Our Catholic Ethos
St Joseph’s is a Catholic school, where the child and Christ are at the heart of all that we do. At the heart of our school, is our Mission Statement:
'We are all God’s children and will try to live, love, work and serve as Jesus taught us.'
Pope Francis says:
‘An education in the fullness of humanity should be the defining feature of our Catholic Schools’.
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. As Jesus said,‘ I have come that they may have life and have it to the full’ John 10:10. Our hope is for each child to grow in a fullness of life.
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. Many visitors to the school comment on the lovely atmosphere and welcoming nature of the children and staff.
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 writer, 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, the Diocese of Portsmouth. 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)
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.
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 Minnie Vinnies also promote the mission of our school through charitable acts and service within the community.