Home-School-Parish Links

home-school-parish

The religious education of children is primarily the responsibility of parents, working in partnership with the school and parish. Remember that every little helps! Anything that you can do to help parents and parish to be more involved in the religious education of the children will be much appreciated by all!

Suggestions for Involving Home

 Send the Pupils’ Book Home
  • This provides an invaluable link with home, as parents will be informed about what their children are doing, and can talk to them about it
  • In senior classes, parents and children can read the stories together. In younger classes, the full-colour, full-page illustrations can be a great source of conversation for parents and their children
  • Notes for parents are often contained in the margins of the books, along with a scriptural link
  • At the back of the pupils’ book, there is a list of all the formal prayers to be learned at each class level. These can be said by parents and children at home.

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Make use of the Worksheets

  • These are photocopiable from the Teacher’s Resource Pack or available in workbook format
  • The principal function of the worksheets is to provide a further link between home and school
  • Each sheet contains notes for parents and prayers for parents and children to say together

At Home with Alive-O From 1st class to 6th class, these home link pages are photocopiable from the Teacher’s Resource Pack. They should be purchased separately each year for Infant classes.

Sheets are to be sent home periodically during the school year. They contain:

  • Parents’ reflections
  • Readings from the programme
  • Prayers for home
  • Things to chat about and discuss at home
  • To Be Learned Sections

To see a sample of a Parent Information Sheet for 3rd Class, click here for front of sheet and click here for back of sheet.

To see a sample of a Parent Information Sheet for Senior Infants, click herefor front of sheet and click here for back of sheet.

‘Reflecting on the Week’: At Home In Alive-O 5 and Alive-O 6, children are given the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned during that week on Day Five. This often includes a suggestion for something they can do at home. Encourage children to complete this little task with the help of their parents.

For example, Alive-O 6, Term 1, Lesson 6 (Teacher’s Book, p. 81)

At Home Say the ‘Grace’ before and after you eat to help you remember that God nourishes you.

Invitations to Prayer Services Parents and guardians may be invited to attend prayer services in the classroom. If you would like to do this, here are some tips that may help:

  • Issue invitations to parents in good time, so that they can plan in advance
  • Plan to have the prayer service for the end of the day, when some parents come to the school anyway to collect their children
  • Try to keep things as simple as possible – don’t feel it has to be a big production!
  • Consider involving parents in the prayer service

Suggestions for Involving Parish

School Chaplain/Parish Personnel Visits

  • Invite the school chaplain or parish personnel to visit the school. This gives the children an invaluable link with parish community.
  • In 2008, the Diocesan Advisers issued a prayer service booklet, entitled Prayer Services for the Liturgical Year, to all schools and school chaplains. It can be used for classroom or whole-school celebrations.
  • There are some Alive-O lessons which invite the participation of a priest. For example, one lesson from 3rd Class upwards prepares the children for a class Mass. Where school chaplains are unable to support you in this way, consider bringing children to the local Church for a morning Mass instead.
  • If your school is named after a saint, the school chaplain or local priest could be invited to celebrate Mass or lead a prayer service on the saint’s Feast Day.

Visits to Parish Church

  • Some Alive-O lessons are Church-based. For example in Alive-O 2 for Senior Infants, children are invited to look around the Church and to draw their favourite thing (e.g. Term 2, Lesson 2). Try to take the children to the local Church to do these lessons.
  • Consider opportunities for your school to attend parish-based Masses. For example, some classes go to Mass every first Friday. It may also be an option to have an Opening of the School Year Mass or 6th Class Graduation Mass in the Church.

Liturgical Information Sheets As with the Parent Information Sheets, these are found in the Teacher’s Resource Pack. They give both the parish and the teacher ideas about how to enhance home-school-parish links.

To see a sample of a Liturgical Information Sheet for 4th Class, click here.

Parish-based sacramental preparation programmes Many parishes are now using programmes which involve parents and the parish community in the sacramental preparation process.

To go to the section on parish-based sacramental preparation programmes, click here.