28 March 2023
As Easter approaches, the students at St Finbarr’s School Ashgrove are creating their own unique prayers thanks to their Principal Catherine Connor’s Co-created Prayer resources.
The Brisbane Catholic Education Principal has been praised for developing a set of prayer resources to help engage students in religious life at school.
The ‘Co-created Prayer resources’ are so innovative, that Catherine was invited to present them to 1500 educators from around the country at the 2022 National Catholic Education Commission conference in Melbourne.
Catherine says she piloted the Co-created Prayer resources on the Year 1 to 6 students at St Matthew Primary School Cornubia, over four years, and saw student engagement soar.
“When students were allowed to take ownership of their role in prayer, their interest and engagement grew,” she said.
“Since then, the resources were refined before being trialled at school and parish Mass by St Matthew’s Catholic Parish Loganholme with the support of local parish priests as well as other BCE schools to engage Catholic primary aged students in religious school life.
“They allow students to collaboratively plan prayer experiences through adaptive, inquiry-based learning, that connects with curriculum and promotes student agency.
“Since then, I have refined the resources and had other BCE students and staff trial the model at school Mass.
“Co-created Prayer is designed to animate the religious life within a school.
“The model invites students to join one of five groups, Sacred Space, Sacred Word, Sacred Understanding, Sacred Prayer, and Sacred Music.
“The students then use these themes to create and lead prayer together.
“We’ve found through inquiry-based learning, student voice and agency are enhanced.
“Co-created Prayer creates students who are both conscious of what they are doing, but also students who are active learners.
“Not only this but we have found the students become better collaborators and team players.
“It’s amazing to see the prayer model I created work so well across so many different Catholic schools and regions.”
To find out more about Catherine’s Co-created Prayer resources click here.
To find out more about St Finbarr’s School Ashgrove and to enrol click here.