Catholic Life

Prayer and liturgy at Our Lady of Good Counsel

Prayer is central to how we encounter Jesus and God and the theme of “Encounter” comes from Bishop Patrick’s teachings on how we can be closer to God through talking and listening to him.

The prayer life of our school community is woven into the natural pattern of our school day. We have set prayers which are said at the beginning of the day, before lunch and at the end of the day.

Spontaneous prayer is also encouraged through our various sacred spaces in and around school. Pupils enjoy the opportunity to bring their own ideas to life to enhance these and they are regularly linked in with the current time in the liturgical year. On other occasions, the sacred spaces are linked to our school virtues.

Here is our current timetable for prayer and liturgy:

Monday: Gospel Themed Celebration of the Word

Tuesday: Value of the Week

Wednesday: Hymn Practice

Thursday: Class Celebration of the Word

Friday: Celebration Assembly

We are also lucky to be located within walking distance of our parish church. We attend Mass in church for special occasions and Holy Days. Our parish priest and deacon are very supportive too, often visiting our school to enhance our prayer life or support with the children’s Religious Education.

Please use the links below to see some examples of prayer and liturgy which have taken place at our school in recent years.

Popping out with our poppies

Reception pupils painted some pretty poppies for Remembrance Day. They painted them onto plates and stones.

The pupils then went down to Sleaford memorial in the Market Square to place their painted poppy stones.

They took time with Mrs Frisby to think about the importance of their poppies as a token of remembrance.

Sacred Spaces

Take a look at how Y4 created their own beautiful sacred space as part of their learning for R.E. They chose what they wanted to use to decorate the outside space with. It looks like a colourful and calming space to be in.

There are many sacred spaces around our school for the children to use, both inside and outside of the building. Prayer is central to how we encounter Jesus and God and the theme of “Encounter” comes from Bishop Patrick’s teachings on how we can be closer to God through talking and listening to him.

Catholic life in our school

Our pupils in school learn about liturgical colours and special symbols for the church’s year. They enjoy creating their own sacred spaces and we encourage them to help prepare these special places around school.

Collective Worship

Here’s a great link for those who would like to explore the Sunday gospels whilst we cannot go to church. The Mark 10 mission provides age appropriate exploration into the gospel each Sunday and includes some discussion about the gospels and some upbeat songs.There is a also a “Little Liturgies” for our KS1.  Take a look!

Mark 10 mission

November – we pray for the souls of the departed

On the 1st November, we went to church to pray for ‘All Saint’s Day’ where we remember all the saints up in heaven. Throughout this month, we take time to reflect and pray for all souls that have left this earth and are now with Jesus, in heaven.  During the month of November, we saying the ‘Eternal Rest prayer, daily, in class. Here is a display in our school created by the Shining Stars, who have written some prayers of their own to remember loved ones we have lost.

If you would like to join us in saying this;

“Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

Please feel free to take a look at the prayers we say during our school day.

Morning And Midday

End of day and sorry

Hail Mary and Our Father

Glory Be and God Who Speaks

Singing is a wonderful way of praying. Here is a link for some fun singing that children can join in with at home.

Singalong

Prayer and liturgy examples

Every Friday in school, we have a celebration assembly and invite parents in to celebrate their children’s success with us. Children are awarded Special Mentions, Star of the Week or Marvellous Missionary certificates for their academic and personal achievements.

We always have lots to celebrate and encourage pupils to bring in certificates from outside school too.

Opposite our universal sacred space in school, we have dedicated display board to the Year of Prayer. We are celebrating the Year of Prayer in school by encouraging spontaneous prayer and by reminded staff and pupils that prayer is simply communication with God; you can say anything to God and He will listen. On our display, we have added some different types of traditional prayers for anybody to take away with them in times when they are not sure themselves of what to say to God. We are also inviting people to write their own prayers on the templates provided and to then add them to our display or to the sacred space in their own classroom.

Stations of the Cross

KS2 have been leading in liturgical prayer weekly to explain the stations of the cross to us.

This is Y4 and captures the poignant moment of Jesus dying on the cross, which was retold and re-enacted beautifully.

Deacon Tony kindly came in to lead liturgical prayer with our pupils and crown Mary. May is the month of Mary and Catholics devote the whole month of May to celebrating and honouring her, the mother of Jesus. Mary is even sometimes known as the ‘Queen of May’

Deacon Tony chose our youngest pupils to crown Mary.

The children in Year 5 held a Pentecost party to celebrate the birthday of the church. They started  with a whole class liturgy and some children used their knowledge of weights and measures to make beautiful cakes  to share with everyone.

Helping our neighbours in need

Fairtrade October 2022

Our value for Term 1 was respect. As part of learning about what this value meant, Y4 were taught about Fairtrade and how they work to give farmers around the world the respect they deserve and ensure they are paid fairly for their goods.

The pupils looked at how Fairtrade worked and created posters on respect and how we can show respect by buying Fairtrade products. They also baked cakes using Fairtrade ingredients.

Later in the afternoon, they welcomed parents in to enjoy a cuppa and cake and requested donations for this. They shared their learning to spread the message of respecting everyone around the world.    

They raised £42.20 which was sent to Fairtrade. As you can see they learnt a lot, had lots of fun and raised an a great amount by living out our value,

Rainbow Stars is a local charity who offer support to families in Lincoln who have family members with additional needs. One of our pupils requested that we did some fundraising to support them, as it is a group close to her heart.  Grace and her family have received support from the charity who rely on donations to keep offering their services and resources and they wanted to and so she wanted to give something back.

On Grace’s suggestion, we all came dressed in colours of the rainbow and gave a donation for this. Grace also sold some trolley tokens and gave out information about the hospice after school. We managed to raise £121!

The Shining Stars Liturgy Team wanted to help our local community and recognised that times are quite tough recently for us all. They decided to help families in our own school and set up a “Drop and Swap” event.

Firstly, they collected and sorted donated school uniform and childrens clothing and then invited everyone in to come and take items they could use. This was a great way to follow Pope Francis’s Laudato Si teaching because we showed care for our common home, both by recycling clothes which meant less waste and care for our school family.

We had some clothing left after the event, which we were able to give to our lovely office lady Mrs Hunt to keep as spares when needed in school.

Over the period of Lent in school, every child and adult has been working hard to support CAFOD and walk for hunger. Over the last few weeks the children have all walked a mile a day and have aimed to do over 15 miles each as part of a sponsored walk to raise money to help other people in less fortunate situations than ourselves. The children have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have hopefully raised lots of funds which we will bring in and tally up after the Easter holidays. Thank you in advance for all your great support and sponsorship.

During Lent, the children and adults in school took part in the Big Lent walk to raise money for CAFOD.  The children walked twenty times around the playground everyday.