RE at English Martyrs

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.

This Term 

All about Lent - Pray / Fast / Give

Information for Parents

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.

Whereas Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus after his death on the cross, Lent recalls the events leading up to and including Jesus' crucifixion by Rome. This is believed to have taken place in Roman occupied Jerusalem.

The Christian churches that observe Lent in the 21st century (and not all do significantly) use it as a time for prayer and penance. Only a small number of people today fast for the whole of Lent, although some maintain the practice on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. It is more common these days for believers to surrender a particular vice such as favourite foods or smoking. Whatever the sacrifice it is a reflection of Jesus' deprivation in the wilderness and a test of self-discipline.

Why 40 days?

40 is a significant number in Jewish-Christian scripture:

In Genesis, the flood which destroyed the earth was brought about by 40 days and nights of rain.

The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness before reaching the land promised to them by God.

Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.

Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry.

Most Christians regard Jesus' time in the wilderness as the key event for the duration of Lent.

Why is it called Lent?

Lent is an old English word meaning 'lengthen'. Lent is observed in spring, when the days begin to get longer.

The colour purple

Purple is the symbolic colour used in some churches throughout Lent, for drapes and altar frontals.

Purple is used for two reasons: firstly because it is associated with mourning and so anticipates the pain and suffering of the crucifixion, and secondly because purple is the colour associated with royalty, and celebrates Christ's resurrection and sovereignty.

East and West

Both the eastern and western churches observe Lent but they count the 40 days differently.

The western church excludes Sundays (which is celebrated as the day of Christ's resurrection) whereas the eastern church includes them.

The churches also start Lent on different days.

Western churches start Lent on the 7th Wednesday before Easter Day (called Ash Wednesday).

Eastern churches start Lent on the Monday of the 7th week before Easter and end it on the Friday 9 days before Easter. Eastern churches call this period the 'Great Lent'.

The last week of Lent is called Holy Week.

Please take a look at the videos below of our children re-enacting the Stations of The Cross:

Examples of Catholic Life in Our School

Father Stephen came into school on Ash Wednesday to deliver Mass to the children and staff.  We were also joined by families and parishioners. 

Lent Liturgy

The little lights have been busy preparing the Lent Launch for the school which they delivered beautifully.  All the children will be busy preparing for Lent which starts on Ash Wednesday 6th March. Father will be in school at 11am for Mass . The children have taken home a 40 day challenge to have a go with parents if they wish to, there are certificates connected with completion of the challenges.

Happy Birthday Father Stephen!
Before Christmas we presented Father Stephen with a special birthday card for his 70th birthday. All the children drew a picture and wrote a message in the card.

Congratulations to EYFS and KS1 children for putting on fabulous performances of their Nativity play ‘Christmas around the World’. They worked really hard learning all their lines, dances and songs and they did an excellent job. Thank you to all the staff who worked behind the scenes too!  

Christmas around the World
The children in EYFS enjoyed learn-ing about Christmas traditions from Portugal, Italy Spain, Hungary and Poland. Thank you to the parents who came in to talk to the children and for the delicious treats too!

Christmas Jumper Day—Reverse Advent Calendar
On Friday 14th, children can come dressed in a Christmas Jumper in exchange for a wrapped gift (toiletries , chocolates/sweets etc) for the residents of local care homes. Last year the residents were overwhelmed with the children’s generosity and we look forward to giving them the gifts again this year.

You may have heard on Rutland Radio today that Sam in Y4 was named as the Hero of the Week. He was very brave and quick to act when his mum was choking. Well done Sam!

Children in Need

What a fabulous day we’ve had raising money for Children in Need! We’ve had a spotty cake sale, spotty clothes, a car wash, table stop sale, sweet tombola, sponsored hoopathon and a staff virtual duck race!! Thank you to everyone for all their donations, support and a special thank you to the house captains for organising and running the events.  

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Harvest Liturgy and refreshments. The children did a wonderful job delivering the liturgy.Once again, your generous donations for the Foodbank have been over-whelming and we thank you for your support. Thank you also for the Cafod donations and to Mrs Thomas and Mrs Martin for helping with the refreshments.

Trust Mass

Harvey and Maddison in their roles as Head Boy and Girl represented the school at the first joint Mass across the 16 schools in our new CMAT. We celebrated the feast day of St Thérèse of Lisieux who is our patron saint for our new trust. Harvey and Maddison introduced the Mass and then received a rose bush from Louise Wilson, our new CEO, to plant in our new outdoor prayer garden. St Thérèse was often referred to as the little flower and therefore this white rose is symbolic of the great work she did in her very short life. The children have been finding out how she did small acts with great kindness which fits in very well with our school mission of opening our hearts to others this year.

On our RE day at the beginning of the 2016 Autumn Term each class contributed to our RE Board displays in the Main Hall - you will see St Patrick, St David, St Andrew and St George (with his dragon!)

The children have also made Spiritual Promises for this acaemic year...'we may all be different fish, but in this school we swim together'