St Columba's Straw

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Religious Education

in St. Columba’s
  • In St. Columba’s we aim to develop children’s awareness and understanding of religion. We follow the Northern Ireland Syllabus for Religious Education and The Grow in Love Programme.

    It focuses on encouraging each child to become informed and inquisitive about their own religious beliefs and practices and those of others. This is so that, over time, they will grow as citizens of a religiously and culturally diverse local and global society, aware of similarities and respectful of differences.

    “An awareness and understanding of religion should help children to:

    • make sense of the world around them;
    • think about universal human questions;
    • begin to shape their own attitudes and values;
    • be aware of and respect the different views of others;
    • understand the important routines of life for many people, such as worship or prayer, or seasonal festivals;
    • be aware of how people mark important stages of life such as birth, growing up into adulthood and death; and
    • develop an understanding of how moral choices are made.”     



    Sacramental preparation is a very important part of the Religious education in St. Columba’s. Our P4 pupils prepare faithfully for First Confession in Term 2 and First Holy Communion in Term 3. Members of our parish committee have set up a ‘Do this in Memory’ programme for all P4 pupils to help to prepare them for this special sacrament.

    Our P7 pupils prepare for and celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation in Term 2. They also attend the ‘Fan the Flame’ Mass which is held in Derry every Holy Thursday. This is a lovely occasion for our pupils every year as the Bishop says mass.

    As a school community we celebrate liturgical events throughout the year. Our School Chaplin blesses us as we begin the academic year with our Beginning of Year Mass. Our Christingle Mass is a very popular event for our children and their families.   We give thanks for our Grandparents on a special service on Grandparents’ Day during ‘Catholic Schools Week’.  We finish the school year with a beautifully poignant leavers’ Mass for our P7 pupils and their families. 

    Our school is named after Saint Columba. St Columba was an Irish Abbot and Missionary and is one of the three chief saints of Ireland, after St. Patrick and St. Brigid. We celebrate these Saint’s days as we feel it is an important part of our children’s faith and culture.

    Right from the first days in primary one until our pupils leave us in P7 we teach them about the power of prayer and lead them in daily prayers. Our pupils have a morning prayer, a lunchtime prayer and a home time prayer. We also teach the prayers that children will say during Mass. 

    Our Religious education “Grow in Love” curriculum is closely linked to our Personal Development and Mutual Understanding curriculum in that we are always teaching children to beaware of and respect the views and opinions of others and also to shape their own personal development, attitudes and values.

  • Charity

    In St. Columba’s we aim to instil the importance of charity at a young age.  As part of our Catholic faith our pupils learn that God is present and active in their lives and in the world. They learn to recognize the “footprints of God” in their daily experiences.  They see the signs of God’s love around them, and are encouraged to experience the joy of sharing God’s love through acts of kindness, compassion and charity in their own communities, and the world. 

    St. Columba’s P.S pupils, parents and teachers are extremely generous and work very hard in supporting our various school charities. These include St. Vincent De Paul, Operation Christmas child, Trocaire, Ndi Moya and Action MS to name but a few.