At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, we had such an exciting year celebrating and reflecting on the Year of Mercy. We kicked-off with a CAFOD assembly, one for KS1 and one for KS2. These assemblies focussed on the corporal works of mercy, and how we could reflect on these in our school.
Each class then created their own “Door of Mercy” by tracing their own hand and writing promises and prayers for the Year of Mercy. Then each class placed the hands around the outside of their classroom doors. The children were encouraged to think about these promises and prayers as they entered their classroom throughout the year.
KS2 also had class workshops provided by CAFOD, which all linked to the Year of Mercy corporal works themes. The workshops focussed on people who did not have easy access to clean water, and refugees and what they experience. The class even got to write messages of hope to real refugees and CAFOD delivered the messages for the children. Year 5 children had the In Reality team from the Hallam Youth Ministry in for a whole day focussing on the Year of Mercy.
As a school, we concentrated on themes during the Year of Mercy. During each theme, all classes were asked to reflect on a particular topic/subject. Then each class provided work that was made into whole-school displays during that topic.
In one theme of “The Sick”, each class was asked to choose one of the following topics to concentrate on:
- Make Get well cards for those on the parish sick list or someone you know who is sick
- Find out about the work of St Vincent de Paul
- Find out about St Bernadette and Lourdes
- Research Blessed Mother Teresa
- Find out about the Hospice Movement
- Research images of Pope Francis greeting the sick
In another topic of “The Thirsty”, each class was given a topic to concentrate on:
- Y5/Y6 to write about their experience from the CAFOD “Make a Splash” workshop
- Y4 to write/design the March Year of Mercy Prayer
- Y3 to write the scripture John 7:37–39
- R, Y1 and Y2 – to create a water “droplet” prayer praying for those without clean water
- All children to reflect on writing a prayer or message of hope for all those people who do not have clean, safe water
In another topic of “Our Community”, each class was given a list of names of people to be prayed for. These lists included not only all the students and staff, but also Fr Martin, dinner ladies and cleaners, friends, parents and governors. Each class prayed for their list of people during their daily prayers. Then, for the display, all names were written onto strips of paper that were woven together to represent the unity of our community.
We finished off our celebrations and reflections in a few ways. The Year 5 class attended the closing ceremony Mass at the Cathedral with the bishop. In school, we had a whole-school assembly reflecting on what we had done over the year. We finished our assembly with a pilgrimage around the school by walking through all the “Doors of Mercy”.
Report and Photographs: Mrs Jessica Lord