"In Chaplaincy, we have been working towards bringing Gods voice to every student and providing an environment for faith to flourish. These are some ways we do this
KS3 Chaplaincy Team
We have been working with Key Stage 3 Chaplaincy teams and they have been bonding and partaking in formation sessions last half term so they can do projects over this term towards spreading the word and raising awareness and donations to CAFOD World Gifts. Our Chaplaincy Teams have been going to St Dunstan’s to lead formation to primary school pupils and preparing this session in Chaplaincy Meetings. They lead Music Ministry, perform live drama of particular scripture and lead the pupils in guided prayer.
The God Who Speaks
The Lay Chaplains have been going to visit Primary School Chaplaincy Teams and working with them to get the word of God active to them so they can go forth and be disciples. The session is interactive and allows for the Chaplaincy Team to develop in their faith.
We have been delighted to have the opportunity to grow links with St Dunstan’s parish through participation in the weekly ‘Little Lambs’ baby and toddler group. This term has seen our Health and Social care students attend the Little Lambs group and can work with parents and toddlers on a weekly basis. Students have led reading and play activities.
Chaplaincy Enrichment for KS5
A focus for the chaplaincy team this year has been to develop and increase opportunities for sixth form students to participate in as they continue their journey into and across ks5. This has led to the formation of a group of students who are weekly engaging in their faith journey through a range of activities. The group have had prayer sessions, faith discussions and more recently have been developing and leading on fundraising activities to support the school in their charity work for CAFOD world gifts this year.
St Chads Sanctuary/ Food Bank Collections
We continue to support St Chads sanctuary with more fantastic work from staff and students in coming together to organize another collection this term. We went to St Chads Sanctuary and got shown round to get a better understanding of what they need so that the collection provided a range of highly valuable items that our students were able to deliver to St Chad’s
We have also been collecting for the food bank as half termly focus’ intermittently with St Chads Sanctuary. We give specific items for each day such as Tin Tuesday so the food bank really get the necessities as they are under huge pressure and as a school community we want to help them as best as possible.
The Rosary club has continued to go from strength to strength this term with students and staff ranging from years 7-13 praying the rosary together each Wednesday in the chapel. We are continually grateful to John Robinson from the Legion of Mary who has embedded this club into a weekly group and has now given students the confidence to lead the group themselves and we are delighted that numbers are continually growing.
Every Tuesday we have a mindfulness group in the chapel. Students are provided with the opportunity to take quiet time and be guided through the spiritual practice of mindfulness and developing an understanding of the benefits of calming the mind and body, providing students with a valuable spiritual tool for everyday life. This time of prayer and reflection allows for calm and unapologetic prayer.
Earlier this year saw students from year 7-11 coming to the chapel for examinations of conscience prayer station sessions which allowed them to think about the daily choices and how they can improve to be the best version of themselves and who God calls them to be.
We have been taking students to St Dunstan’s Church for Adoration and guided prayer sessions on a weekly basis. Students from years 7-11 are being provided with the opportunity to attend Adoration services and have been guided through quiet prayer and reflection. This has provided students with important quiet time to focus on God which we believe to be so valuable in today’s busy society.
Our Lenten focus continues with the opportunity for all year groups to participate in completing the stations of the cross. Stations have been set up in the chapel, with each station providing opportunity to reflect on the significance of each station and focus on meditations that connect with their own life experiences. These sessions provide students with valuable opportunities to pray, reflect and develop a deeper understanding of the significance of Easter.
We also do a session based on temptation so they students can truly understand lent and the 3 pillars of pray, fasting and almsgiving. We explore temptation as Jesus was tempted in the desert and make this interactive and allows for open discussion on the topic.
Our spiritual journey through Lent has led to the frugal Friday lunch initiative that takes place every Friday across Lent. Frugal Friday will allow students to participate in our support for ST Dunstan’s towards the achieving the ‘Live Simply’ award established by CAFOD. Students across all year groups can attend the auditorium to share a lunch of bread and water, in return for making a donation towards the whole school CAFOD world gifts charity focus.
This year we have relaunched the parish youth group in St Dunstan’s which provides students with the opportunity to meet and explore their faith within a fun and friendly environment through icebreakers and games balanced with times of prayer and reflection.
Break/Lunch Time in the Chapel
‘The God who speaks’ initiative is our Monday sessions, where students are guided through scripture, prayer and discussion to explore their relationship with God and to connect with his words through scripture and prayer.
Tuesday – Mindfulness Club
Thursday – Rosary Club
Intermittently around this, we invite students into the chapel for prayer journaling and other forms of creative prayer. We also have discussions with KS3 on questions that they have on their faith. These groups allow students to prayer for personal intentions, develop gratitude through prayer and unite together to develop a regular prayer pattern in their lives."
The Future of Chaplaincy
We want to continue to provide sessions for the students to allow them to fulfil their full potential by giving glory to God.
We will be launching the B Attitudes SVP Group which the focus is to embrace internally what they are already practicing externally in their Vincentian works of charity. It is formed of young people who volunteer in putting their faith into action. We want to celebrate the joy of giving that the students have and this group is a way to achieve this.