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At Cardinal Newman School, we believe that Religious Education is an integral part of each child's moral, spiritual and social development. Faith is communicated through the vibrant religious life within the school, whether it is through our many school and year masses or our reflective retreats This moral foundation is integrated into daily life through our pastoral care system.


Chaplaincy work within the school accompanies and supports students at different stages of their spiritual journey. We aim to provide students with a wealth of different faith experiences alongside our celebrations of Mass in the Liturgical Year. Students have the opportunity to pray and lead prayer in a variety of ways and settings within the school, to live out their faith through outreach work, charity and to take part in a variety of retreats and faith experiences both in and out of school. Chaplaincy also offers support to students on a daily basis, supporting with friendships issues, bereavements and all other types of emotional barriers to learning.

Prayer Services

Every tutor time tutor groups will pray together during tutor time using their school prayer resources which includes the Cardinal Newman school prayer and prayers written by year 7&8 students.

Every tutor group will also have the opportunity to participate in a prayer service in the Chapel. This prayer service is scripture based and always aims to challenge students to think and reflect.

Every student is also challenged with an action to follow their prayer service which could be presented through reflection upon scripture or through an act of kindness that they must try to commit to.

The Chapel is used throughout the year for impromptu prayer services for staff and students and is often the first place that students like to spend time if they require some time for reflection. It is a very peaceful and prayerful environment in the heart of our school.


Throughout the year Masses are celebrated in accordance to the Liturgical calendar, celebrating feast days and seasons, alongside this our Catholic life calendar also provides students the opportunity to gather together for the celebration of Mass as a Year group, in our local Parishes and also with our families and local community.

Year group Masses

Throughout the year every year group will gather together to celebrate their own Mass. This Mass is planned and prepared by the students in the year group and is a celebration of the 

Gospel and the theme that the students identify within the readings. Every Mass is different with students creating artwork, dramas, and leading the music to reflect the theme of the Gospel. We celebrate these Masses in our Pope Francis Hall.


We offer students the opportunity to go on retreat to Alton Castle in Year 8 and Soli House in Year 9 & 10. These centres are run by the Kenelm Youth Trust and offer young people the experience to appreciate God's creation in nature through outdoor activities and time for personal prayer and reflection. The students celebrate Mass whilst on retreat and they are offered the sacrament of reconciliation along with small group morning and night prayers.

Additionally The Catholic life team in the school work with tutors of different year groups to run retreat days for students an opportunity to come off timetable to learn about themselves and the interactions they have with those around them.


Spectrum is a bereavement support programme for young people aged 11- 18. It is a nationally recognised programme that offers young people the opportunity to talk about and learn about their grief and experiences. This grief may be due to the loss of a loved one, or a grief caused by a change in family circumstances, an illness, a change in friendship groups- anything that has caused a significant change within a young persons life that has then presented them with challenges.  In school trained staff facilitate the programme throughout the year in small groups.

Class Masses

Every RE class will also arrange their own Mass in the Chapel for their own class, they will lead the liturgy and celebrate this intimate Mass in the Chapel with Fr Pat, their class teacher and the Lay Chaplain.

Parish outreach

Throughout the year we visit all of our local parishes to help lead the Liturgy. This is a great way for young people to meet others in their Parish and also for them to be introduced to roles within the Parish. Students help with the Liturgy of the Word, the offertory, the music, the collections, welcoming Parishioners and tidying up after Mass. If you would like to know more about our Parish Masses please see the RE contact in the contact us page or contact

Community Outreach

We have a number of links with local charities and care homes that we try to support in practical ways as well as through our donations, especially during Lent and Advent. This work gives students the opportunity to put their faith into action and truly live out Gospel values. We help to support the Foodbank, Cyrenians, Fr Hudson's Care and a number of local care homes. We reach out to our local community and invite them to join us for Mass regularly throughout the. Our Peace and Justice work is a strength within our school community and fosters many links within the city again providing students with the opportunity to help others as well as enabling them to learn from issues in the past.

Chaplaincy awards

Chaplaincy work within the school is very vibrant and far reaching and we believe it is important to recognise the varying ways in which our students contribute to the Catholic life within our schools. Because of this we give year 12 students the opportunity to take part in the JP2 award, a nationally recognised scheme which teaches the value of community and voluntary work. This scheme is recognised by UCAS and will help all students wishing to take part in their university applications.

Our Chaplain & Lay Chaplain

Fr Patrick Brennan- Meet our school Chaplain

Fr Pat is our school Chaplain and the Parish Priest at Holy Family Church. Fr Pat dedicates his life to the Church and loves to share the Word of God with everyone he meets, reaching out to so many people through Mass but also through social media. He is a fan of twitter and you can follow his tweets @Pathound to learn more about our faith. He is also an avid fan of game of thrones! Fr Pat joins us for all of our Masses and celebrates Mass with us every Friday lunchtime in the Chapel. Please see Holy Family’s Parish website for more information about Masses and events

Alfie - Meet the Lay Chaplain

My name is Alfie, I have been a chaplain for around 4 years working at another school before this one. Since spending a year working on the Kenelm youth trust mission team and working with young people at Alton Castle and Soli house I fell in love with showing people the beauty of faith. I am always up for a good conversation about faith and enjoy having difficult conversations challenging parts of my beliefs. If you ever have any questions or just want to come and chat please come see me in CA01.

Choir & Band

The school choir grows annually we meet once a week to rehearse, the choir and band support our Masses as well as performing throughout the school year at other events and local care homes

Kenelm Youth Trust

We work closely with the Kenelm Youth Trust to provide a number of faith experiences for our students. These includes mission trips to Brazil, pilgrimages to Lourdes and a number of retreat days, outreach activities and Masses throughout the Year which we accompany and encourage students to attend. The Kenelm Youth Trust is made up of Soli House, Alton Castle and the Birmingham Catholic Youth Service. Together they strive to provide lots of opportunities for young people in our diocese. Please see their website for more details