“Following in Christ’s footsteps by working, playing, learning and serving together”
At St. Columba’s, our faith is an integral part of our school life. Reaching out and influencing every part of our school day and year. We are very proud to take time throughout the day to pause and reflect as a community in class and collectively in larger groups.
Our mission statement states that “by working together and playing together, we may learn to love you and serve one another” and as soon as you walk through the school doors it is clear that Christ is at the centre of our school.
Here at St. Columba’s we are very grateful to have close parish links with Our Lady and St. Columba’s RC Church. We work hard to develop links with the wider community and attend the church as a whole school and as classes.
Over recent years we have supported a range of charities, particularly during our Lenten fundraising activities. We rotate the charities on an annual basis and we are very grateful for the great generosity that our families show during this time of year.
Charities that we have worked to support in the past include:
- Mission Together
- Cuthbert’s Care
- Youth Ministry Team
- Rwandan Appeal
We are an inclusive school that is always looking to build on our existing links with other faiths and denominations as we work with parents to develop caring, compassionate, faithful children ready and prepared for the wider world.
Serving our parish and school community
We serve our parish and local community in many ways, sharing God’s message of love with others whenever we can. Some ways in which we do this are:
- Holding special, reflective services and liturgies in our church for our school and parish communities, especially during Advent and Holy Week.
- We organise a school Mass twice a half-term where children from our school lead the collective worship for the school and parishioners are welcomed.
- Class assemblies are held on Fridays every two weeks and all members of our community are invited and encouraged to attend. These always have an RE focus.
- Shared preparation in school and in the parish for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. We also hold regular parent meetings to ensure that families are fully involved in preparations.
- Carol singing during Christmas time in Wallsend town centre.
- Working with Parents as partners in our Nursery and Reception classes.
We also send a copy of the Wednesday Word home to every family in our school community. The Wednesday Word is a double-sided A4 leaflet which carries the Sunday Gospel into school family homes. The children receive the leaflet in school each week for them to take home with them to read with the rest of their family. This creates a new opportunity for the Word to be present in the homes of families connected to our school. It also acts as a regular invitation to the Eucharist throughout the time that the family is connected to the life of our school.
We have the opportunity to study different faiths across the year and especially during our Multi-faith weeks. This which gives us an opportunity to:
- Learn about other faiths, beliefs and their customs.
- Bring our communities closer together.
- Celebrate the contribution that our faith groups make to society.
- Understand how people of different faiths interact and cooperate with one another.
Mini Vinnies at St. Columba’s
‘Mini Vinnies’ is a St Vincent de Paul Group in a Primary School. It is a group of young people aged 7-11 who get together, organise and talk about helping others in need within their school community and beyond. What makes Mini Vinnies such a valuable experience for the children who are part of it, is the change it makes in school communities. Mini Vinnies’ groups usually meet once a week or fortnight during lunchtime or after school and are either run by school staff members, an SVP Conference Member or a combination of both.
What happens at a Mini Vinnies’ meeting?
A ‘President’ is elected by the Mini Vinnies to lead the meeting and organise the group. An adult will co-ordinate the group and give help and practical advice. Meetings should be as brief as possible.
- The President opens the meeting with a prayer.
- A short spiritual reading/reflection/piece of music/meditation follows. The Group members could take turns to do this.
- Group members then talk about the Mini Vinnies’ activities they have done since the previous meeting.
- Any future plans are then discussed.
- The President concludes the meeting with a prayer.
For more information on Mini Vinnies, please feel free to visit their website here