Growing In Faith Together
“It is up to you, young followers of Christ, to show the world that faith brings happiness and a joy which is true, full and enduring”.
Pope Benedict XVI
The job of the pupil GIFT team (Growing In Faith Together) has a very high profile in our school and we are now on our third team of Pupil Chaplains. In September 2021, application forms were written and interviews took place for our new GIFT Team and Lewis, Isaac, Nyla, Scarlett, Laaiba, Alisia were successfully appointed. Miss Hadfield is looking forward to working with the GIFT Team giving joyful witness of Christ in our school.
As members of the GIFT Team we are called to lead our school by following in the footsteps of Jesus. Every day we live by the gospel values and show others how they can do the same. Being a member of the GIFT Team is a challenging but very rewarding task.
The aims of the St. Wulstan’s GIFT Team are:
- To help the school to grow as a community of faith
- To encourage the pupils to live their faith in daily living
- To support Liturgy, prayer and the spiritual life of the school
- To involve pupils in fundraising for charities
- To continue to develop strong links with the Parish
- To support the school in its Mission Statement
The duties of the GIFT Team include:
- Helping to plan and lead assemblies and Masses
- Organising and leading class prayer times with other pupils
- Lead before school and lunchtime prayer opportunities throughout the year e.g. Rosary, Prayer Garden, Stations of the Cross
- Ensuring that class and communal prayer areas are tidy and reflect the season
- Organising fund raising for charity
- Supporting younger children with their spiritual development
- Help to monitor and improve the Catholic life of our school
So, what did the GIFT team do in 2020 - 2021?
- In September, we built a post-box for children to write letters to their friends in other classes who they were not able to play with because we had to stay in our class bubbles for the year. The classes did very well in writing letters to post to their friends in other classes and the GIFT team enjoyed delivering them
- In October, we decorated and designed a GIFT team box for each class to show the St. Wulstan’s Values. In each Friday assembly, a candle is given to children, nominated by the peers for displaying the chosen St. Wulstan's Values and their name placed on our prayer tree
- In the month of October, we thought about people around the world and in our own communities who aren't as lucky as we are. The classes all had a special assembly with Miss Hadfield and looked at A Harvest Like No Other, from CAFOD. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXGHRP2hkMM). We have been busy collecting food for the families and community within Great Harwood and we will be distributing all the food that has been so generously donated with the help of Wendy. We could not believe how much was donated...enough to fill two shopping trolleys!
- In November, we created a whole school memory board, in memory of those people who we know who have died and asked God to look after them and we prayed for their loved ones. The remembrance display was on our noticeboard in the Hall so everyone could see it. We also sent Remembrance Day activities home with the children GIFT Advent Letter
- In December, we put together a whole school prayer chain and wore purple to celebrate the start of Advent. Children in each class to wrote their own prayer to create a whole school prayer chain with a message of ‘‘Preparing our hearts during Advent for Christ’s coming’. We also focused on kindness around the school and sent kindness activity packs home with all the children. We asked children and families to use art to share with us 'The True Meaning of Christmas.'GIFT Kindness Cale
- In January, we organised a whole school St. Wulstan's Bake Off, based on the theme of 'Love'. This meant that the children at home could also take part. We had fantastic entries and were amazed to see the creativity and cooking skills of the children and their families
- In February, we organised a whole school art project, the St. Wulstan's Garden of Hope, so that when school fully re-opened, we had work from us all on display in the Hall
- In March, we took part in the Rainbow Prayer of Hope organised by the diocese, a year since COVID-19 first closed our school
- In April, we recorded the Stations of the Cross and a special Easter Assembly which were watched by the whole school and shared with our families. We also made an Easter garden for each class
- In May, we led each class in the saying of the Rosary, every Friday, in honour of Mary. We were very impressed that Year 2 learnt to sign the Hail Mary!
- In June, we planted flowers in the Peace Garden and placed flowering plant pots at the entrance to school and around the school grounds. They looked bloomin' marvellous!
- In June, we gave all the classes and staff a spider plant to care for and wish them good luck and thank you
- In July, we began our canvas display of the Story of Creation which we complete in September when we return to school
So, what did the GIFT team do in 2019 - 2020, before COVID-19 came along?
In November, we asked all the children to remember someone special to them who had passed away and write their own love heart of remembrance. We displayed these on the GIFT noticeboard in the Hall and remembered our loved ones in our prayers.
In December, all the children wore purple on the first Monday to remind us that Advent is the time to get ready and prepare for Jesus' coming. All children wrote their own Advent prayer which we then used to create a large whole school prayer chain with a message of 'Preparing our hearts during Advent for Christ's coming'. We also held three lunchtime groups, where we worked with children from different year groups looking at key figures in the Advent story.
In January, we served teas and coffees and cakes and biscuits to our parish family as they joined us for St. Wulstan's Day. We have also begun making Peace Poles with two children from each class...spreading God's message of peace through our school community.
In February, Father Tierney visited us one Friday morning to work alongside us. We were full of ideas after his visit. He even tweeted the school to say that the GIFT team were very active in sharing their faith with their school family and great fun to be with.' Thank you Father Tierney!