Catholic Ethos and Values
“This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water the seeds already planted knowing that they hold future promise.”
– Bishop Ken Untener
St Joseph’s is a Catholic Primary school in the Diocese of Portsmouth. We believe that the true purpose of our work is to create, in all our community, an ethos in which everyone is inspired by the example of Christ. The children in our care are encouraged to fully engage in their relationship with God, helping them grow as individuals who fully understand their vocation in life. Our school is a family with our Mission Statement at the heart:
We are all God’s Children and will try to Live, Love, Work and Serve as Jesus taught us.
Our aim is that our children and staff:
Live with Courage
Love with Compassion
Work with Curiosity
Serve our Community
St Joseph is a special saint to us. As the patron saint of workers, we follow his example of humility and service. We see our school as a family and we aim to nurture the spirit of Christianity in how children respect each other and staff, care for their environment and use their gifts and talents.
At St Joseph’s, educating the whole child is central to everything we do, whether through lessons, sports or break-time. We see each child as unique and created in the image of God. We perceive each child as having a positive role in the world, their own talents, skills and personalities.
We promote the message of Pope Francis … Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!
As a school community, prayer forms a central part of daily school life. Class worships, liturgies and Masses, bring our children, staff, parents and governors together. Our worships and assemblies include Scripture, reflection, and well-known Catholic prayers. We share the Gospels and how we can put the teachings of Jesus, into action to make our world a better place. At every opportunity, children are encouraged to lead worships, preparing the prayer focus, choosing scripture and resources, reading the Word of God and praying as a class. Our House Saints are named after the four gospel writers, St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke and St John.
As an integral part of our Catholic ethos, all pupils are made aware, throughout the school year, of the changes and celebrations relating to the Church's Liturgical Year. These events are highlighted in our prayer space in our classrooms and in our prayer space in School. The children are aware of the liturgical changes with the changing colours of our cloths and displays.
Bishop Philip Egan is the Bishop for our diocese. Each year, we attend the annual school’s Mass at Portsmouth Cathedral with other schools from out diocese, an opportunity to worship together and share faith. Bishop Philip says, "Go, make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:19)
Bishop Philip’s vision
We have strong links with our parish, St Joseph and the Immaculate Conception. Children lead the school’s Advent Service at the church, Year 6 Leavers’ Mass and visit for days of reflection. Father John and Deacon Hugh regularly visit school to lead Mass, liturgies and to speak with the children. These opportunities allow our children to discuss topics and ask questions to help engage and strengthen their own understanding and journey in the Catholic faith.
Please see our Parish Links page to read more about our links with St Joseph's Catholic Church, Christchurch.
Religious Education is a core subject at St Joseph’s and we use the RE programme, 'God Matters,' as recommended by Portsmouth Diocese. Children value their RE learning, they take pride in their work and are challenged to ask and respond to questions of faith and life. Catholic Social Teaching is interwoven into our RE lessons and other aspects of school life.
From September, we will be using the TenTen programme to deliver Relationships Education in consultation with parents.
As part of the mission of our school, we work in partnership with charities, CAFOD, wider community, parish. Our Mini Vinnies also promote the mission of our school through charitable acts and service within the community.
Our school supports mission to reach out to others and serve them. Our children learn about this through Catholic Social Teaching and through the work we do in our school community eg. HAF club and in support of CAFOD and other causes.
Our strong links with the parish church are further strengthened by our Holy Communion programme for children in Year 3. The children begin their journey to receiving their First Holy Communion and they work hard in school, at home and in church to ensure they are fully prepared. Alongside lessons in school, the children attend Mass with their parents each week and are encouraged to read Bible stories together at home.
The children at St Joseph's often get involved with raising awareness and money for charitable causes. This year the children enjoyed taking part in the 'Race for Life' and ran laps around the playground to raise money. As a school, we raised more than £600! It was a great day and we were proud of our amazing school!
Please see our ongoing programme of Charity Support involving our school community.
Please read how Religious Education is taught at St Joseph's through our extensive curriculum.
See how the pupils at St Joseph's live out our school mission as Mini Vinnies.
Our school values are an important part of school life. St Joseph's school values are: