Catholic Life

A Message from the Catholic Life Team

Chaplaincy is an integral part of the life of the school at HFCS, nurturing our young people to grow in faith and have a real sense of belonging to the school community. Chaplaincy supports the spiritual development of students and staff and offers pastoral support as part of the wider staff team, placing Christ at the centre of everything we do.

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Mrs Grierson (Chaplain)  Mrs Gaynor (Assistant Head teacher in charge of Catholic Life)  Ms Joseph (Teacher with responsibility for developing Catholic Life)

School Prayer


















RE, Worship & Liturgy Policy

Prayers, Thoughts and Reflections for the Staff and Students of HFCS

Catholic Life Calendar


Our Links with Local Parishes

As the sole Catholic secondary school in Waltham Forest, we, a part of the Diocese of Brentwood, consider ourselves blessed to have the unwavering support and guidance of our dedicated local clergy. Together, serving Catholic children and their families, we strive to foster a nurturing environment rooted in our faith.

At HFCS, we highly value the spiritual connection and involvement with our local parishes. We encourage everyone to stay informed and engaged by visiting their parish’s website for the most recent Mass schedules, weekly newsletters, and updates on upcoming events. This partnership between our school and our local parishes is fundamental in shaping a strong spiritual foundation for our students, ensuring they grow both academically and spiritually in the Catholic tradition.


Parish Priest



Link to website

Our Lady and St George’s Catholic Church

Canon Niall Harrington 

132 Shernhall Street, Walthamstow E17 9HU

020 8520 5877 

St Joseph’s Catholic Church

Fr Bijaya Chandra Nayak (aka Bijoy)

68 Grange Park Road, Leyton, E10 5ES

020 8539 2908 

Our Lady of the Rosary and St Patrick’s Catholic Church

Father Kevin Conway

61 Blackhorse Road,

Walthamstow E17 7AS

020 8520 3647 

Christ the King Catholic Church

Reverend David Waller

455 Chingford Road,

Chingford E4 8SP

020 8527 3087 

Our Lady of Grace and St Teresa of Avila Catholic Church

Fr Francis Coveney

1 King's Road, North Chingford, E4 7HP

020 8529 1804 

The Chaplaincy Team at Holy Family

School Chaplain - Mrs Grierson

The role of our  School Chaplain is to support our students in their development and understanding of a lived Catholic faith. 

Mrs Grierson’s responsibilities include: 

  • Developing a programme of liturgies and Masses in accordance with the liturgical year and each year group's spiritual journey. 
  • Coordination of an annual whole-school Mass with the Head of RE and senior staff.
  •  Preparing Mass components, including music and multimedia presentations for student engagement.
  • Organising opportunities for students to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly.
  • Coordinating logistics for Masses and liturgies, including space setup and booking.
  • Leading a student Chaplaincy group for input into liturgical activities, forming readers, servers for Mass, and aiding IT and sound provisions.
  • Engaging students in local service projects and supporting fundraising initiatives.
  • Acting as a resource for staff seeking support for prayer times and faith-related queries regarding pupils. 

The House Leaders

Our  House Leaders, Ms Amunikoro, Mr Mumtaz, Ms Paul-Jones, Ms Henry and Ms Duffy, run our  Pupil Leadership Team with the aim to emphasise the importance of servant leadership. Students are encouraged to lead with humility, compassion, and a commitment to social justice. The House Leaders nurture and develop leadership qualities and oversee the PLT as they focus on:

  • Community service
  • Charity
  • Event planning following our Catholic Life calendar
  • Peer support
  • Collaboration with staff to to assist in school governance, decision-making, or special projects
  • plan initiatives to improve the school environment or address community issues.

The Liturgy Leaders

Our Chaplaincy Leaders (Liturgy Leaders) play an important role in the Catholic life and collective worship of the school. Some key responsibilities include, organising and leading class prayers, liturgies and prayer services; supporting school assemblies and special events, maintaining the prayer table for assemblies; encouraging and supporting their peers in their journey of faith; and working alongside the Chaplain.

The Justice and Peace Group

The weekly Justice and Peace club is filled with many activities, discussions and events surrounding societal issues and things going on around the world. As well as discussing and debating subjects of matter, the group often organises charity events to contribute to the wider society and fundraising. The club is a space of welcome and ease  Building friendships within the group alongside those who are like minded.

The Youth SVP Group

Run by Ms Joseph, the Youth SVP Group group at our school is dedicated to addressing poverty in various forms. 

Guided by the principles of  'See, Think, Do,’  the group meets to discuss, plan, and take action to support our local community.

The Young CAFOD Leaders

Throughout the year, young leaders receive training on different leadership skills such as planning, influencing others, communication, time management etc. They also gain a deeper understanding of CAFOD and their mission, vision and values, as well as learning about the work of partners in developing countries around the world.

The school has a group of students, including Sixth Formers, with a set task and objective to engage younger students in issues of social justice and encourage the whole school community to put their faith into action.

The Eucharistic Ministers

Our Eucharistic ministers assist in helping to distribute the Holy Communion in our school masses and the distribution of the ashes during our Ash Wednesday services. Our Eucharistic Ministers are also available to lead on our adoration of the blessed sacrament. 

The Prayer Garden Team

Our Prayer Garden Team contributes by maintaining our prayer gardens on each site.




Achievement is centred around promoting academic excellence, personal growth, and the development of our students' talents and abilities. We value and develop:

1. Academic Excellence: We place a strong emphasis on academic achievement, providing a rigorous curriculum and high-quality education. We strive to cultivate a love for learning, critical thinking skills, and a strong foundation of knowledge across various disciplines.

2. Holistic Development: Achievement in our school extends beyond the academic. We emphasise the holistic development of our students, encouraging them to explore and excel in areas such as arts, sports, leadership, and community service fostering a well-rounded education that nurtures diverse talents and interests.

3. Goal Setting and Personal Growth: We encourage students to set personal goals, work towards them, and celebrate their achievements. Through challenging academic standards, extracurricular activities, and mentorship, students are motivated to push their limits, develop resilience, and realise their potential.

4. Ethical Leadership: Our school is grounded in the values of ethical leadership. Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and abilities in service to others, striving to make a positive impact on their communities. This includes promoting justice, compassion, and social responsibility.

5. College and Career Readiness: We work hard on preparing students for higher education and future careers. We will provide guidance on college applications, career exploration, and skill development to ensure students are equipped with the necessary tools to pursue their chosen paths successfully.

6. Recognition and Celebration: We celebrate achievements through various means, such as academic awards, ceremonies, exhibitions, and performances. We recognise students' accomplishments because it reinforces their motivation, fosters a sense of pride, and encourages ongoing excellence.

Service is deeply rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Catholic social tradition. It emphasises the call to selflessly serve others, particularly those in need and to live out the principles of love, compassion, and social justice. We value and develop:

1. Outreach and Charity: We encourage our students to engage in acts of service, both within the school community and beyond. This can involve volunteering at local charities, participating in projects, or fundraising for causes that support the marginalised, disadvantaged, or vulnerable populations.

2. Commitment to Social Justice: Service for us goes beyond charity and addresses the root causes of social injustices. Students are encouraged to critically examine societal issues such as poverty, inequality, discrimination, and environmental degradation. They are inspired to advocate for justice and work towards systemic change.

3. Empathy and Compassion: Service fosters empathy and compassion as students connect with the experiences and needs of others. It encourages them to recognise and respond to human suffering, promoting a culture of care, kindness, and solidarity.

4. Global Awareness and Responsibility: We emphasise the interconnectedness of the global community and the responsibility to address global issues. Students here are encouraged to develop a sense of global citizenship by understanding and responding to the needs of those beyond their immediate surroundings.

5. Faith in Action: Service is seen as a tangible expression of one's faith and a way to live out the Gospel values. We provide opportunities for students to integrate their faith with their service, recognising that serving others is a fundamental aspect of their Catholic identity.

6. Formation of Servant Leaders: Service in our school aims to form students as servant leaders who are committed to making a positive impact on their communities. We nurture leadership qualities such as empathy, humility, and the ability to inspire and mobilise others towards a common goal.

Participation lies in the opportunity for personal growth, learning, and development. We value and develop:

1. Education and Knowledge: By actively participating in their lessons and in other school activities, students can maximise their learning potential and broaden their intellectual horizons.

2. Social and Emotional Development: Our school community serves as a crucial social environment where students interact with peers, form friendships, and navigate diverse relationships. Active participation allows students to enhance their social skills, build confidence, and develop emotional resilience.

3. Personal Growth and Self-Discovery: Engaging in extracurricular activities, clubs, sports, and other school events offers students the opportunity to explore their interests, discover new talents, and develop a sense of identity. Participation fosters personal growth, self-expression, and the ability to adapt to different challenges.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration: Many of our activities promote teamwork and collaboration, teaching students the importance of cooperation, effective communication, and shared responsibility. Participating in group projects or team sports cultivates vital skills that are valuable in various aspects of life.

5. Leadership and Responsibility: Getting involved in school initiatives and taking on leadership roles encourages our students to assume responsibility, make decisions, and develop leadership qualities. Participation provides a platform for students to practise decision-making, problem-solving, and organisational skills.

6. Community Engagement and Citizenship: We encourage students to engage with their local communities through service projects, volunteer work, and civic involvement. Participating in such activities promotes a sense of civic responsibility, empathy, and the desire to contribute positively to society.

Integrity is based on the principles of honesty, moral uprightness, and adherence to strong ethical standards. We value and develop:

1. Honesty and Truthfulness: We emphasise the importance of being truthful and honest in all aspects of life. Students are encouraged to speak and act with integrity, demonstrating sincerity and authenticity in their interactions with others.

2. Moral Character: Integrity involves cultivating a strong moral character guided by Catholic teachings. Our students are encouraged to make choices that align with their values, exhibit virtuous behaviour, and uphold principles such as respect, justice, compassion, and fairness.

3. Academic Integrity: We uphold principles of academic honesty and the importance of intellectual integrity. Students are expected to complete their work with integrity, avoiding plagiarism, cheating, or any form of academic dishonesty. They are encouraged to take pride in their own achievements and respect the work and ideas of others.

4. Consistency and Accountability: Integrity entails consistency in words and actions. Students are encouraged to align their beliefs and values with their behaviour, demonstrating integrity in their daily lives. They are also accountable for their actions, taking responsibility for their mistakes and seeking to make amends when necessary.

5. Ethical Decision Making: We provide opportunities for students to develop skills in ethical decision-making. Students are encouraged to consider the moral implications of their choices, seeking guidance from Catholic teachings and their conscience which fosters the development of a strong moral compass and the ability to make principled decisions.

6. Trustworthiness and Reliability: Integrity involves being trustworthy and reliable in fulfilling commitments and responsibilities. Students are encouraged to build trust by being dependable, keeping promises, and honouring their obligations to others.

Respect is deeply rooted in the teachings and principles of our Catholic faith. We value and develop:

1. Respect for God and Faith: Respect begins with honouring and revering God, recognising His presence, and valuing the teachings of the Catholic Church which includes participating in religious services, prayer, and sacraments with reverence and gratitude.

2. Respect for Self: We emphasise the dignity and worth of every individual as being created in the image and likeness of God. We encourage students to develop a healthy self-esteem, respect their own bodies, talents, and abilities, and make responsible choices that uphold their well-being.

3. Respect for Others: We emphasise the importance of treating others with kindness, empathy, and fairness. Students are encouraged to embrace diversity, appreciate the uniqueness of each person, and foster a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone feels respected and valued.

4. Respect for Authority: We emphasise the importance of respecting and obeying authority figures, such as staff in our school, and members of the clergy. We believe respect for authority fosters a culture of discipline, order, and cooperation, promoting a positive and conducive learning environment for all.

5. Respect for Creation: Catholic teaching emphasises the stewardship of God's creation. Students are encouraged to appreciate and care for the environment, recognising that it is a gift entrusted to us. Respect for creation involves adopting sustainable practices, showing concern for ecological well-being, and being responsible global citizens.

6. Respect for Truth and Virtue: We prioritise the pursuit of truth, intellectual honesty, and the development of virtuous character. Respect for truth entails critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and a commitment to seeking knowledge and wisdom. Students here are encouraged to embrace honesty, integrity, and moral values in all aspects of life.

Equity is rooted in the belief that every individual, regardless of their background, abilities, or circumstances, deserves fair and equal opportunities for education, growth, and success. We value and develop:

1. Inclusion and Access: We strive to create an inclusive environment where all students feel welcomed, respected, and valued. We promote equal access to education, ensuring that all students have the necessary support and accommodations to participate fully in the educational experience.

2. Fair Treatment: We treat all students equitably, without discrimination or favouritism. We foster a culture that upholds principles of fairness, where each student is given equal consideration, support, and opportunities to thrive academically, socially, and spiritually.

3. Social Justice and Advocacy: We emphasise the importance of social justice and advocacy for those who are marginalised or disadvantaged. We encourage students to develop a sense of empathy, compassion, and a commitment to promoting fairness and addressing societal inequities which may involve engaging in service projects, raising awareness about social issues, and actively working towards positive change.

4.Cultural diversity: We recognise the absolute importance of cultural diversity and aim to foster cultural competence among our students by encouraging respect for different cultures, traditions, and perspectives by promoting dialogue, understanding, and collaboration.

5. A Supportive Environment: Equity involves providing necessary support systems and resources to address the unique needs of each student. We offer counselling services, academic support, and mentorship programmes to ensure that every student can succeed, regardless of their circumstances.



In January 2023, Holy Family achieved the LiveSimply Award - the first secondary school in the Diocese of Brentwood to achieve this.

The award is organised by overseas development charity CAFOD. To apply for the award, we committed to 9 faith inspired actions demonstrating we were living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities. We had to implement a number of projects that highlighted the importance of caring for people and the planet, reflecting the teachings of Jesus, Catholic Social Teaching and Laudato Si along our journey.

The journey began in 2019 when the school had a Year of Sustainability. Students undertook an energy audit and more energy efficient classroom lighting was installed and trees and bulbs were planted around the school site.

One recent development has been solar panels being installed on the school roof, supported by the Diocese of Brentwood.


Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @hfcswaltham to follow the Catholic Life of the school in action