Reflection and Prayer
Reflection at Stella Maris
Reflection is a really important part of life at Stella Maris. All year groups begin their day with reflection time. Our reflection monitors are also important as they help to plan, set up and take ownership of the reflection time, depending on which year group they are in.
"I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things." Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Reflection themes for each term...
Reflection at Stella Maris
Mass for Mary - May 2023
On Wednesday 3rd May we celebrated Mary, our Mother, with a beautiful mass on the school field. Fr Alex celebrated mass with children, staff, governors and parents. The Dragons class led the prayers and readings and all the children took flowers, that they had either made, picked from their garden or bought, to Mary during the offertory. Some of the children had written prayers and made cards for Mary which was lovely.
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. Luke 1:30
The story of the Crucifixion - March 2023
On Thursday 30th March the Griffins and Unicorns told the next part of the Easter story, the story of the crucifixion. They did an amazing job of retelling the story in such a compassionate, thoughtful and respectful manner.
"When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews." Matthew 27:35
The story of the Last Supper - March 2023
On Wednesday 29th March, the Hobbits and Dragons told the next part of the Easter story, the story of the Last Supper. The story was told through readings, acting and images displayed. The classes were very thoughtful in how they told the story and gave us time at the end to reflect upon what we had seen and heard.
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
The Story of Palm Sunday - March 2023
On Tuesday 28th March the Imps, Pixies and Elves shared the story of Palm Sunday with the rest of the school. It was such a joyous assembly with lots of singing, prayers and story telling. The Elves and Pixies did a wonderful job reading the story and acting it out. The Imps did a great job waving their palm leaves and the singing from them all was beautiful!
"They took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" John 12:13
Our Lenten Breakfast - March 2023
On Friday 24th March, the children were invited to wear their pyjamas to school and to share in our Lenten breakfast. The children made a donation and as a school, we raised just over £200 for the Turkey and Syria Earthquake Appeal (chosen by the Sunshine Team). During the Lenten breakfast there was time for prayer, a reflection based around the Easter story and the lead up to this, as well as music and stillness.
"I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live." John 11:25
Sunshine Team Candle and Prayer Service - March 2023
On Wednesday 15th March the Sunshine Team led a candle and prayer service for the people of Turkey and Syria. The children planned the service in their Sunshine Team meetings and invited the school community to join us. Prayers were said, scripture was read, music was played and candles were lit. There were also reflections with time to pause and think. It was such a lovely service and we were so proud of the Sunshine Team, keeping the people of Turkey and Syria in their thoughts and prayers. The Sunshine Team finished the service with a quote from Mother Teresa of Calcutta:
'Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come, we only have today so lets begin.'
Our Lenten Prayer Tree - March 2023
Throughout Lent we will be praying for all of those people whose names have been placed on our Lenten prayer tree. Children, staff, families and governors have all been invited to put a name on the tree if there is someone they would like us to think of and say a prayer for during Lent. All of the people on our tree will be thought of.
We pray for everyone who is sick or afraid, bereaved or isolated around the world; and we pray for all who support them. May God grant each of them peace and comfort, courage and perseverance.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Ash Wednesday - 22nd February 2023
On Wednesday 22nd March, Fr Saba came to school to distribute ashes to the whole school. Ash Wednesday is a holy day that marks the first day of Lent. It is day for fasting and prayer.
Celebrating the Feast of Epiphany - Friday 6th January 2023
We celebrated the feast of Epiphany in a whole school Mass. We all walked to Church and celebrated with Fr Alex. It was a beautiful service with the Unicorns class doing the readings and the Griffins class leading the prayers.
Epiphany is the celebration of the three Wise Men arriving to visit the baby Jesus and is celebrated on the twelfth day of Christmas. The Wise men from the East followed a star to find Jesus, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
"Where is the new born King of the Jews? We saw his star at it's rising and have come to do him homage." Matthew 2:2
Christingle Service - 16th December 2022
On Friday 16th December we held our Christingle service at school and it was beautiful. Each child made a Christingle and it was lit in the afternoon service. We had prayers and readings led by the Unicorns class and we sang Christmas Carols as each class lit their Christingle. What a lovely way to end the term.
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world."
Advent Prayer Breakfast - Thursday 1st December 2022
On Thursday 1st December we invited all the children and their families to join us for an advent breakfast. The breakfast started with a reflection about the Christmas story and prayers were said. The children went to enjoy breakfast in their classrooms with their friends and teachers, and the parents stayed in the hall to enjoy coffee and pastries. It was wonderful to see so many of our families at the advent breakfast.
Advent is a very special time, a time when an important story is told to so many and told to people all over the world. The story is one of hope, of peace, of family. It is a story of humility, of love and of goodwill. It does not matter how times change and how things move on; the story can always be shared. Wherever in the world we may be, the story always carries the same messages. The message that we can always redirect our steps when things become challenging. The message that we can always show love and kindness towards others. The message that we can always help those around us with small and simple gestures. As you listen to the music, take a quiet moment to think about what the story means to you and how there is always hope!
Celebrating All Saint's Day - Tuesday 1st November 2022
Fr Alex came in to school to celebrate mass with us for All Saint's Day. The Unicorn Class led the readings and the bidding prayers for us and we celebrated as a whole school. During mass, Fr asked us to think about what makes a person a Saint and to also think about the word 'Holy.' Was there a difference?
Parent and Child Prayer Breakfast - Thursday 20th October 2022
On Thursday we welcomed our families to school to share a Parent and Child Prayer breakfast. It was absolutely wonderful to see 60 people attend. The prayer breakfast was all about our School Mission and the newest members of our school community shared their thoughts on the tools we use for our Mission of Building God's Kingdom. There was time to pray, reflect and eat together. We also shared the Class Big Books with our families.
Harvest Celebration - Monday 10th October 2022
On Monday 10th October we celebrated harvest with a whole school celebration. Each class thought about harvest in their learning and shared some of their work in the celebration. Unicorn class told us all about harvest around the world. We heard lots of interesting facts! Griffins class shared a gorgeous harvest festival poem that they had written together. Dragons class told us all about some harvest bread that they had made in class and also showed us their breads, they were beautiful and so carefully made. Hobbits shared some great harvest poems and sang a harvest song. Elves class sang a samba all about vegetables and showed us some of their vegetable paintings. Pixies class sang the lovely dingle dangle scarecrow song and Imps class sang their little seed song whilst doing some actions. It was wonderful to see all the learning that had taken place and it was a little reminder of how should appreciate all that we have.
KCSP mass at Alyesford Priory - Wednesday 28th September 2022
On Wednesday 28th September, Dragons Class celebrated mass with all of the schools in our Kent Catholic Schools Partnership. It was a very special mass at Aylesford Priory, mass was outside and the sunshine was shining! Archbishop John Wilson said mass and all of the schools in the partnership took part. The Dragon class children participated in the offertory, read some bidding prayers and took part in the welcome procession. It was such a beautiful day and lots of new friends were made.
Welcoming our Imps and their Families - Tuesday 20th September 2022
On Tuesday 20th of September, we welcomed out Imps and their families to our Stella Maris family. The Imps were introduced to the rest of the school community by their Unicorn partners and it was a very special moment. The Unicorns also helped their Imp light a candle, a small reminder that it is all of our jobs to help the Imps burn bright. It is also a reminder that Jesus is the light of world and he is with us on our journeys. We said some prayers for the Imps and their families and we sang together.
"I am the light and the salvation." Psalm 27.1
Reflection and Prayer for HM Queen Elizabeth II - Monday 12th September 2022
On Monday 12th September 2022, all of the children and staff were invited to bring in flowers to lay in our Peace Garden for the Queen. The children shared a special reflection and prayer for the Queen in their classes, and then went to lay their flowers in the Peace Garden. It was beautiful! Some children wrote prayers and message at home and attached them to their flowers.
We give thanks for your servant, Queen Elizabeth.
We thank you for her kindness, her faith and her dedication to duty.
May her example inspire us all,
through Jesus Christ Our lord,
Blessing for Staff and Pupils - Monday 12th September 2022
Fr Saba came into school on Monday 12th September to bless all of the staff and children. It was a beautiful way to start the academic year.
Year 6 Leaver's Mass - Monday 11th July 2022
On Monday 11th July the whole school walked to Church to celebrate our Year 6 pupils with Fr Alex. The children led the singing, bidding prayers and readings for the mass. At the end of mass, each of the Year 6 children received a beautiful crucifix which had been blessed by Fr Alex. The crucifix is a reminder that the Lord is always with them. We leave our wonderful Year 6 with some words from Oscar Romero
"Aspire not to have more but to be more."
Mass For Mary - Friday 13th May 2022
On Friday 13th we celebrated Mary with a very special mass outside. Fr Saba came to say mass for us and the children laid flowers for Mary. It was a beautiful mass, and there were so many flowers. The Griffins class led the mass with the readings and bidding prayers.
Candlelight Prayer for the People of Ukraine - Wednesday 30th March 2022
On Wednesday 30th March the Sunshine Team led a candlelight prayer service for the people of Ukraine. Our School community were invited to the service after school, where the Sunshine Team read some thoughts and prayers. Everyone that attended was asked to light a candle for Ukraine whilst listening to some music. The hall looked beautiful as the candles were lit, and we were left with some words from Francis of Assisi who said "all the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."
Ash Wednesday - 2nd March 2022
Today the whole school celebrated Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. We attended a beautiful service in our school hall, lead by Fr Alex Saba. Fr Alex spoke to us all about how Lent is a time for prayer, a time for fasting and a time for giving. During the service we remembered the people of Ukraine and we asked God to hold them in his loving care and protection, to give them strength to endure their suffering and to grant wisdom on the world leaders in advancing efforts towards peace.
Parent and Child Prayer breakfast - February 2022
On Thursday 24th February we invited our school community to come to school at 8:15am to pray and reflect together before the school day started. The theme for this prayer breakfast was LOVE. We shared some scripture from Corinthians "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast." We also thought about what love means to us and the Imps class shared a video all about what love means to them. The video is called 'love is.....' and it can be found under the children tab, video resource centre, Imps 2021-2022.
We finished the prayer breakfast with a prayer from our School prayer book, read by Tess from the Dragons class. Families stayed for coffee and pastries afterwards. It was wonderful to have so many families attend.
The Imps role play area becomes a Church!
Harvest Parent and Child Prayer Breakfast - October 2021
Parents and children were invited to join us in school for a Harvest Parent and Child Prayer Breakfast. It was such a lovely reflection, helping us to think about thanksgiving and harvest time. The Imps children helped to create a video to share, telling us all about the things they are thankful for. We listened to a song called 'The Blessing' and thought about what we were thankful for. We also prayed together to say thank you for all of the things we have and asked for help for those who are struggling.
We then shared breakfast together. It was lovely for the children the children to share with their families the importance of reflection at Stella Maris.
If you would like to watch the Imps beautiful video, it can be found in the resource centre, Imps videos 2021-2022
Thinking about Mary in the Month of May....
The children and staff shared a reflection about Mary and then spent some time outside with Mary in the Peace Garden. The children were invited to lay flowers, say prayers etc. Some of the children wrote their own prayers to Mary at home. The flowers were then placed beside our whole school display dedicated to Mary.
Children's contributions to Reflection
Video Resources For Reflection at Home
Music Resources for Reflection at Home