Snippets of Faith
Candle jars created by our children.
10 March 2020
Chaplaincy team stayed after school today to create more jars towards our refugee art project. The project is entitled '36,000 Humans' and is designed to raise awareness and commemorate the 36,000 refugee lives lost seeking sanctuary.
Our children chose to create candle jars as the light within represents the perpetual light of Jesus and also reminds us of our obligation to help the marginalised.
Our jars will form part of a city wide display at Carrs Lane Church during refugee week.
Chaplaincy teams meeting together.
10 March 2020
Some representatives from our Chaplaincy Team were invited to visit St Mary and St John's Primary School to meet with their Chaplaincy Team.
We started our meeting gathering with a prayer, and then spent some time reflecting on the season of Lent and what it means to us and the mission that we have.
We were given a tour of their school and enjoyed seeing all of their prayer focus areas and the different work that they have been doing during this special season. We came together again to share ideas and talk about what our teams have been doing this year.
The children from both schools were excellent ambassadors and we are very thankful for the lovely welcome we were shown,
Hunting for the Easter Eggs.
9 March 2020
Our Chaplaincy Team came up with an exciting activity to link the fun of an easter egg hunt to the word of God.
Our team created hundreds of 'scripture bites' which they hid inside little plastic easter eggs dotted around the school grounds.
The children chose the theme of creation and stewardship for the scripture bites, as this links to the Lenten Cafod campaign we are supporting.
Our curious children went on the hunt, actively seeking out God's word. When they returned to the classroom they had time to reflect on the scripture and create a prayer card as a reminder to faithfully pray for the whole of our world.
Supporting our Cafod Fast Day.
6 March 2020
Thank you to all the staff, Years 5 and 6 children who supported our Lenten fundraising for Cafod Family Fast Day raising over £75.
We know that Jesus called us to live a full life, and to do that we must always strive to do something worthwhile, to help those who cannot repay us. Our children wanted to support Cafod but also to stand in solidarity with our neighbours who live in poverty. Children made the choice to forgo their normal lunch and have a simple meal of boiled rice and water.
Sitting together children shared their thoughts about how this made them feel:
- "Going without our normal treats makes us think about how much we have all the time."
- "It makes me think about people who only have plain meals and go hungry."
- "Sometimes we forget about people who have nothing and today has reminded me that I can be selfish even though I don't mean to be."
- "I am happy that I can do something to help people."
Staff and children meeting our school Governors.
5 March 2020
On Thursday 5th March 2020, representatives from our staff Catholic Life Team and our Pupil Chaplaincy Team presented to governors.
Our governors were very pleased with all of the wonderful work going on every day to promote and develop the Catholic Life of our school and to ensure that the core purpose of Catholic Education: ‘to go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News’ is constantly nurtured.
We are very proud of all stakeholders in our fabulous Catholic School.
Dan and Emily help run our Retreat Day.
3 March 2020
Our school community welcomed Dan and Emily from One Life Music for another faith filled retreat day.
This half term, our special Lent day retreat was called 'Remember Me'. Classes began the day with prayer and learned new songs to enhance our liturgy.
Lots of fun activities helped children to understand the Lenten message of remembrance of the sacrifice made for us. During class activities, children took part in a reflective meditation and composed their own prayers and poems.
Our day ended with a whole school liturgy, lead by a team of pupils.
We are thankful to Dan and Emily for inspiring us on our Lenten journeys.
Sister Judith with some of the children.
2 March 2020
We were thrilled to welcome Sister Judith to our school on Monday 2nd March 2020.
Sister Judith met some of our amazing pupils from Year 2 and challenged them about their learning and the way they have been approaching topics through a big question.
Our pupils were amazing and shared the wonderful learning that has taken place through the Building the Kingdom approach.
Sister Judith was absolutely delighted to meet our fabulous children.
Showing some of our Valentine's Day cards.
11 February 2020
Chaplaincy Team decided that they would like to help share the message of God's love for Valentine's Day and spent their lunchtime creating poems and pictures to be distributed to care homes as part of the 'Postcards of Kindness' initiative to combat loneliness and isolation.
Children researched Bible quotes about love and included these in their cards.
Meeting the residents of the housing development.
11 February 2020
A group of pupils from Year 3 spent a very happy afternoon with the residents of a local supported housing development.
Whilst there, the children created Valentine's cards which included Gospel inspired messages of love. At the end of the session children had a lovely story told to them by one of the residents.
The children all really enjoyed meeting and making new friends.
Ms Tallon speaking at the conference.
6 February 2020
In February 2020, our headteacher was invited back to speak at Salford Diocese Catholic Leaders Conference.
Following on from being a keynote speaker in 2019, she was invited to lead three workshops this year.
We are absolutely delighted to work across diocese as part of our united Catholic Family.
Y3LH presenting their assembly.
3 February 2020
Year 3LH looked at how the year of the Word means taking action to live out God’s word.
As part of their assembly they shared their views on climate change and how as Gospel Activists we need to be the change we wish to see in the world.
We hope that our message has reached our Abbey family because together we can be the change.
Our NQTs join others on a visit to St Chad's.
As a school we are joining our Bishops in celebrating the Word of God.
We have been thinking about the importance of the Word and how we can say thank you to God for His teachings, therefore children brought in their bibles to be blessed during our school mass.
Fr E spoke to us about the important of God’s word and blessed our bibles with holy water. Children were delighted to take their blessed bibles home to their families and felt faith-filled and humbled to have been given the opportunity.
"My bible is special, Father sprinkled our holy water on it"
"I want to read the bible with my family and tell them why this year is important"
Our NQTs join others on a visit to St Chad's.
31 January 2020
On 31st January 2020 our NQTs ( Newly Qualified Teachers) from Abbey Catholic Primary joined NQTs from across the diocese on a special Retreat Day.
NQT’s were welcomed to St Chad’s Cathedral and enjoyed time for reflection, a tour of the Cathedral and prayer.
We ask that you hold these young teachers in your prayers.
Enjoying our Retreat Day.
14 January 2020
Children and staff were thrilled to welcome Dan and Emily from One Life Music for a retreat day that introduced 'The God Who Speaks'.
This special year of the word aims to reconnect us all with Gods word, and bring the scripture to life in our daily lives. It was a joyous day that involved learning some new songs with sign language, time to pray and reflect and time spent focusing on extracts of scripture and how they speak to us.
Children also had the opportunity to experience Lectio Divina and reflect more deeply. We came together at the end of the day with a very special closing liturgy led by pupils.
As a school we are looking forward to continuing to celebrate, live and share God's word throughout the coming years.
Meeting some of the residents of the independent living centre.
7 January 2020
As part of the 'Year of the Word' we are called to celebrate, live and share God's word.
Our school community have made links with a local independent living centre where we can reach out to others; through these regular monthly visits, we will be living out God's word through the love, friendship and time we share with those who may be isolated.
For our first visit, eight Year 4 pupils spent the afternoon at the centre with residents creating some Gospel inspired artwork together.
Residents thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and the opportunity to talk to our young people, sharing experiences. Afterwards, our pupils shared the following thoughts:
"I really like being able to talk to other people and make them feel happy." - N
"Everyone was really friendly and they helped us with our activities." - O
"One of the residents told us a story and it was really interesting to hear about the war and his life."' - K
We are sure these regular inter-generational afternoons will have a really positive effect on the lives of both residents and our pupils.
Year 5 at St Chad's.
6 January 2020
In Year 5, our focus for multi-faith week was Catholicism.
Firstly, we visited St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham where we learned about the journey of St Chad’s relics.
This was reflected in our school work as we created comic strips identifying the key movements in this journey, and the key people that were involved.
In addition to this, our focus country was Italy and we had a fantastic time learning about their festivals and traditions. We became newspaper reporters at ‘The Festival of the Snakes’ which takes place annually in Cocullo, and worked in groups to learn how to dance in the style of ‘Tarantella’.
Finally, we had the opportunity to draw underneath our desks in the style of Michelangelo which was really interesting.
Year 6 tasting Greek traditional foods.
6 January 2020
Year 6 enjoyed their first week back learning all about the Orthodox faith and Greece. During this week, they focused on how well Catholics are able to practice their faith. They also explored the similarities and differences between the Catholic and Orthodox faith.
To experience the culture in Greece, Year 6 classrooms became a Greek restaurant where pupils created and tasted a greek salad whilst learning to traditional Greek music.
On Friday, children had a tour around the Orthodox church and learnt many interesting facts about the faith and even met a Bishop!
Presenting their thoughts on refugees and asylum seekers.
18 December 2019
Our Chaplaincy team 'Schools of Sanctuary' team had the opportunity to present their thoughts on the plight of refugee and asylum seekers children at a recent meeting.
Also present at the meeting was the Director of Education for Birmingham Diocese and representatives from St Chad's Sanctuary.
Our pupils spoke confidently and eloquently about their feelings and concerns and implored our visitors to consider what the Catholic community and schools can do to help.
We are delighted that as a result of this meeting we have been given the opportunity to present to all Birmingham Diocese head teachers at their annual briefing.
Presenting our cheque to St Chad's Sanctuary.
18 December 2019
On Wednesday 18th December 2019 we were absolutely delighted to present a cheque for £145 to St Chad’s Sanctuary.
This money was donated by the wonderful parents, grandparents and friends who came to watch our Reception Nativity Performances.
Our Chaplaincy Team are passionate about ensuring dignity for all and this money will help St Chad’s Sanctuary to do this.
Members of the Chaplaincy Team speaking to the staff.
16 December 2019
Two of our Chaplaincy team planned and delivered a staff meeting this week to all school staff.
The theme of the meeting was Schools of Sanctuary, and our two pupils used this opportunity to share their knowledge about the plight of refugees, the work that we have done so far and what we plan to do next.
They spoke eloquently and passionately about their cause, with staff afterwards saying how moved they were by the meeting.
We are really proud of our Gospel Activisits!
Praying before the blessed sacrament.
13 December 2019
Following a wonderful whole school Mass we had a special Advent day of Adoration.
One of our classrooms was cleared to create a peaceful space where pupils and staff could pray before the blessed sacrament.
Throughout the day, children came in as they wished to take time to pray and reflect.
The children showed great reverence as they used this sacred space to prepare for Christmas.
Non-Uniform Day in aid of Birmingham Dogs Home.
13 December 2019
Our children see themselves as stewards of God's creation, so as part of our Advent fundraising decided that they would like to support Birmingham Dogs Home.
We held a non-uniform day with children donating food and bedding for the home. The Dogs home staff were overwhelmed with the generosity as we unloaded a car full of donations.
Thank you to all of our families for their support.
Chatting to some of the residents.
12 December 2019
Our Chaplaincy Team were invited to spread some Christmas cheer at a local residential home.
They started their visit singing some well known Christmas Carol's, then had time to share Christmas cards and prayers they had written with the residents. Children enjoyed a drink and some treats and had lots of time to chat to the residents.
We were reminded that the greatest gift you can give others at Christmas is your time!
Our beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
10 December 2019
Our Christmas Tree this year has been decorated by Chaplaincy Team with all of the lovely Baubles and Tags made by them.
Our Baubles commemorate some of the 36,000 refugee lives lost in the last ten years and are there as a reminder that we must use this special time of preparation to help others.
The remainder of the decorations feature words associated with Advent and prayers written by pupils.
Visiting Six Ways Baptist Church.
10 December 2019
Chaplaincy Team were delighted to be invited to Six Ways Baptist Church to take part in their interactive Advent Prayer Space.
We were all given a very warm welcome as we were shown the different activities which invited us to put ourselves into the place of the people in the Christmas Story and consider our thoughts and feelings.
One of the activities invited us to make our own star as we prayed for guidance, as the wise men may have done. Another invited us to celebrate with instruments and song, just as the first visitors to Jesus may have done.
We are really grateful for this wonderful opportunity to deepen our faith.
At the Archbishop's Anniversary Mass.
9 December 2019
Two of our Chaplaincy Team members were very honoured to be present at a Mass for our Archbishop. The Mass was a celebration of Archbishop Bernard's 10 year Anniversary here in Birmingham.
There were many Priests, Deacons and Religious Sisters present as well as parishioners from all around our Diocese. Beautiful music from the resident organist accompanied by the Cathedral Choir also added to the occasion.
Our pupils were excellent ambassadors for our school as they gave thanks for all the wonderful work His Grace has done in the last ten years.
Two of the Chaplaincy Team at St Chad's Sanctuary.
9 December 2019
Two of our Chaplaincy Team members visited St Chad's Sanctuary to deliver all of the Christmas donations from our generous families. All of these gifts will be distributed next week to children and families and we are sure they will be very gratefully received.
Whilst we were there we were lucky to have a full tour of the sanctuary and learn about all of the amazing work they do to support Refugees and Asylum Seekers. We were amazed to learn that the Sanctuary have supported families from over 100 different countries around the world!
At Christmas we are reminded that our Saviour was a refugee, we are all called to do whatever we can to help these vulnerable people and in doing so we encounter Christ.
Singing at the Parish Fayre.
7 December 2019
A choir made up of our dedicated Chaplaincy Team provided some musical entertainment at our Parish Christmas Fayre.
Children sang lots of Christmas favourites, all of which remind us of the message of the season - love, hope, peace and especially joy!
Some of our Postcards of Kindness.
3 December 2019
Children were pleased to have several replies from Care Homes who received our friendship cards.
Each card sent was focussed on a Bible story about friendship as we think about sharing God's word during this special 'Year of The Word'.
To hear that our cards have brought joy to the recipients is wonderful, we are pleased that our small act of kindness has had such a positive impact.
Our display on Hope.
1 December 2019
For the first week of Advent we have a new interactive display in school that invites pupils to reflect on times when they feel Hope.
Children can take time to reflect and then add their idea to the large letters to be shared with others. We hope that this will encourage us all to think more deeply about the message of Advent and how we live this in our own daily lives.
Reading gospel stories.
29 November 2019
On Friday 29th November 2019, just before Advent began and getting ready to launch the Year of the Word.
One of our mission team took time to read Gospel to stories to local senior citizens living at a nearby residential home. We are really proud to be involved in promoting and sharing the Good News.
Our first Pupil Parliament session.
25 November 2019
Our first Pupil Parliament of this academic year was led by a small group of our Chaplaincy Team.
We were pleased to have representatives from all of our Pupil Voice groups in attendance: Chaplaincy Team, Sports Council, School Council and our newly formed Mental Health Ambassadors.
The session was completely planned and prepared by Chaplaincy Team on the issue of refugees and asylum seekers. We are working towards becoming a School of Sanctuary and hope this was our first step towards sharing news of the work we are doing within our school community.
We are really proud of the Year 6 pupils who spoke so eloquently and compassionately about this issue.
Six Ways Erdington Baptist Church.
25 November 2019
Representatives from our Chaplaincy Team were happy to have the opportunity to meet with Gerard Goshawk, the Pastor of Six Ways Baptist Church.
The church has very recently been awarded 'Church of Sanctuary' in recognition of all the fabulous work they do to support and welcome refugees and asylum seekers.
At our meeting we were able to share the ideas we have for future projects and discuss ways we can work together in the future.
One of our special decorations.
19 November 2019
Chaplaincy Team stayed after school on Tuesday to create some very special decorations ready for our school Christmas Tree.
Our current focus is the plight of refugees and asylum seekers, as we work towards becoming a school of sanctuary. Part of our mission is to raise awareness, and our pupils thought that using our Christmas tree would be an excellent way to do this.
Our baubles draw attention to the lives of some of the 36,000 refugees lost over the last 20 years seeking a place of safety. Each decoration carries the flag of the country of those fleeing, along with the number of lives lost. In this small way we are commemorating those lives as we journey through Advent.
A display from St Chad's.
15 November 2019
On Friday, Mrs Lonergan experienced the most privileged encounter as she met and worked alongside the staff and volunteers at St Chad’s Sanctuary for the day.
This amazing place of hope and safety offers support to some of the most marginalised members of our community. Here, refugees and asylum seekers receive welcome, friendship, advice and practical support.
The staff and volunteers work tirelessly with compassion and a powerful spirit of friendship and family as they actively seek to transform the lives of those they encounter.
To be alongside these families, to hear about their hopes and dreams and to witness the dignified and loving way they are welcomed and supported was a powerful experience. Our faith calls us to action, as a school we will be continuing to support these families to allow them to flourish.
Some of our postcards.
11 November 2019
During Friends Week, every child in school created a 'Postcard of Kindness' and wrote a thoughtful message of friendship based on a Bible story or extract.
Pupils had time to read and reflect on the Word of God and think about how they could put the message into action.
Our 400 postcards have been distributed to Care homes and Day Centres all around the UK.
Loading up your generous donations.
25 October 2019
Chaplaincy team had their work cut out packing up all of the generous donations we have received as part of our Harvest appeal.
The donations of food items were collected by Brushstrokes, who work with families in need, including asylum seekers and refugees.
Your gifts will gave a real impact in those in need. Thank you to all our Abbey family!
Participating in the Retreat Day.
22 October 2019
As a school we were delighted to welcome Emily and Dan from One Life Music for our first retreat day. During this retreat we thought about God, the Good Shepherd. It was a time for us to reflect on who God is and how he speaks to us.
As we gathered together for this faith-filled time we joined in prayer and song, learning to sign to a new hymn as a whole school. Staff and children had time to reflect on how Christ leads them and how we can learn to follow in His footsteps, with our friends, family and Parish.
We look forward to celebrating the next retreat days in the coming months. "Jesus is the shepherd and I am the sheep, I want to be the best I can be." "I am following in God's footsteps, he guides me."
Year 6 Sacrament of Confirmation.
15 October 2019
Our Year 6 pupils received the Sacrament of Confirmation on the evening of 15th October 2019.
We welcomed Canon David Evans to confirm our pupils. Canon David, Father Elias and Father Dickinson wore red vestments to symbolize the red tongues of fire seen hovering over the heads of the apostles at Pentecost.
Reflection on receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, the pupils shared:
- "I really enjoyed the Mass service when we renewed our baptismal promises and I love my Confirmation badge as it is a symbol and reminder of the special gifts I received from the Holy Spirit."
- "One of my most memorable moments was singing 'We are the Rock' as it made me think of being the future of the church."
- "I loved seeing so many of my friends and family in church. It was packed with people!"
- "At my Confirmation Mass, I felt very honoured and proud to be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I enjoyed the homily that Canon David Evans delivered. I am full of pride when I wear my confirmation badge. it makes me feel proud to be a confident catholic."
Please keep our Confirmandi in your prayers.
A visit from Canon David.
15 October 2019
On 15th October 2019, Canon David Evans visited Abbey Catholic Primary school to meet our Confirmandi.
Father David was welcomed by representatives from our Pupil Chaplaincy team who then guided him around school.
Father David was very impressed by how well Year 6 had been prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
It was an honour to welcome Canon David Evans to our school and Parish.
Our cheque from Macmillan fundraising.
7 October 2019
Chaplaincy team were delighted to present a cheque to Macmillan Cancer Support raised by staff and pupils.
Money was raised from a non-uniform day and a very successfully coffee and cake sale before school.
Thank you to all our families for their support.
Chaplaincy team members.
7 October 2019
A group of Year 6 Chaplaincy team members planned and presented a fantastic assembly to introduce Pope Francis' extraordinary month of mission.
Our 'secret agents' explained what mission is, told us about their mission and invited us to think more deeply about what we can all do.
Our team are truly witnesses to Pope Francis' view that 'Young people are the hope of mission'.
Our Cafod Assembly.
2 October 2019
To inform and prepare the whole school of our fundraising plans, Year 6 Chaplaincy Team led a whole school assembly.
Focussing on the work of Cafod, the assembly looked at the vital work Cafod do in providing for the basic human needs of children around the world
Our team were happy to give up their lunchtimes to plan and prepare and they delivered a clear and confident presentation. Let's hope we raise lots of money!
Our Chaplaincy Team commissioning service.
23 September 2019
After school today our new and existing Chaplaincy Team members were commissioned for their new year of mission.
Our service was held in the Abbey Church and led by Deacon Owen. We listened attentively to the word of God and prayed for the Lord to support and guide us in the year ahead. Deacon Owen blessed us, and presented certificates and badges to symbolise the promises made.
We were delighted to see so many family members in attendance to share this special service.
We are all committed to go out joyfully, for as we heard in our reading - 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!'.
Our Abbey welcome cake.
15 September 2019
On Sunday 15th September 2019 our new Reception families joined the Abbey Parish for the 9.15am Celebration of Holy Mass.
Parishioners were thrilled to welcome new families from school and at the end of Mass each Reception child was presented with a simple set of Rosary beads as a symbol of their faith and the faith of our school.
Families assembled in the school hall after Mass for a shared Faith Breakfast. Each family donated a plate of food which was shared amongst everyone. We were delighted that one family baked an Abbey cake for everyone (the sponge inside was yellow and blue, like our school uniform).
Please keep our new Reception pupils and their families in your prayers.
Staff writing postcards of kindness.
2 September 2019
During their first day back at school, staff took some time to write postcard to care homes.
This new national initiative called 'Postcards of Kindness' aims to help people reach out to make connections and address isolation.
As Jesus taught us, often the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference. We hope that our little messages bring a smile to someone.