Our Nurturing School
We started our Nurture Breakfasts in September 2015 as a response to an Inset day we had on Nurturing Schools in June 2015. Nurture fits well into the Diakonia (Welfare) aspect of the school as a Catholic community and is in line with the core principles of Catholic social teaching where we strive to ‘nurture’ the children within our care. Specifically, we have introduced a programme of twice yearly class breakfasts in order to spend time ‘breaking bread’ and getting to know children better, together with invited members of our wider school and church community. Each breakfast starts at 8:40 am and finishes at 9:00 in place of our usual Prayer and Praise with Canon Richard. Canon Richard joins us towards the end of the breakfast. The children really enjoy talking about our school with invited guests (parent helpers, parishioners, administration staff, cleaning staff, dinner ladies, volunteers). Nurture breakfasts have been a resounding success and have allowed us all to get to know each other better and value each person's unique contribution to school life.
What do the children at St Catherine's say about our Nurture Breakfasts?
- I love meeting our visitors and learning about them.
- I really like the croissants and the jam!
- I like the different classroom with the tablecloths and flowers.
- I enjoy telling the visitors all about our school.
- I like hearing stories about when our visitors were at school.
Christian meditation - the art of selfless attention – is a practice which allows us to see ourselves, others and God more clearly.
In this technological age, with its constant stream of distraction, children need to strengthen their power of attention – to understand themselves, nurture healthy relationships with others and gain the focus required for learning. Choosing to teach meditation to children at St Catherine’s is a gift, without cost, which we give to the children and adults in our school. Once received and embedded, it is a gift that is there for a lifetime, if they choose to use it.
Meditation is accessible to all ages and abilities. During meditation children are not being judged, marked or rated. They are asked to centre themselves, be simply silent and still. Meditating, as part of a group, nurtures personal practice, keeps us close to the needs of each other and our school community. For many, meditation is also a way of prayer and of becoming closer to God. It is a simple way of prayer which is beyond words. We have a deep need in our world for stillness, simplicity and silence. Meditation is a way of preparing the young for the ordeals of the future. Each class meditates at the beginning of every afternoon.
What do the children at St Catherine's say about meditation?
- It makes you feel as if God is there for you.
- It gets rid of everything if you're worried.
- It's peaceful. It helps me relax.
- It makes me feel like Jesus is real.
- The light in the middle (candle) helps remind me that Jesus is with us.
- I've got used to meditation. It's good and I feel calm now. Closing my eyes helped.
- You can have a moment when you let go of all of your distractions - it gives you time to forget.