Faith and Spirituality

Waverley College Junior School: Faith and Spirituality

Focus: As an independent Catholic boys' school in the tradition of Edmund Rice the following themes and attributes are seen as important elements as we attempt to cater for the faith & spiritual needs of our boys in the Junior School:

  • An active involvement in all aspects of the school including its religious ceremonies
  • Development of a sense of responsibility and community
  • The visualizing of tangible symbols that are constant reminders of our faith
  • A supportive, caring and nurturing staff who are true role models for our boys
  • Clear links to our faith and beliefs through the curriculum, our discipline system, social justice programs & charity work
  • An awareness and valuing of each boy's role and place within the Waverley College Community.

Masses and Liturgies

* Prayer Services: The boys are actively involved in planning and leading regular prayer services. At the Junior School, our prayer services are based on a variety of themes & activities relevant to the boys: feast days, charities that we regularly donate to, friendship, celebrating our talents and homelessness - depending on our needs and of course the time of Liturgical Year.

* Special services for Holy Week and Advent also occur.

* In all these times of prayer the boys run each prayer service from start to finish, including readings, processions, role playing, lighting, staging etc.

* Masses: The boys are also actively involved in the masses that we celebrate. We have a number of altar servers at all masses, often more volunteers than we require. This role is an important symbolic representation of the boys' involvement and importance in the mass. The boys sit with their parents for the Mothers'/Grandmothers' and Fathers'/Grandfathers' Eucharists. They are encouraged to be proud to celebrate with their families at these events and all are followed up with either a morning tea after the Mothers' Mass or a BBQ after the Father's Mass in which the boys are actively involved.

* Community Masses: Each class goes to Mary Immaculate Church to celebrate morning mass with the community twice throughout the year.  This is an important reminder for them that it is a regular part of being a Christian as well as a member of the Parish. It is also important for their spirituality within a community.

 

Weekly Prayers/Events

* All classes say daily prayers together. We have a 'Weekly Prayer' for the Junior School which is said at Monday morning assemblies and honour assemblies on Thursdays, together with the Acknowledgement of Country.

* In most Yr 6 classes the boys are responsible for preparing a class prayer for each cycle. It maybe as simple as lighting a candle with a prayer on a chosen theme, reading a meditation or reflection, or playing a significant song or video related to an important aspect of their lives. Boys are encouraged to let us know if there is a particular need at anytime in terms of prayer (special intentions).

* We have tangible symbols/reminders throughout the school. On our main prayer space, which is in a common area where boys pass each day, concrete symbols are displayed as a reminder of what being at a Catholic School is all about (candles, school colours, icon images, posters, certificates received for donations to charities etc). The boys are regularly quizzed at assemblies as an extra incentive to ensure they use and are aware of these spaces.

 

Discipline System/Links to the Curriculum

* Our firm discipline system is based on respect for others. The boys quickly learn that they are a member of a community which involves certain rights and responsibilities. This is covered in the curriculum as well as in the system itself. We work on restorative justice (boys thinking about their actions, knowing the consequences, why the rules exist and how their actions affect others). In our Religious Education Curriculum the boys learn about the 'Golden Rule' as a basis for their actions in all situations, not just at school but with all people. We also have a 'no tolerance' policy to any form of bullying and the boys are aware of this.

* The boys learn about the lives and lessons of significant people in the Church, such as our founder Blessed Edmund Rice - 'Give to the poor in handfuls' and St Mary of the Cross - Mary MacKillop - 'Never see an evil without trying to find a remedy'.

 

Social Justice/Charities

* We have a collection for staff who take part in St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol throughout the year (biscuits/fruit etc). Boys are asked to bring in items of food and blankets for staff to hand out to Sydney's homeless. It is important for us to lead by example as significant role models in terms of helping those less fortunate.

* Participation in the Lenten Appeal – Project Compassion money is collected in every class.

* Our annual Walkathon has raised over $100,000 over the past few years for our four major charities.  The boys are extremely responsive in collecting for those in need. They are actively encouraged.

* The boys collect donations of toiletries for the Matt Talbot Appeal at Christmas time for homeless men in Sydney.

* Staff participate in additional volunteer activities throughout the year (such as charity events and work at the Matt Talbot kiosk). They report back to the boys at assemblies to ensure the boys gain a sense of the good work people can do throughout the community to assist those in need.

Links to the Senior School

* The Junior School boys are represented at major occasions at the Senior School (masses, liturgies, major assemblies, the College May Procession). This gives them the important sense of being part of the Waverley College Community.