Our Catholic Ethos
As a Catholic School, Christ is at the centre of all that we do at St. Peter’s. We believe that each of us was created in God’s own image with our own unique skills and talents. We listen to and learn from the teachings of Jesus and use these as a model for how we work together as a community.
We make time in each day to come together in collective worship to give thanks to God for all that is good in our school. We teach children about prayer and give them opportunities for prayer several times throughout the school day. Seasons in our school year are marked by special Masses and liturgies and we are well supported by all of our Parish Priests.
Our school serves the Arundel and Brighton parishes of Ashtead, Leatherhead, Fetcham and Effingham.
At St Peter’s Religious Education pervades the ethos and the daily life of the school. Together with home and the parish, school is a place where children hear the Gospel through word and example, experience the Church as a community of God’s people and grow in understanding of the world and themselves.
Our Parish Priests regularly visit the school in a formal and informal way and are a link with the wider community of the Church. Masses and Class Services are an integral part of the life of the school, we regularly visit our local churches for masses and celebrations.
At St Peter’s we take the time to celebrate the seasons of the Liturgical Year. All of our class displays reflect the Liturgical colour and we take time to recognise the changing of the seasons. We spend time in our R.E lessons looking at the events in the churches calender and we celebrate many of them together through collective worship. Throughout the months of October and May we hold weekly prayer groups with parents and children, inviting them to say the rosary together, exploring the different mysteries as we go. We recognise the importance of Advent and Lent and encourage children to spend this time thinking about their role as a disciple of Jesus.
Holy Mass is celebrated in our local parishes Our Lady and St Peter, Leatherhead and St Michael’s, Ashtead on Holy Days of Obligation and other special occasions involving the whole school.
Year 3 take part in a special mass to celebrate them making the sacrament of First Holy Communion at the end of the Summer Term.
During May we remember Mary, Mother of Jesus with a celebration. The children in Year 4 who made their First Holy Communion last summer lead our celebration dressed in their First Holy Communion clothes.
After gathering as a school in the playground, each child carrying a flower. The celebration begins with a procession in the school grounds, followed by a liturgy when we crown Mary with flowers.
The Religious Education Programme at the School
The basis of our Religious Education teaching is ‘Come and See’, a Catholic Primary Education Programme for Foundation, Key Stages 1 and 2 published in July 2012. Written by a group of experienced diocesan advisors, it follows on from successful trialling in schools in England and Wales and is based on the theological foundations of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Catechism and the revised RE Curriculum Directory.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses the search for meaning in life. God’s initiative in Revelation who comes to meet us and our response of faith.’ (cf. CCC26) This pattern guides the structure of the programme and informs the process of each topic opened up through: Explore, Reveal and Respond.
Information about this term’s programme, to help you to support your child’s religious education at home, may be accessed here.
As part of ‘Come and See’ each year children will also study two other world religions from Judaism and Islam. Visits to places of worship from other world faiths are arranged to widen the children’s understanding of the rich and diverse world they live in.
Whole School Liturgies
On Tuesday mornings we gather in our Key Stage groups to reflect on the Gospel from Sunday’s mass. This gives every child an opportunity to hear the word of God and reflect on what it means to us as Catholics today.
Once a term each class invites family members to join them in a class liturgy reflecting on their current learning in R.E. Each class also has the opportunity to visit our prayer room once a week. During this time they are given the opportunity to pray and reflect through a variety of different mediums. We also encourage some of our older children to plan and hold their own liturgies using scripture from their current learning in R.E.
We promote the children’s awareness of the local and wider communities by encouraging them to participate in charitable activities and fund raising. Every year as a school we take part in Mission Together. ‘Children helping Children’ is at the heart of Mission Together’s work. Throughout the world children are learning about the role they can play in helping others. It is a simple idea but puts children at the centre of the Church’s work to help those in need. We take part in a number of fundraising activities across the year in order to support people not only in the developing world, but also in our local community.
We also support a whole range of other charities, ranging from national campaigns such as Red Nose Day and Children in Need, to local charities like QEF.
Within our R.E, History and Geography topics we spend time looking at the issue of Fairtrade across the world. This provokes thoughtful and creative responses from all age groups as they look at a range of issues from the lives of cotton growers in Mali to banana growers in St Lucia. We are proud to have received the accolade of FairAchiever Award, which recognises the enhanced level of commitment we show.