Religious Life of the School

The four components of the Religious Life of the School (Religious Identity and Culture; Evangelisation and Faith Formation; Prayer and Worship; and Social Action and Justice) are distinctive aspects of the way each member of our community lives their faith.  Our aim is to provide opportunities for each person to develop a close personal relationship with God.

Religious Identity and Culture

St Patrick’s Primary derives its identity and culture from its Catholic Christian character and accepts the challenge to be a real and living expression of the Church’s pastoral mission in the world. Our school has a rich tradition which is based on the charisms of our four founders; Mary MacKillop, Catherine McAuley, Edmund Rice and Fr Matthew Horan.  Our school history has been richly blessed by the dedication and hard work of the Sisters of St Joseph, the Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers together with the building work of our first Parish Priest.  Our challenge now is to keep our school story alive by remembering those that have had the biggest impact on trail-blazing our St Patrick’s Primary story.  The Spirit of St Patrick’s Primary School is underpinned by the values of compassion, dignity, justice, community and wisdom.  We seek to live this Spirit in the way we welcome, serve and inspire.

 Evangelisation and Faith Formation

T​he school gives a very high priority and commitment to Evangelisation and Faith Formation within the school. Experiences which promote and support the spiritual and faith formation of students and staff are positively engaged in by members of the school community. This emphasis is seen in the very high profile Religious Education and Religious Life of the School plays in daily school life, promoting a strong sense of prayer and mission in everyday life and guiding our professional development opportunities. There is also a very strong and active relationship with the parish and an ongoing commitment to building and sustaining the capacity and commitment of staff to give Christian witness and contribute to the mission of the Church.

Prayer and Worship

Prayer and worship is a central focus to our school community.  Our challenge at St Patrick’s Primary School is to engage our students and their families with the tradition, language and culture of the Church. We seek to provide many opportunities for families to engage with the Catholic Christian tradition and its rich spiritual practices. All significant feast days, major celebrations of the Church’s Liturgical Calendar and other major community events are celebrated with whole school Masses or Liturgies of the Word.  Weekly prayer assemblies, with a strong scripture focus are led by different classes. The school promotes and supports the participation of families in the Parish Sacramental programs.  Classes from Years 2-6 are rostered on to attend Parish Mass once each term and classes from Prep- Year 6 celebrate a Liturgy of the Word once each semester. Classes from Years 3 to 6 are given regular opportunities to participate in the Second Rite of Reconciliation and Year 6 students celebrate the First Rite of Reconciliation before the end of Year 6. Each classroom has a sacred space featuring evidence of the liturgical year.  Visible sacred icons and imagery are displayed throughout the school.  There are many opportunities each week for all members of the school community to engage in prayer together.

© BCE, St Patrick's Catholic Primary School Gympie (2023)​

Social Action and Justice

Our students extend their classroom learning about Catholic social teaching with active participation and critical reflection on social justice initiatives. Resources are made available for teachers to support the Mission and Justice strand of the Religion Curriculum and the Social Action and Justice strand of the RLOS. Many activities are held throughout the school year, which attempt to develop a culture of care and concern for members of the broader community. These activities focus on raising awareness of issues as well as reaching out and providing assistance and support. Examples are the school’s mission activities which support Caritas, Catholic Mission and St Vincent de Paul; links with the Villa and the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.   Liturgies focussing on particular Gospel values are developed to guide members of the school community in expressing and living out these values in the day to day life of the school. These values provide the focus of prayer, pastoral time and action. These liturgies, as appropriate, include a strong focus on supporting the work of the church through agencies. Policies, practices and procedures are in place to ensure the needs of marginalised members of our community are supported. The School Fee Policy and School Fee Concession Policy ensure that no member of the community is excluded because of misfortune or disadvantage.

Parish Sacramental Program

Parents are the first and most important educators of their children (Declaration on Christian Education, 1968, Vatican II) and it is within the faith development of family and home that children come to a deeper realisation and practice of their faith. The school promotes and supports the participation of families in the Parish Sacramental programs for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation. These programs are run by the parish community and the liturgical celebrations for each of these sacraments are celebrated within the Parish. Each year parents are notified through letters and the school newsletter regarding sacramental preparation times and dates. ​ ​