Catholic Life at Pield Heath 2020 – 2021

Thinking of You
As this has and continues to be such a challenging time. In our chapel we have an ongoing display called ‘Thinking of You’. All staff and students are welcome to go along to our chapel where they can place a candle to remember anyone they wish. This will also be an ongoing reminder for our whole school community to keep these intentions in our prayers. If there is anyone you would like to be included please send their details for ‘Thinking of You’ to admin@pieldheathschool.org.uk.

Lent: Shrove Tuesday & Ash Wednesday
Tuesday 16th February was Shrove Tuesday, hopefully everyone enjoyed making and eating pancakes!

This was followed by Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. In normal circumstances we would have had a whole school Mass but due to the current situation and as this year it happens to fall in the half term, Cardinal Vincent Nichols sent information entitled ‘Ash Wednesday at Home’ which can be found on our school website.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
We marked the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes – World Day of the Sick by having a special service.
As you know our school comes under Uxbridge Parish which is called Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael, so it is a special day also for our local Parish.

Caritas ‘Love in Action’ Programme
Love in Action is an engagement programme designed by Caritas, Westminster to introduce Parishes and Schools to the principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST).

There are 6 Principles that we will be looking at over the programme.

  • Dignity
  • Solidarity and Peace
  • Option for the Poor
  • Creation
  • Community and Participation
  • Dignity of Workers

In Spring Term 1 we looked at ways in which we can highlight the principle of Option for the Poor.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
During Spring term in their RE lessons students learned about Local Community. They took part in various activities and looked at different jobs and the way people serve as community helpers. They also focused on the role of the Priest as a Spiritual leader. In their RE lessons, students shared Bible Stories and listened to The Parable of the Lost Sheep, as an example of how we can find ways of being closer to God.

The Year of St Joseph
As you may be aware Pope Francis has declared a special Year of St Joseph. With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from  8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021.

The  Pope wrote Patris corde against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day. In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”During this year, we plan to be do various activities to mark this special event.

Christmas Mass
We had a Christmas Mass which everyone was able to follow via Zoom in their classes. We were delighted to be joined by all our staff and Governors as well as our Sister School St Johns, Chigwell who also followed the Mass online. The Mass was celebrated by Fr Nicholas Schofield, Parish Priest at Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael, Uxbridge.

The Mexican Posada Tradition
As in previous years we followed the old Mexican custom called ‘Las Posadas’ where, during Advent, people dressed as Mary and Joseph and traveled around their villages knocking at peoples’ doors to see who would give them hospitality.

This journey symbolises Mary and Joseph’s difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus. Due to social distancing restrictions this year instead to travelling to groups every class was invited to create their own Christmas Crib.

As Pope Francis said:

“The nativity scene is like a living Gospel… I encourage the beautiful family tradition of preparing the nativity scene at home, in the workplace, in schools, hospitals and town squares.”

Advent
We marked the Season of Advent in various ways to help us prepare for the great Feast of Christmas. We had an Advent Service to mark the start of the Season. Students took part in designing Advent Wreaths and marked the 4 weeks of Advent by decorating candles. In December we had a special service to mark the Feast of St Lucy. The theme of the service was the Gift of Light. We also had weekly reflections provided for all staff. Sincere thanks to Sr Rosemary Clerkin for providing us with these inspiring reflections.

Journey to Bethlehem
As we were unable to have a Christmas Performance this year we still felt very much that we wanted to share the Christmas Message with everyone. As we are still in a special year – The Year of The Word, The God who Speaks, The RE Department with the RE Ambassadors and Tutors made a Presentation called ‘Journey to Bethlehem’. It tells the Traditional story of Christmas however there are also some modern day adaptations. Thank you to all the Tutors who responded so enthusiastically with this project that Agnes Komasiak coordinated. The RE Ambassadors and students enacted various scenes of the story. Thanks also to Sahil and Josley for their IT support. We hope that you will enjoy watching it, join in with the Christmas Carols and that it brings happy memories of past Pield Heath Performances.

Upper School Retreat
Students in Key Stage 4 were invited to participate in a special retreat on 21st October. The theme for the Retreat was ‘Looking after Ourselves’ The day started with a service after which there were activities which focused on the importance of water. We looked at the Story of the Samaritan Woman from The Gospel. Students visited The Well and the Retreat ended with a sharing service in the chapel to celebrate the day.

The Rosary
On 7th October we had a special Service which was prepared by VBC Group A to mark the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and to remind everyone that October is the Month of the Rosary. In addition to this all staff were given the opportunity to journey with the Diocese of Westminster and pray in solidarity for our school communities. We continue to pray to Mary our Mother for you and all of your loved ones during these uncertain times.

RE Ambassadors
We are delighted to have our new RE Ambassadors who come from both the lower and upper school and represent many of the major world religions.
This year the team includes Yash, Mason, Hajira, Emily, Amber and Calvin.

Caritas ‘Love in Action’ Programme
Love in Action is an engagement programme designed by Caritas, Westminster to introduce Parishes and Schools to the principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST).
During the Autumn term we have been looking at the Principle of Dignity

The God Who Speaks
As this special time which was designated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference has been extended, it gives us the perfect opportunity to work towards its aims which are ‘Celebrating, Living and Sharing God‘s Word.’  During the year we will continue to do a variety of activities and events to help our whole school community to engage meaningfully with the Bible.

Rose Memorial Garden
As this has been such an emotional time for everyone, each class in the school was invited to plant a Rose of their choice in the school grounds. This garden will provide us with a place to think and pray for any loved ones we have lost. Thanks to Nicky Grieve our Outdoor Learning Development Manager for working with the students to plant and maintain this special garden.

The Well
For the benefit of new families and staff who have recently joined us this is just a brief summary. Following a successful application to the Cardinal’s Appeal Fund, we were given a grant to set up a Community café. The name ‘The Well’ was chosen based on the encounter of the Samaritan Woman and Jesus from St John’s Gospel Chapter 4. This Café Enterprise offers the ideal opportunity to develop many essential life skills including communication, working as a team, catering, handling money. It also importantly acknowledges our students and gives them the recognition that they are making a valuable contribution to society. Another important aspect is to provide a warm welcome to rest and relax. The importance of water for our mental, physical and spiritual refreshment and overall wellbeing is also another central theme.

A New School Year
We had a whole school Service to start the new year and to welcome all our new staff. In addition, on 9th September we had a Mass which Staff and Governors attended. The Mass was celebrated by Fr Nicholas Schofield, Dean at Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael Parish, Uxbridge. Staff and students had the opportunity to follow the Mass on a livestream link at school.