St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Catholic Social Teaching

Welcome to our new CARITAS Ambassadors in training!

The children from Year 5 and 6 will complete weekly training for the Autumn term related to:

  • What an Ambassador is
  • What the Charity CARITAS stands for and does
  • Themes of Catholic Social Teaching and what underpins this
  • How we can live out our faith and show our love in action

This programme is part of the Diocesan / CARITAS Westminster's Catholic Social Teaching project 'Rooted in Love'.

At the end of the training, the children will be fully fledged CARITAS Ambassadors and will receive their badges and certificates.

They will help to lead whole-school assemblies related to the different themes of Catholic Social Teaching and visit classes telling their peers about the importance of living our faith. They will discuss how we at St Joseph's can continue to show our 'love in action' and plan a whole-school project before the end of the year.

We thank Sr Silvana at CARITAS Westminster for her invaluable support in this area.

Care of Creation - Autumn 1


Our new Environment Team under the Leadership of Miss Eccles and Miss Jeffery visited St Mary's Church garden. During this season of creation, they had a good look around to appreciate the beauty of this lovely space. This year, they will help Fr Shaun make sure the garden is as beautiful and cared for as it can be (building on the work the team did last year, planting and looking after plants and vegetables in Fr Shaun's new greenhouse). The children discussed how we are stewards for this amazing world and God has entrusted us to be stewards of this incredible environment.

This builds on the message that Pope Francis gave us in the encyclical - 'Laudato Si' (June 2015).

Latin for 'Praised Be', 'Laudato Si' is the name of Pope Francis' encyclical on caring for our common home — planet earth. The letter is addressed to "every person living on this planet" and calls for a global dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet through our daily actions and decisions.

Here at St Joseph's, we are sure that our Environment Team will take this responsibility seriously and help to spread the word to others.

They have plans for the year ahead and we look forward to them continuing to make a difference and raise awareness of different issues. Thank you Environment Team!

Members of Year 6 led a beautiful assembly linked to the Catholic Social Teaching theme - Care of Creation.

We looked at what the Bible said about our responsibilities as 'stewards of creation' and what Pope Francis said (in Laudato Si).

Jane, a parishioner from St Mary's and a CAFOD volunteer, helped to lead a CAFOD assembly and talked to the children about the important work that CAFOD does across the globe. The children listened intently and were full of excellent questions.

After, Jane spent a little time with our Pupil Chaplaincy Team and asked them the question, 'Why should you help?'

The responses were heart-warming. 

'Jesus asks us to love our neighbour' (Alexandra Year 6)

'Because others won't' (Benjamin Year 6)

'We are lucky and have plenty, so we should reach out to others' (Betsy Year 6)

'We want a world with justice and equality' (Giulia Year 5)

'I hope people would want to look after us if we were in need' (Kaelyn Year 5)

Inspired by a visit from a CAFOD volunteer - the Pupil Chaplaincy Team created and displayed their own CAFOD posters to raise awareness of our fundraising efforts in the school.

Fr Shaun visited and spoke to some of the children about Catholic Social Teaching and what being a 'steward meant'. Fr Shaun said that the children understood their mission to demonstrate their faith in action.

 

Preferential Option for the Poor - Autumn 2

Children helped with the whole school assembly focused on 'The Preferential Option for The Poor'.

We thought of ways that we could reach out to our brothers and sisters in need. Both the Bible (The Word of God) and Pope Francis teach us to share what we have with others. Not just scraps, but the best that we have to offer. 

Linked to this, across the school, children will use the CARITAS Advent 'Giving' Calendar. They and their families will try to build up a box of goods that we can donate to those in need at Christmas. We will donate these items to our friends at The Cardinal Hume Centre which looks after homeless and vulnerable people.

Thanks to the hard work of the Caritas Ambassadors, the Pupil Chaplaincy Team and the whole school community, at least 2 taxis full of donations were take to the Cardinal Hume Centre for the homeless and vulnerable. St Joseph's school truly showed a 'preferential option for the poor' this Advent. Thank you to all for your generosity. 

Solidarity and Peace - Spring 1

The Caritas Ambassadors planned and promoted their social action project, to show solidarity with those in need.

They decided to ask the children at St Joseph's to donate good quality, pre-owned toys and games.

These items would then be donated to two charities that the Ambassadors chose.

The Caritas Ambassadors made posters, visited and spoke to classes (to campaign and educate) and encouraged the children to pray for the success of the charity drive.

The response from our children and families to our charity project was wonderful. Many, many toys, games and puzzles were sent in. The two charities that were selected (PACT and The Toy Project) will benefit hugely from the generosity of the St Joseph's community. Through the passion and enthusiasm of the Caritas Ambassadors - we all strived to show our 'LOVE IN ACTION'.

 

Community and Participation- Spring 2

 

The Caritas Ambassadors helped lead the whole school assembly on the next Catholic Social Teaching theme - Community and Participation. We heard from scripture and from Pope Francis on the importance of reaching out to others and being active for what is right (not to merely be 'observers' in life).

 

 

 Rocio from the Catholic Children's Society also presented and told us more about the wonderful work that the charity does and ways that we can participate as the St Joseph's community. The Pupil Chaplaincy Team and the Caritas Ambassadors also had time for a Q and A after the assembly and Rocio was impressed with the children's determination to show 'love in action' by supporting the work of the Catholic Children's Society in the future.

 

 

To show support for the Catholic Children's Society, the Caritas Ambassadors and Pupil Chaplaincy Team decided to organise a Cake Sale after Easter. Children made posters and visited classrooms to promote the sale and to explain WHY were getting involved. Lots of cakes were donated and a good amount of money was raised. Parent volunteers and children worked together on the stall. The community of St Joseph's showed their 'Love in Action'.

 

Dignity  of Workers- Summer 1

Children helped Mr Stacey to lead the Catholic Social Teaching Assembly on 'Dignity of Workers'.

We reflected on quotes from the Bible (Genesis) and Pope Francis related to the importance and value of work, being respected at work and the need for rest too. We talked about conditions that were fair and just; we also talked about what was meant by 'fair trade'.

 

 

One of our St Joseph's parents came in to talk to classes about her advocacy work for workers' rights in Singapore. Joanna delivered a fascinating and inspiring presentation about working conditions of migrant workers and some real changes that she had campaigned for. The children asked great questions and were inspired to work for change and greater justice in the future.

The Caritas Ambassadors thought that it would be a great idea to write 'Thank you' cards to our school cleaners to say that their work was greatly appreciated and respected by us all. We felt that we were very lucky to have people looking after our school building so carefully and allowing us to have a lovely, clean school to come into every morning.

 

Human Dignity- Summer 2

Members of the Caritas Ambassadors group led the Catholic Social Teaching Assembly focused on 'Human Dignity'.

The famous line from Genesis was echoed in the writings of Pope Francis:

'Everyone is made in God's image and likeness - every person is immensely Holy and deserves our love' (Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel, 274).

We discussed who is valued most in our society at present - who is given most status and importance (and therefore afforded more dignity?). We talked about each and every one of us being unique, special and worthy of respect and dignity.