Catholic Life


The Catholic Life of the school is integral to what we do at English Martyrs CVA and runs through all aspects of school life. We have a welcoming, caring community built on Christian values, where all members, adults and children are valued and encouraged to achieve their potential as children of God. The Catholic Identity and ethos is explicit through our teaching, the learning environment, chaplaincy provision and community cohesion.

Mission Statement – We grow and learn with the gifts we have been given, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

We believe that children are all gifts from God and as educators we help them grow and develop using their God given gifts ready for their next steps. Our 10 virtues ( respect, love, kindness, faith, love of learning, patience, courage, resilience and confidence ), link directly to our Mission Statement helping our children to live out the Mission Statement in all they do.


We believe that parents are the first educators of their children; we work collaboratively with our families to ensure we are providing the very best Catholic education we can. Please follow the link to our parents booklet.


A Partnership

We encourage our parents to support all of our children in their journey of faith. Our parish Church of St Joseph's is an extension of our school and all families are welcome to worship God in this Church. The meaning of life as understood in the Catholic faith is explored and experienced by all those taking part in the life of the school whether they are Baptised Catholics or not, practising their faith in their own Parish or not.

Religious Education

In the life of faith of English Martyrs CVA, Religious Education plays a central and vital part, it is the foundation of the entire educational process. RE is a core subject in our school which occupies ten percent of our timetable and the majority of classroom teaching is delivered through the Diocesan 'Come and See' Programme. A termly newsletter is sent home with more information about what is covered within lessons across each key stage.

For more information about RE at English Martyrs, please take a look at the Parent Booklet.

Please click here for our RSE Curriculum overview and for the DFE guidance on RSE, please click here.

Please click here for our RSE Policy.

Remote collective worship 

During partial school closure please access weekly Monday Gospel assemblies, Wednesday liturgies focused on the Statement of the week and Friday celebration assemblies through Class Dojo. Class teachers will be posting daily prayer onto Dojo for the children to participate in and other reflections or liturgies linked to our RE topics and the liturgical year.

Examples of RE at English Martyrs

The Rosary

In the month of May we think especially about Mary during this time in the liturgical year. Our year 3 children have recorded a guide to praying the rosary which you can see here.

Stations of the Cross

Our children took part in retelling the Stations of the Cross along with children from schools across the St Thérèse of Lisieux CMAT.

Judaism Week

This week all the children are finding out about Judaism as part of our work on different faiths.  In collective worship we talked about the Jewish festival of Hanukah in December, noting similarities to Advent.  The theme of this festival is light, standing up for what is important and overcoming difficulty.  The children discussed what they would be prepared to protect and stand up for!

Bible Story Assembly

Reverend Rush, from the Market Overton Free Church, regulary releases Bible Story assemblies on the Church Youtube channel which we share with the children on the school newsletter.  You can view the Church’s Youtube channel here.  


St Joseph’s Day

We celebrated St Joseph’s day in school on Friday. KS2 children participated in the remote Bishop’s schools Mass for this special feast day . EYFS and KS1 children learnt about St Joseph in class, the children in year 2 made St Joseph day cards for Father to take back to St Joseph's and hand out to parishioners.


St Thérèse of Lisieux Feast Day

To celebrate the Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux on the 1st October, the Nottingham Diocesan Catholic Youth Service held a Mass celebrated by Father Simon Gillespie.  The children watched the Mass live from their classrooms and two of our mini chaplains, Riley and Esme, were chosen to share intentions during the Mass via a live link.  They read beautifully and we were very proud.


Examples of Catholic Life at English Martyrs

RE at English Martyrs - Covid

I am writing to you as RE lead and school chaplain to update you on developments in RE and provision at this time. Sadly, under our current Covid restrictions we are unable to celebrate Mass at school or at Church together. We are however, able to hold liturgies within our Key stage bubbles and we will hope to share some of these online with parents . Our mini chaplains will be also be planning and sharing liturgies this term based on our statement of the week which can be found in our school newsletter.  These liturgies can be shared at home as a family.

Father Stephen is also going to record a message which will shared on the school website, we are all missing him in school and know that the children are keen to see him again.

We will be focusing as a diocese on Encounter where the children really explore their faith and relationship with God thinking about how important it is at this time in their lives.  As part of this we welcome parents own prayers and family prayers for their own intentions to add to our school prayer wall.  We would like you to email them to the office so that they can be used in our collective worship. We will be welcoming The Briars Catholic Chaplaincy team who will be visiting school to work with our pupils later in the term. We will also be holding our Harvest Celebrations in school and hoping to continue to support our Local Foodbank.

I hope you will all stay safe and well at this time and look forward to working together in continuing to develop the Catholic life of our school.

Mrs Topping  (RE/PSHE leader and School Chaplain)


English Martyrs Day

The children had a lovely day celebrating English Martyrs Day.  They started the day with a liturgy centred on love, thinking especially about our trust saint, St Thérèse of Lisieux, which the mini chaplains helped to deliver.  During the day, they took part in activities focussed on love, trust and hope. They all tried finger knitting as part of their hope activity, they wrote the name of somebody they love on a keyring to display in the prayer garden and participated in class trust activities.  The children also competed in a quiz to test their knowledge on our house Martyrs and went on to complete knowledge organisers and fact files for their homework. Take a loo at the recording of the children explaining what love means to them.


Default image

Well being bags for families

Tha staff put together well being bags for all familes for February half term.  It was a thank you for all their hard work in juggling home schooling and eveything else at such a difficult time.  We were lucky to get some donations from local organisations including The Rotary Club, Gates Garden Centre and Lidl.

Default image

Well being box for Father Stephen

The children sent in cards and pictures for a special well being box we made up for Father Stephen.  Father misses coming into school and seeing the children so he was thrilled when Mrs Topping dropped off his box of goodies!

Harvest Liturgy

Although we could not hold our harvest liturgy in the same way, we held a liturgy in school with different groups of children using the CAFOD resources, looking at communities in need across the world but also on our doorstep.  

Children also brought in items to donate to Rutland Food Bank.

The Rutland Food Bank were extremely grateful and will continue to be able to help those in need. 


  • Advent promises.png
  • Advent 3.png
  • Advent 2.png
  • Advent 1.png


The children in Y1 to 6 retold the Christmas story each day on Class Dojo, they sang carols, said readings, prayers and poems.

The children had fun making their decorations for their class Christmas trees.  They also decorated their trees with their Advent promises.  Thank you to the families who kindly donated trees.  

Our beautiful Advent wreaths, made by our very talented Teaching Assistants, were blessed by Father in school too.



House Captain Fundraising

This year each house will be supporting a different charity and the House Captains explain which charities they have chosen and why.

"St Edmund Campion will be supporting Water Aid, this charity helps people in Africa who don’t have clean water.  Many of us take for granted that we have running taps with clean water. In Africa, millions of children have to walk miles to get water that isn’t even clean. Water Aid provides continuous water systems which means families are able to drink clean water, wash their clothes and have access to toilet facilities.  This improves their hygiene and quality of life. We think this is a great charity to support and we hope you do too!" Isobel and Matilda

"This year St Thomas Moore would like to raise money for the charity ‘Mind’. We chose Mind because this year has really had an effect on people’s mental health and we want to try and make people’s mental health fit and healthy again. Therefore we think this is a great charity to support." Ruby and Ola

"This year our house St Margaret Clitheroe will be supporting the charity RSPCA, we are both very passionate about animals being treated correctly and therefore wanted to support this charity." Tycho and Adam

"The charity Blessed John Lyon would like to support this year is The Big Issue Foundation. We want to support this charity because we want to help children and adults who don’t have a home to go back to, we realise that living on the streets every day is not a good experience and want to make sure these people are getting what they need to stay strong." Poppy and Seb


Default image

Remembrance Day

In assembly the children learnt about the importance of Remembrance Day and the significance of the poppy.  On Wednesday, we held special liturgies and observed the two minute silence.   

Default image

Children in Need

The children and staff had a great day on taking part in all the Children in Need fundraising activities.  Thanks to all the generous donations we raised an amazing £414.20!!

Resilience vocabulary

We have been thinking of our Going to Grow/Resilience vocabulary and which characteristics we need to work on this year.  We used these to set our growth goals.  Confidence, humility and integrity were popular choices.

We welcome back all our children to school and know as a family we will all try to grow even more resilient to face the challenges of a new school year. 


Whole school collaborative textiles project

As part of our recovery curriculum we wanted to use creativity and imagination to help the children process and discuss any feelings they had about the pandemic and lockdown.

We decided to focus on textiles and to create a collaborative project in each class using individual pieces.  

Click here to take a look at all the amazing art work.