Our approach to developing the children’s understanding of their Catholic Faith is rooted in the 5Ws Framework as outlined by Salford Diocese.
Our 5Ws are:
Welcome – At St. Gilbert’s we provide a warm and welcoming environment for all our children, families, staff and visitors.
Word – We grow to understand our Catholic Faith through high quality lessons and experiences so that we know what the true meaning of a Catholic Life is. We value the teachings of Jesus and we are faithful to His word.
Worship – God is at the heart of all we do. We pray and reflect together in many different ways to show our love and devotion to God and celebrate the spirituality of our community.
Welfare – St. Gilbert’s children and staff are caring and supportive, not just of one another, but of others in our society both close to home and across the World through our actions and by teaching them about love, forgiveness and kindness.
Witness – We strive to act like Jesus would wherever we go and with whoever we are with. We do not just learn about our faith, we live out its principles in the way we treat each other and though other projects to ensure that we are acting out the Gospel values through our lives.
These five areas cover all aspects of what it means to be a true follower of Christ. Through these, St. Gilbert’s pupils are taught how to live a life rooted in Catholic values so that they go out into the word as beacons of Christ’s teachings.
We have an active and caring group of Pupil Chaplains who take on leadership of some aspects of the religious life of the school. They were trained at the Cathedral by the Diocese with chaplains from other schools and are supported and guided by Mrs. Hickey in school. The chaplains lead prayers with classes each week and support the charitable works of the school. They lead services for Stations of the Cross and the Rosary as well as Assemblies across the school year. The Chaplains take a lead mentoring the Mini-Vinnies group in school to support them in developing skills to one day become chaplains themselves. Recently, the Chaplains have been working on the seven steps in the Salford Diocese ‘Beacons of Hope’ project to build greater links between the school and parish.
At St. Gilbert’s we have developed a prayer programme so that children can learn and acquire prayers for all occasions at points appropriate to their age. We encourage children to think carefully about the prayers they are saying and to engage in creating their own prayers. Pupils lead their class worship sessions each week and these allow them to express their own ideas but also act as an opportunity for children to lead prayers around things that matter to them. The children also have access to the Reflection Room in school and the Prayer Garden outside as safe, peaceful spaces where they can pray.