And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Our School Mission Statement, Put out into the Deep, has implications for all of us that go beyond our school environment. We recognise that each one of our pupils exist as part of society. Every individual has a duty to share in promoting the welfare of the community and a right to benefit from that welfare. This applies at every level: local, national and international.
Catholic Life 2018-19
125th Anniversary Mass
On the 19th September the whole school community gathered together with past members of staff to celebrate a special Mass of thanksgiving on the 125th Anniversary of the opening of St James's school. Bishop John Wilson and our four local Parish Priest and a local Deacon joined us to celebrate Mass. Each year group prepared a piece of art to show different parts of life at St James's, which were presented on display during Mass. Year Six took a lead with the readings, Prayers of the Faithful, serving and presenting the offertory gifts on this special occasion.
After Mass, the school was re-blessed by Bishop John and Fr Ulick. Bishop John then met with the Reception children, who sung him the song 'Jesus love is very wonderful'.
Year Four, Five and Six Mass
Years Four, Five and Six joined together with parents for a Mass reflecting on the theme of 'love'. Canon Peter Newby joined us to celebrate Mass, and invited the children to reflect on how we live out the message Jesus gave us of 'Love one another'. Children from Year Five helped to lead Mass on this occasion by sharing the readings, bringing up the offertory gifts and reading the Prayers of the Faithful.
During the month of October, which is dedicated to the Rosary, children from across the school met together once a week to pray a decade of the rosary for the school’s intentions. Children brought along their own rosaries and spend a sometime praying together seeking the guidance and prayers of Mary.
Rosary Prayer Pack
During October, each child was able to take home their class Prayer Pack. This pack included blue fabric, a small candle, a rosary and some prayer cards. Families spent time in prayer at home, and then shared their own prayer in the class prayer book, asking for the intercession of Mary. Each child then shared their prayers with their class the next day.
Fr Ulick joined the whole school community for Mass to mark the Solemnity of All Saints. For the first time Reception joined the school for this special Occasion. Fr Ulick reminded the children how we can all be 'Saint-like' through the small things we do by living a holy life and being kind to others. Children from Year Four confidently read the readings and Prayers of the Faithful during Mass.
One Friday in October the children came to school wearing socks of their own choice, and also brought in money and a donation of new socks for a ‘socktober’ event. This was to raise donations for Spear, the homeless charity and the work they do locally in Twickenham and Richmond. Hundreds of pairs of socks were generously donated, as well as £381 towards the charity's work. A speaker from Spear also came into school to speak to the children in years Two to Six about the work they do and how the school will be supporting them.
Brighten up for Harvest
The school joined in with the national CAFOD ‘brighten up for harvest’ fundraising event. Children came into school wearing a bright accessory and made a donation towards CAFOD’s work.Over £500 was raised for the work of CAFOD this Harvest.
Richmond Food Bank
Around the time of Harvest, families were invited to make donations of food towards the work of Richmond Food Bank. Families and staff were very generous and donated hundreds of different items, which were gratefully received. 168kg of food was donated.
To mark the month of November and Remembrance Sunday a school remembrance service was held. The Year Six RE Captains led the school through readings and reflections, and Note Bene choir led the school in singing opening and closing hymns. After the last post was played, the school paused for a moment of silence to remember all of those who have died in conflict.
St James's once again supported the annual Poppy Appeal, selling poppies to staff, children and visitors. This year we raised £97 for the work of the Royal British Legion.
To mark the start of Advent the whole school gathered together to celebrate Mass with Fr Wojciech. Fr Wojciech reminded us of the importance of the preparation during this holy season preparing for the joy of Christmas. Mini Vinnies and RE Captains from Years Five and Six helped lead the Mass. The first candle was lit on the school Advent wreath to mark the start of this important season in the Church year.
Advent Prayer Pack
During Advent, families will once again have a chance to pray together using the class Advent Prayer Pack. The prayer pack helps to prepare us during this important season, allowing us to be ready to remember the birth of our saviour, Jesus Christ.
Advent Art and Prayer
The annual Advent Art and Prayer club has begun again this month, with over thirty children from Key Stage Two meeting after school to spend time in prayer and reflection, whilst also having a go at different crafts. The children have made their own angels, lanterns and Nativity snow globes.
Advent fundraising week one
The Mini Vinnies voted for three charities for the school to support this Advent. The first was Shooting Star Chase Hospice. Everyone was asked to make a donation of £1 towards the work of the charity, and to make a donation of a toy. Hundreds of toys were donated, and these were given to the hospice and the charity's shops to help raise more funds. In total £455 was raised to support Shooting Star Chase.
Advent fundraising week two
The second charity chosen by the Mini Vinnies was CAFOD and their World Gifts programme. Children were invited to wear their own shoes in return for a donation towards the work of CAFOD. £352.15 was raised for the CAFOD this Advent.
Advent Reconciliation Liturgy
Years Four, Five and Six gathered together for a liturgy in preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Year Six RE Captains led the school in reflections, and the choir led the children in singing traditional carols. Fr Bernard from St Theodore's Parish joined us for this liturgy. This was also our chance to say thank you and goodbye to Fr Bernard who is retiring at the end of the year. Fr Bernard told the children he has been supporting St James's school for over twenty three years. The children presented Fr Bernard with some gifts to show our appreciation, and the school sung one of Fr's favourite carols; Now Thank we all our God.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Throughout Advent we are grateful for our Parish Priests joining us in school to offer the children the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Children in Years Four, Five and Six have been provided a sheet to take home and examine their conscience beforehand.
Advent Fundraising Week three
The final charity chosen by the Mini Vinnie was 'The Passage', a homeless charity based in central London. A speaker from The Passage spoke to the children in Middle and Upper School earlier on in the term. The staff and children came to school wearing Christmas jumpers in return for a donation of £1 towards the charity's work. £506.43 was raised for The Passage.
Advent Carol Service
During the final week of term we held our annual carol service led by Year Six. Key Stage Two children and their families gathered in St Francis De Sales Catholic Church after school for the occasion. The staff choir performed their first song as a surprise to both the children and families present. Year Six retold the Nativity story throughout the service, and Mrs Yarnell gave her annual Christmas message. £557.51 was raised for the local charity 'Me too' who provided activities and therapy for children with additional needs and disabilities.