As part of our Advent Retreat day, the whole school joined together for a special Gospel liturgy. As well as hearing what Jesus tells us about 'being ready', we had the opportunity to reflect on our theme for this Advent, based on Isaiah's prophecy - peace. Throughout this special season, we will be preparing ourselves for Jesus' birth by exploring the importance of making peace with our friends and families; with people we do not know and with God himself.
Throughout the day, the children learned about inspirational peacemakers, they wrote peace prayers, looked at symbols of peace and made their own Advent keyring. Our preparations will culminate in our Christmas concerts, with the Junior Nativity focusing on Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
School Mass in St Vincent's to celebrate the feast of Christ the King
Our school children joined the whole parish and did a wonderful job leading the reading and singing for this special feast day, marking the end of the liturgical year.
November is a time to Remember
The whole school attended mass in St Vincent's Church to celebrate the feast of All Saints. The following day, the feast of All Souls, we gathered together for a special remembrance liturgy. We listened to a story from the Gospel of John when Jesus told the disciples how he was going to die. We also explored how we are still close to those who have died using the story 'The Invisible String' - even though people we have loved have died, we remain connected to them. The names of all those we would like to pray for throughout November are written on hearts linked by 'invisible strings' and are on display in the main entrance.
Welcome Assembly 2023
Our Y6 children formally welcomed their buddies - the new Reception children - into our St Anselm's family at our Welcome Assembly. Parents and carers of Y6 and YR were invited to join us for this special occasion where we prayed for the new children, their happiness and success throughout their time here at St Anselm's.
Sunday Mass in Church - September
The school led the singing and the Liturgy of the Word at the 10.30am Sunday Mass in St Vincent's Church.
As this was our Harvest Mass, children brought along with them items for their food bank initiative. The large plastic boxes will be cited at the back of the church and outside of school for people who need it to access.
Mass in St Vincent's Church to mark the start of the new academic year
Staff and children in Y1 - Y6 were joined by parents to ask God's blessing on the school this year.
On this School your blessing, Lord,
On this School your grace bestow.
On this School your blessing, Lord,
May it come and never go,
Bringing peace and joy and happiness,
Bringing love that knows no end.
On this School your blessing, Lord,
On this School your blessing send.
Whole School Liturgy for a New School Year 2023-2024
We gathered together for our first whole school liturgy of this academic year.
We compared our school to a puzzle. Just like a jigsaw that has many different pieces, everyone in our school is unique and has their own gifts to share with others.
Each piece of a puzzle is important and is needed to make the picture whole; our school is the same – everyone in it has an important role to play.
Every single piece of a jigsaw puzzle works with the other pieces to make a big picture. Without the other pieces, the puzzle will not be a success. This is also true of our school – each one of us needs to make good choices and to work with each other to make our school a happy, safe and loving place.
This puzzle, which is on display in the main entrance, includes the name of every member of our school community and help us to remember that, just as St Paul tells us, ‘We are one body in Christ, and we do not stand alone.’
Leavers' Mass 2023
The whole school community gathered for a special mass to celebrate our Y6 children for the people that they have grown to become throughout their time in our school. We offered our prayers and a special blessing of light for them as they leave us and move on to their new schools.
We pray that they continue to grow in faith, friendship, love and inspiration. Amen.
The Coronation of King Charles III
In anticipation of the Coronation of our new King, Charles III, we gathered in our red white and blue for Mass in recognition of this exciting event and celebration full of significance. We recognised that:
In this special Mass, we prayed for God’s blessing on King Charles: may the Holy Spirit fill him with justice and mercy, bringing peace to our nation and the Commonwealth through his reign. Amen
May is the Month of Mary
The whole school gathered for a special liturgy to honour Mary our Mother. After listening about some key events in Mary's life and exploring how she is inspirational to us, we each presented her with flowers we had made. All of our flowers are now in the main entrance so that throughout this month we can praise Mary saying, 'Blessed art thou amongst women.'
St Anselm's Day
As the patron saint of our school, St Anselm is very special to us. We celebrated his feast day on 21st April with mass, a whole-school liturgy and completing lots of exciting learning about him before enjoying a whole-school 'silent disco' in the afternoon that was not actually very silent!
You can view some of our learning here. Everyone really enjoyed the celebrations.
Our Lenten Journey
Throughout Lent, we have taken part in a range of spiritual activities. Not only have Y5 and Y6 led the Stations of the Cross in St Vincent's Church every Friday, we have prayed our own stations on the playground and used prayer ribbons for our own special intentions in St Anselm's Corner.
The whole school gathered together once more on the last day of term, thinking about the events of Good Friday and Jesus' death on the cross. The cocktail sticks were removed from our large crown of thorns, symbolising how Jesus' pain and death saved us from our sins.
Stations of the Cross
We would like to share the reflections that each class has written for the Stations of the Cross. You might like to use them for your own family reflection at home.
Lent is a very important season for us all and, as such, we are doing our best to grow closer to God during this time.
On Ash Wednesday, the whole school attended Mass in St Vincent's Church. Each Friday, children from Y5 and Y6 are leading the Stations of the Cross in St Vincent's Church. During the first full week of Lent, we took part in a Lent retreat, which began with a special liturgy about the significance of the Crown of Thorns, before each class spent time preparing prayerful responses to the Turvey Abbey Stations of the Cross images. These pictures and prayers will be displayed around the school throughout Lent.
RIP Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
We gathered together for a special remembrance liturgy to celebrate the life of the retired Pope, Benedict.
Father, eternal shepherd,
hear the prayers of your people for your servant, Benedict,
who governed your Church with love.
In your mercy, bring him
to the reward you have promised
your faithful servants.
May he who faithfully administered the mysteries of your forgiveness
and love on earth,
rejoice with you for ever in heaven,
for ever with your saints.
Through Christ our Lord,
Our Journey to the Manger
Throughout Advent we have been preparing our hearts for the birth of Jesus. This began with our retreat day when the figures from our Nativity set began their journey from class to class, replicating the journey that Mary and Joseph made from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
The figures spent two days in each class, which gave our teachers and children the opportunity to reflect on our individual preparations. This culminated in our final liturgy of the term when Y6 brought Mary and Joseph to the hall and we shared the joy of the Christmas story and Jesus' birth.
As well as looking at these photographs, you can watch a short video of Mary and Joseph's journey here.
Junior Carol Service
The juniors joined together in St Vincent's Church for their special Carol Service ' Carols by Candlelight' which they performed to parents and parishioners. Short readings explaining the significance of aspects of the Christmas story, illustrated through 8 different coloured candles, helped us all to reflect on the Nativity in a very meaningful way.
Our infants performed 'The Jolly Christmas Postman' to their parents and carers, beautifully reminding us of the importance of Jesus' birth in our lives. After two years of not being able to have live concerts, it was so wonderful to be able to do this again!
Advent Retreat Day
The regular timetable shut down to make way for specially planned activities around the theme of kindness, based on Pope Francis’ letter Fratelli Tutti. The day began with a whole school Advent liturgy, where the first candle on the Advent wreath - symbolising ‘hope’ - was lit. Throughout the day, children learned about inspirational individuals who have demonstrated kindness in their lives; they explored different ways of praying using either the teaspoon prayer, or a 5 finger prayer; and they each made a bead string keyring to support their understanding of the characters or symbols within the Nativity story.
November is a month of Remembrance
As well as attending mass in St Vincent's Church, we had a special whole school remembrance liturgy. We explored the idea of remembrance using extracts from the Disney film ‘Coco’. When someone dies, it can be a very sad time for us. Coco helped us to understand how important it is to remember people after they have died and that no one is ever really gone until we stop remembering them. When we look at photographs, they can help us to remember happy times that we have shared with people. We can also pray for those we love who have died. The names of all those who we want to pray for throughout November are listed in photo frames on the remembrance display in the main reception area.
Y6 Veneration of St Bernadette's relics
Our Y6 children made the journey to our Mother Cathedral of St George's to venerate the relics of St Bernadette. After the veneration, we joined the congregation in praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.
While we were in the cathedral, we also enjoyed looking at the various chapels, stained glass windows and art work. We particularly liked the Oscar Romero cross.
October Rosary Club
Throughout the month, children have gathered in our Rosary garden to pray the rosary together.
Our whole school community gathered together to formally welcome our new Reception class in to our school family. It was a wonderful occasion led by the Year 6 Buddies and a real joy to be able to invite parents and carers to pray with us and celebrate this important moment in our children's lives.
Harvest Festival Mass in St Vincent's Church
The whole school community came together on Sunday 25th September for mass in church to celebrate Harvest Festival. It was lovely to come together like this again after such a long time and wonderful to see so many children and families there. Our Y6 children did a splendid job of reading the liturgy and the mass was truly uplifted by everyone's singing. Thank you to everyone for their donations to the House of Mercy in Gravesend, which totalled £478.56, and were presented at the Offertory.
R.I.P Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Following the very sad news that our Queen had passed away, we came together for a special liturgy to celebrate her extraordinary life of service and say prayers to aid her on her way to heaven. Our Union Jack flag is flying at half mast and a candle will remain lit in the main entrance beneath the screen playing a video montage of her life until the day of the funeral. Everyone is invited to write a prayer and place it in St Anselm's Corner.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
New term, new year 2022-23!
As well as celebrating Mass in St Vincent's Church, we explored what it means to be unique in a whole school liturgy. We compared ourselves to leaves on a tree. Just like leaves, we are unique, each of us has a job to do and when we come together we make something very beautiful—our school.
Each member of our school community has their name on our Tree of Uniqueness which is on display in the main reception.
Our prayer for our school this year
This is our school, let peace dwell here,
Let our school be full of happiness,
Let there be love here.
Love of one another; love of life itself
And love of God.
Let us remember that:
As many unique leaves make a tree
So many unique hearts make our school.
The whole school community gathered together for our Leavers' Mass in St Vincent's Church. We gave thanks for all those children and staff who are leaving us. Four candles were lit and prayers were offered to mark the different points in the lives of our children in Year 6. May God Bless them as they embark upon their secondary school journey.
A speaker from CAFOD came in to school to talk to us about Catholic Social Teaching and the Walk for Hunger.
As we are embarking on a virtual pilgrimage as part of our liturgies throughout the year, the whole school took part in a pilgrimage around our local area, stopping at certain points on the way - including St Vincent's Church - for reflection.
St Anselm's Day
To celebrate St Anselm’s day this year, each class made a recycled prayer station to be situated in the school grounds for the children to use as a focus for prayer. We learnt about Pope Francis’ letter to the world “Laudato Si” (care for our common home) which is something that is very dear to the hearts of our pupils. The prayer stations have now been placed around the school grounds. The children have really done a super job!
Stations of the Cross
Our children have done a fantastic job of leading Stations of the Cross in St Vincent's Church every Friday in Lent. Their thoughtful reflections really have helped members of our school and parish community to contemplate Jesus' journey to the cross.
In our Lenten liturgies, we are on a journey from the Garden of Eden to the Resurrection Garden. We are using the book 'The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross' to help us reflect on important stories in the Bible, especially Jesus' death on the cross. We have recreated the story in our display in the main reception area.
Whole School Christmas Concert 2022
COVID restrictions meant that we were unable to have live concerts again this year. However, this didn't stop us! In fact, this meant that for the very first time, we were able to have a whole school Christmas Concert which was produced for parents to watch on video from the comfort of their homes!
Advent Retreat Day
The day began with a whole school reconciliation liturgy followed by individual confessions with Fr Pat or Fr Michael for children in Key Stage 2. Throughout the day, the children have taken part in a range of activities including: reconciliation paper chains, Bible journaling and making an Advent Prayer Bag. The day ended with the whole school coming together once more to use the items in the prayer bag in a special Advent liturgy. The children can use the prayer bags they have made at home and are encouraged to use them in the two weeks that remain of this Advent season.
In November, we remember
In our remembrance liturgy at the start of the month, we explored life, death and new life through the film 'Up'. We talked about the importance of treasuring life, our friends and our families and recognised that when those we love die, it can be a very sad and lonely time. However, there is part of us that should be pleased that our loved ones who have died not only live on in us but also are raised to new life in heaven.
The names of our loved ones and others we have lost that we want to pray for throughout the month are written on the balloons attached to Carl's house which is displayed in the main entrance.
October is the Month of the Rosary
Throughout October we are praying the Rosary each day in class. As we say the rosary together, the Holy Spirit unites us all as a family and speaks to each one of us in our heart. We can also spend time in the prayer area, reading about Mary and praying to her, or we can visit the new Rosary Garden outside. We have also created a large rosary made from roses in the main entrance.
We formally welcomed the new Reception children into our school family. Our Y6 buddies introduced them to us and told us a little bit about each one of them. We are so pleased that the children and their families have chosen our school and we look forward to supporting our Sunflowers as they grow.
School Mass to mark the beginning of the year 2021-22
Fr Pat celebrated Mass for us to celebrate the start of the new academic year. We prayed for every member of our St Anselm's school family and welcomed those who have joined us.
Whole School Assembly to mark the start of the academic year 2021-22
We gathered together as a whole school in the hall for the first time this year - and for the first time since before the Pandemic - to recognise the start of the academic year and celebrate our uniqueness.
We likened our school to the pebbles on the beach...each one of us was given our own pebble as a reminder of this.
Year 1 Rosary
Across the school, all children have been saying the Rosary daily as we are in the month of May. Each class made a pledge of how many times they will try to say the Rosary this month. The 'Faith Friends' have been leading the prayers in all the Junior classes.
In total we prayed 167 decades! That’s a lot of prayers! (1670 Hail Marys, 167 Our Fathers, 167 Glory Bes – 2004 prayers)
Here are the Y1 children saying their Rosary.
Stations of the Cross
As we are unable to lead the devotion of the Stations of the Cross in St Vincent's Church, the children have recorded the meditations and we have created a video to support families to journey with Jesus each week from the comfort of their homes. The video is accessible via all Google Classroom accounts and can also be accessed by clicking here.
Christmas Concerts 2020
This year, we were not able to hold live concerts because of the Coronavirus restrictions. But we did not let that us stop us... each Key Stage made videos instead! In their bubbles, our children in the infants retold the Nativity story through action and song while the junior children had composed and performed poems they had written describing the impact Covid-19 has had on our lives, linking it to the Christmas story.
As part of our preparations for Jesus' birth, we traced Jesus' ancestors on a Jesse Tree. We heard their stories and reflected upon what they can teach us as we ready our hearts to welcome Jesus at Christmas.
Focusing on Kindness and Compassion
This term, in our liturgies and PSHE learning, we are thinking about what it means to be kind and compassionate towards others. We have heard what the Bible teaches us about kindness and everyone has been making the effort to carry out acts of kindness - the infants have been trying to fill their kindness buckets and the juniors have created a kindness tree.
Judaism Week 2nd - 6th November 2020
This week children in Y1 - Y6 learned about various aspects of Judaism as part of their learning in RE. Each class was fortunate to have virtual workshops given by a member of the Jewish community to help us all understand what we had learned.
November is a month of remembrance
In a special liturgy, we took time to remember all those who have died. We compared our life and death to that of a butterfly. Our life on earth is similar to that of a caterpillar. When we die, just like when the caterpillar forms a chrysalis, we no longer live in that form. After our body has died, our soul lives on starting a beautiful new life in heaven. This can be likened to the transformation that takes place forming the butterfly.
Each butterfly in this display in our main entrance names the people we know who have died who we are praying for throughout this month of remembrance.
October is the month of the Holy Rosary
In our liturgy, we explored the rosary, what it is and how we pray it. Every morning, at the start of the day, we are saying a decade of the rosary in our classroom.
We have made a large 'rosary' which is on display in the main entrance.
Mass for the Year ahead 2020-21
Father Pat streamed mass for us to celebrate the start of the new academic year. Each class was able to watch and participate in this celebration from their classroom bubble.
The Wednesday Word
Throughout this Coronavirus Lockdown, the Wednesday Word will be posted here to support children and families. Fr Pat streams Mass live every Sunday at 10am via the parish website or their Facebook page.
Lent Scripture Eggs
Our liturgies throughout Lent in this Year of the Word are focused on pieces of scripture from Matthew's account of the Easter Story.
In each liturgy, we look at an object linked to the scripture and discuss what the verse could be about. Then, we open an egg to reveal the scripture before reflecting on its meaning in the story and in our lives today.
Junior Carol Service 2019 - Where are you Christmas?
The children in KS2 reminded us that in today’s world, there is a real danger that the true meaning of Christmas will disintegrate. When Christ is pushed out of Christmas, He is pushed out of our hearts, and we will not be able to know what joy is.
In their concert they asked the question, ‘Where are you Christmas?’
Through songs, carols and poems written by each class, they found that the true meaning of Christmas can be found in many symbols associated with the season.
Christmas is in the ringing of the Church bells, celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Christmas is in the stars, reminding us how the Wise men were led to the place of Jesus’ birth, Bethlehem.
Christmas is in the flicker of a candle flame, helping us to remember that Jesus is the Light of the world.
Christmas is in the holly. The prickles represent the crown of thorns; the berries represent the blood that was spilled when Jesus died for us.
Christmas is in our hearts. It is a time of God showing His great love for us by sending his son to be our saviour. The children helped us to understand that this love is one that we can all share, not just at Christmas time but all of the time.
Infant Nativity 2019
The children in KS1 reminded us of the real meaning of Christmas in their performance of 'The Bossy Fairy'. They taught us that Christmas is not about ourselves and what we want; it is about Jesus' birth.
Our liturgies throughout Advent are helping us to getting ourselves ready for the birth of Jesus.
Each week, we light a candle on the Advent wreath in our liturgies and Advent prayer stations around the school help us to reflect on our lives as we approach Christmas.
At our special liturgy of Remembrance in November, we thought about all those we know who have died; our friends, families and loved ones. We watched excerpts of The Lion King to help us to understand that even though it is upsetting when someone dies, they will always live on in us.
We wrote the names of people we wanted to remember on hearts and displayed them in the Entrance Hall.