“Collective worship is outstanding. Pupils embrace the wide variety of opportunities for prayer and collective worship. Positive relationships with local clergy enable Mass to be celebrated regularly throughout the year. The lay chaplain and school leaders collaborate to provide opportunities for a well-planned range of timetabled and voluntary opportunities for pupils in appropriate settings. Pupils are encouraged to learn how to plan and to lead prayer and worship in a variety of imaginative ways. Pupils speak authoritatively and enthusiastically about celebrating their faith.”
Denominational Inspection Report, 2018
Masses / Services / Liturgies / Sacrament of Reconciliation
Students and staff have the opportunity throughout the year to take part in the celebration of mass on Holy Days of Obligation, our School Feast Day (Holy Cross Day) in September, year group or tutor group masses and other key times in the year as well. Services and liturgies are a prominent feature of our school life too, with special focuses on key times in the year – Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.
We are so thankful for the priests that support us by coming into school to celebrate masses and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
“The chaplain and school leaders have a thorough understanding of the Church’s liturgical calendar and of how a Catholic school community can celebrate significant school events as eucharistic celebrations or opportunities for prayer and worship open to all irrespective of faith or belief.” – Denominational Inspection Report, 2018
“There is a genuine enthusiasm for collective worship, reflected in the quality of communal singing, in the quality of prayerful silence and the depth of reverent participation in communal prayer.” Denominational Inspection Report, 2018
Our programme of assemblies aims to be creative, engaging, informative and enriching, presenting faith in a beautiful, life-giving way. Weekly whole school assemblies are held and students participate in year group, house and singing assemblies too. Many assemblies have input from students and are student -led. These form an important part of our collective worship.
Every day begins with prayer and tutor group prayer times are an important part of this. These are encouraged to be student-led, with the guidance of the tutor. Resources are provided by our School Chaplain at the beginning of each year and at key times throughout the academic year.
“The lay chaplain is at the heart of a network that support prayer, worship and spirituality throughout the school community. She works closely with staff from a range of departments and with pupils to promote a wide range of opportunities of varying character and tradition for prayer, worship and reflection and to provide resources that support staff and pupil prayer.” Denominational Inspection Report, 2018
We highlight the Liturgical Year of the Catholic Church throughout the year and the different seasons of Lent, Advent and Eastertide are focused on in particular ways, through assemblies, special tutor prayer resources, celebration whole school assemblies at the end of each term and lunch and break time activities also. We also mark Remembrance Day with a special assembly and have opportunities for all staff and students to pray for loved ones who have passed away during the month of November.
“Members of Holy Cross School are part of a prayerful worshipping community that manifestly contributes to their spiritual and moral development irrespective of ability or faith background. Their respect for the faith and belief of others is reflected in the manner in which they prepare and participate in prayer and liturgy.” Denominational Inspection Report, 2018
“O Crux Ave Spes Unica” (Hail O Cross, Our Only Hope)
HOLY CROSS DAY is a long-standing tradition at our school, taking place shortly after the feast of the Triumph of the Cross, on which we celebrate our heritage of being founded by the Holy Cross Sisters and identity as a Holy Cross School Community. Celebrations include the joyful celebration of Mass, activities in tutor groups and houses and a focus on the theme of the year (a new theme is chosen and a badge competition launched every year). This year’s theme was “90 Years of The Holy Cross School”, and the badge is below:
Holy Cross Badge Competition and Theme 2021
Designed by Cheyenne, in Year 11:
This year’s Holy Cross badge focuses on its 90 years of standing as an all girls Roman Catholic school. Following our mission statement, I decided to design two doves to represent Mother Bernarda and St Francis. Mother Bernarda, the co-founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross brought peace and education to young girls, even to this day. With the help of Fr. Florentini, a Catholic priest, and other sisters, successfully built a school. St Francis, an initially wealthy patron saint of animals and the environment, who later chose to live a simpler life without money, sets a good example for us students in Holy Cross. We must have “love and respect for the world around us” as St Francis had, in order to fulfill our responsibilities on earth.
The red cross in the centre symbolises the strength, ambition and actions of Sisters of the Holy Cross. The image of the world behind it reminds us of their impact across the globe as they teach in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. The figures at the bottom of the badge pose as the sisters themselves who served to provide a safe, loving and joyful environment for education. I specifically chose the lettering of “90 Years” to be in yellow as it exudes optimism, enthusiasm and happiness. I hope that in the coming years, Holy Cross and all of its students continue to learn together with uplifted spirits.