catholic life at
St Joseph’s takes pride in having a strong Catholic ethos which is committed to doing the very best for all the pupils in our care.
Our mission statement was written by the whole school community: governors, staff and pupils.
Here at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, we learn and grow through the love of Jesus. Our community is a safe, caring and happy place where everyone is supported and valued. We encourage and challenge everyone to achieve their full potential, spiritually, academically, morally and socially. We inspire others with a love of learning and aim for excellence in everything we do. Through our own faith, we treat one another the way we would like to be treated. We help every child to be gentle and fair: to always do their best.
We live out our mission statement by the values that we promote:
We expect these values to guide everyone in our school community to be the best we can be in our everyday lives.
Who was St Joseph?
Who was St Joseph?
St Joseph was the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. According to the earliest Christian traditions, he was a carpenter or woodworker. The Gospel of Matthew calls him a “righteous man,” meaning he was an observant Jew who obeyed God’s law.
The Gospel of Luke tells us that when Jesus was twelve, Joseph took him and Mary to Jerusalem to visit the Temple. They became separated, and Mary and Joseph spent three days looking for him. When they found him, Mary said to Jesus: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” In reply, Jesus said: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:48-49)
Mary referred to Joseph as Jesus’ father, honouring his role in caring for and protecting Jesus, and raising him in the Jewish faith; the reply of Jesus refers to God as his Father, and introduces a common theme in his preaching: Our faithfulness to God must come before even our closest human relationships.
St Joseph is patron saint of the Universal Church, families, fathers, expectant mothers, the dying, travellers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers and working people in general. He has two feast days: 19th March for Joseph the husband of Mary and 1st May for Joseph the Worker. The 19th March has been the most celebrated feast day for Joseph, and it was not until 1955 that Pope Pius XII established the Feast of "St. Joseph the Worker" to be celebrated on 1st May. This is also May Day (International Workers' Day) and believed to reflect Joseph's status as the patron of workers.
On 19th March, pupils at St Joseph’s attend Mass to celebrate the feast day of our patron saint.
Our RE Curriculum
At St Joseph’s we use the ‘Come and See’ Religious Education programme from EYFS to Year 6. It is based on the theological foundations of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Catechism and the revised RE Curriculum Directory.
‘Come and See’ provides:
- Opportunities for celebration, prayer and reflection.
- Children with the language of religious experience.
- Opportunities to explore and develop religious stories and events.
- Appropriate materials about other faiths.
Overview of Content:
The process for delivering the topics in ‘Come and See’ has three stages – Explore, Reveal and Respond which enables the pupils with the development of knowledge, understanding, skills and the fostering of attitudes. The nine topics are subdivided as follows:
- Family - Domestic Church
- Belonging - Baptism/Confirmation/Marriage/Vocation
- Loving - Advent/Christmas
- Community - Local Church
- Relating - Eucharist
- Giving - Lent/Easter
- Serving - Pentecost
- Inter-relating - Reconciliation
- World - Universal Church
RE Vocabulary Sheets
Listed below are the 'Come and See' vocabulary sheets together with the big question for each topic:
Spring Term - First Topic
- EYFS Celebrations
- Y1 Special People
- Y2 Special Books
- Y3 Journeys
- Y4 Community
- Y5 Life Choices
- Y6 The Bible
Each child at St Joseph’s is a member of a house group. There are four of these named after English saints.
St Edmund Campion
St Margaret Clitherow
St John Fisher
St Thomas More
Each house group is assigned two house captains from Year 6 who are role models for their team. School staff are also assigned a house group.
Children receive house points for lots of different things in our school e.g. exemplary behaviour, good manners, being polite and helpful, producing excellent work, contributing to class discussions and being positive role models. When a child receives a house point, this is recorded on a chart in their classroom. The house captains count the house points and the weekly results are announced by the head teacher. All children are praised for their efforts and the winning house is congratulated.
Catholic Life Gallery - Autumn 2020
Christmas 2020 at St Joseph's
St Joseph’s had a spiritually uplifting final week of school with our Christmas celebrations. Please find listed below some of the activities that have taken place across the school:
A Bundle of Joy!
EYFS & KS1 performed ‘A Bundle of Joy!’ which was a recreation of the traditional nativity story. The children acted out the story of the birth of Jesus Christ in St Joseph’s Catholic Church and they reminded us all about the true meaning of Christmas. Their delightful nativity brought a smile to all our faces!
A Review of 2020
Year 3 created a review of the major events of 2020 and presented it in a series of news articles. They taught us that Christmas is a time of hope and an opportunity to acknowledge that no matter how dark and cold things may seem, the light of Jesus will always shine through. When the light comes, any darkness will be defeated. They also showed us that we must shine hope into the lives of those that need it particularly this Christmas time.
The Advent Wreath Tradition
Advent is a liturgical season that draws us into a time of watchfulness, expectation and penance before the joy of Christmas day arrives. One of the ways we mark this time of waiting is with the Advent wreath. The use of the wreath and candles during Advent are a longstanding Catholic tradition as part of our spiritual preparation for Christmas. Year 4 presented an assembly explaining the religious symbolism of the wreath and each of the candles tied to the Christmas season. They taught us that Advent is a wonderful time to prepare our hearts and minds for the anniversary of the Lord’s birth at Christmas.
The Greatest Gift of All
Year 5 presented the story ‘The Greatest Gift of All’. Everyone loves presents. Big or small, square or lumpy, presents are exciting. However, after a while they break, get lost and are not so exciting anymore. Year 5 taught us that Christians believe there is one present, one gift that will never break or get lost, one gift that changes everything. The birth of Jesus is the greatest gift of all time.
A Reflective Advent Service
Deacon Garry led a spiritual Advent service for pupils in Year 6. He spoke about the true meaning of Christmas. He reminded pupils that the gift of Jesus Christ arrived in the world at a dark time, bringing with him the promise of eternal life. Pupils did readings, poems and sang Christmas carols in small groups. The singing was accompanied by the playing of glockenspiels and guitars. Parents joined the service remotely and so did grandparents, some as far away as Scotland!
Here is some of the creative artwork that was produced during the season of Advent by the children:
Fr Peter’s Christmas Tree
Children from all year groups made decorations for the Christmas tree in St Joseph’s church. Designs used the following religious themes:
- The Nativity scene showing the true meaning of Christmas
- A dove of peace to represent Jesus’ birth bringing peace to the world
- A ring to represent God’s everlasting love for us which has no beginning and no end
- A candle to represent that Jesus is the light of the world
- A crown to represent that Jesus is the King of kings
- The star of Bethlehem which the three wise men followed to pay homage to baby Jesus
It was the perfect end to a wonderful week of spirituality in our school.
Fr Peter was delighted to see the Christmas tree in the church so beautifully decorated. In the photograph you can see Miss Strachan and Fr Peter standing on either side of the tree with the children’s work between them. This picture is symbolic of the strong relationship our school has with St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Catholic Life Gallery - Spring 2021
These assemblies can be viewed on the parish YouTube channel which you can access here. Please subscribe to this channel to be notified of all future videos produced by the parish.
A Fond Farewell
On the last day of the spring term, St Joseph’s said a sad goodbye to Miss Strachan who leaves us to become an executive headteacher.
A surprise leaving service was planned for her in our school playground which encompassed Bible readings, prayers, poetry and song. As an unsuspecting Miss Strachan turned the corner, staff and pupils gave her a huge round of applause in appreciation of all she has done for our school since 2017. Mrs Nelms, the chair of governors, joined us remotely and expressed her thanks too. Fr Peter and Deacon Garry were also in attendance and offered their words of appreciation on behalf of the parish.
Thank you, Miss Strachan, for all your hard work and dedication to St Joseph’s. While you will be missed by us, we wish you every success and happiness in your new role.
RE Information Letters
Useful RE Websites
Prayer and learning resources:
Ten different ways of praying online:
Ways to take part in the Examen prayer:
Pray weekly with the scripture for the Sunday celebration:
An eight week course on the Lord’s Prayer:
St Joseph's Parish
As a Catholic primary school, we work in partnership with the Parish of St Joseph’s. Fr Peter Murphy, Fr Tomasz Margol and Deacon Garry Cullen are regular visitors to our school.
Fr Peter Murphy - Parish Priest
Fr Tomasz Margol - Assistant Parish Priest
Deacon Garry Cullen - School Chaplain
Masses at St Joseph’s church are as follows:
On Holy Days of Obligation, Masses are at 7.30am, 10am and 7.30pm.
Monday to Friday:
- Monday - Friday 10am
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also available on request)
- 6pm - Vigil - The First Mass of Sunday
The Church is open for private prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every day (Monday to Saturday) from 10.30 - 11.30am
Confessions can be heard, upon request, before or after any Mass.
St Joseph’s Church
1 Orchard Road
020 8402 0459
The Parish Office is open 8.30am - 12noon, Monday to Friday.
For further information about St Joseph’s Catholic Church, please see their own website at:
A view of St Joseph’s Church from Plaistow Lane
Inside St Joseph’s Church
Archbishop John Wilson
Archbishop John Wilson's Christmas message to Southwark schools:
Archbishop John Wilson has recorded a special message to the whole school family about the current situation that we find ourselves in: