Servite Community Service
Sixth Form Religious Education (Core RE) involves the exploration of the Christian belief that faith cannot and does not exist, without implementation of the Gospel.
Our Programme of Servite Community Service therefore involves practice –plus- reflection combined with reflection- in- practice (Richard McBrien, Catholicism).
- Translates faith into action within the school community
- reaches out into the wider local community
- develops the educational understanding of praxis with regard to Catholic social teaching and
- further develops a theological appreciation of such praxis
We offer projects that will enable Year 12 and 13 students to reach out to local institutions (e.g. primary schools, parishes, old people's homes, Hackney Food bank) and offer activities (e.g. flower arranging, help with reading, assisting in a food bank, renovating and decorating community based garden beds, work on the school Hamper initiative).
Since the academic year of 2013/14 Our Lady’s High School’s RE department has developed a new and compulsory Servite Community Service scheme for all of its Year 12 and 13 sixth form pupils. The school had already established a long and proud tradition of being very visible in its community, either through various one-off projects or higher profile social-justice campaigns, such as the Living Wage Campaign and City Safe.
The genesis for the new community engagement placements was born out of the school’s established relationships with some of the local Catholic primary schools, parishes and care homes. These care homes were already a yearly destination for OLCHS’ Christmas Hamper project, which continues to see around 170 food hampers delivered each Christmas to older and more isolated members of our community.
Hampers was seen as the starting point for the Servite Community Service because on reflection what had always worked so well was the opportunity for exchange and relationship building on the day of the deliveries. How much more enriched could the experience be for everyone involved if there was already a term’s worth of engagement before this festive highlight?
Both Schools and Care Homes were happy to receive small teams of students and could identify the benefits for residents and pupils
As part of the school’s commitment to the Sixth Form Core RE curriculum, students take part in a two-term programme called Servite Community Service. This programme is built upon the foundations of our school’s long-standing reputation for its energetic engagement with a variety of individuals, local organisations and social causes.
Since September 2013 new relationships have flourished through a number of existing local links. These have included St Anne’s Care Home, St Ignatius Primary School and St Mary’s Priory Infants and Juniors School and the Catholic Workers.
The notion of service also extends within our own school community where Sixth Formers support a number of classes and day-to-day administrative activities during their weekly two-hour period of service.
“We thought the Christmas Hampers were such an amazing gesture, the older residents from the estate had never received a gift like this in their life. It definitely reminds us that there is still a great community out there!”
Claire Ferrigi, Bolier House community centre,
George Downing Estate, Stoke Newington
“Your students were polite and helpful, a real credit to your school. The teachers commented on how well they interacted with the children. If any of the girls would like to return to our school, they would be very welcome.”
Nuala Kennedy, former Head of St John Vianney Primary School