on Bishop Peter's message; "Walk Humbly, Act Justly and Love Tenderly". We were visited by African drummers and dancers and children were able to have a go at African drumming and dancing themselves. Bishop Peter even impressed us with his African dancing! Children also learnt the Our Father in sign language and learnt about vocations from visitors from the Bridgebuilder Trust, St. Paul's and the HCPT. Many classes also learnt about the life of the clergy from priest and nuns. We finished the day with a liturgy and we presented Bishop Peter with work we had done for him. We also completed our mural for the wall in the hall. Come in to school to see everyone's picture.
2006 / 2007
Fr. Ken Payne, a special friend and frequent visitor to the school, came and spoke to the children in Years 5 and 6 about his work with MoPSA and charity work in general and about his personal experiences working with the poorest of the poor around the world. Other visitors on the day were Mr Martin Payne from “Barnabus Live”, an ecumenical Christian organisation, who came along and did story telling for the younger children.
Mrs Jean Lillis taught sign language to the Yr 3 and Yr4 children. Some of the chaplaincy staff from St Paul’s school came along and talked to the KS2 children about Fair Trade and the global community. Angela White and some volunteers from the parish did a workshop about Parish life and the local community. Mrs. Callaghan worked with both year 5 and 6OM to prepare a liturgical dance.
The younger children enjoyed bible story sessions and singing and, in their art workshop, created an enormous cross carrying the face of every member of the school community and all those present on the special day.
The Yr 3 children took part in a special reconciliation service in continued preparation for their forthcoming First Holy Communion in May.
The day started with a whole school assembly led by Mr Wheatley and finished with Mass celebrated by Fr Michael. Mrs Lillis and the children prayed the Our Father in the sign language they had learned earlier in the day.
If you would like to learn more about MoPSA, you can visit their website at www.mopsa.org.uk.
On Tuesday February 27th Jessica Lane, a past pupil of the school came in to talk to the children about her gap year trip to west Africa. She explained that she had started to play a musical instrument at St. Thomas Aquinas in year 4 and was now going to return for three months to help further develop the Mansek Music School in Takoradi, in Ghana. She told the children that music is very precious to the Ghanaians and for some learning to play an instrument is their best hope of getting a job.
Music lessons in Ghana, she explained, are very expensive and quite rare as they have few instruments and even fewer music teachers. With the money given to her by the school Jessica plans to buy some recorders to take with her to set up a Saturday morning Recorder Club for the local children in Takoradi. She promised to return to the school when she returns with photos and news of her trip.
At the end of her talk the children asked Jessica many questions, especially about her Ghanaian clothes. She then taught the children a hymn in English and Fanti (a local Ghanaian dialect).
Unto the Lord be the glory
Great things he has done
Unto the Lord be the glory
Great things he has done.