Watch a video about the awards

Y6 Primary School
Pre / Post Confirmation Groups
Parish Youth Groups
Y7-13 Secondary School

What is it for?

Properly implemented and supported by school and parish structures and communities, the scheme allows young people to see what the Church is for.

  • Discovery

    The Pin Award

    • Primary Schools
    • Secondary Schools
    • Parish Youth Group
    For Year 6 Children (Age 10/11) (can be start in Y5 summer term)
    Credits: 20 Home | 0 Away
    Guided reflection (counts towards service credits for this level)
    Completed as a class or group
    Led by teacher/youth leader/catechist
    Helps transition to secondary schools and higher award levels
    Examples of service: fundraising; planning an assembly/liturgy; participating in an act of worship
  • Service

    The Bronze Award

    • Primary Schools
    • Secondary Schools
    • Parish Youth/Confirmation Groups
    Age range: Y7 + (age 11 onwards)
    Credits: 20 Home | 10 Away
    Personal and guided reflection
    Independent service
    Participants can enter scheme at any level without having completed previous levels
    Participants make their own decisions about what service they would like to do
    Fits around exam timetable
    Examples of service: minister of the Word; altar servers serving tea and coffee after Mass; plan and participate in a liturgy/reflection
  • Leadership

    The Silver Award

    • Primary Schools
    • Secondary Schools
    • Parish Youth/Confirmation Groups
    Age range: Y8 + (Age 12 onwards)
    Credits: 20 Home | 15 Away
    Personal and guided reflection
    Independent organisation and evidence of leadership
    Participants can enter scheme at any level without having completed previous levels
    Participants make their own decisions about what service they would like to do
    Fits around exam timetable
    Examples of service: leading children's liturgy; organising a parish social event; regularly volunteering for a charity e.g. HCPT
  • Innovation

    The Gold Award

    • Primary Schools
    • Secondary Schools
    Age range: Year 9+ (Age 13 onwards)
    Credits: 20 Home | 20 Away
    Personal and guided reflection
    Independent organisation and leadership
    Participants must have completed Bronze or Silver award before taking part in the Gold level
    Evidence of innovation and development
    Evidence of commitment through regular participation/acts of service
    Fits around exam timetable
    Examples of service: initiate, plan and organise an act of collective worship; organise and lead a FIA fundraiser/activity; establish a new prayer group in parish/school
The Pin Award

Discovery

At this early stage, participants will begin a journey of discovering what it means for faith to be active. They will come to know more about how their faith and relationship with God has an outward and visible effect on them and those around them and become aware that others, of all ages, are trying to do the same.

This level is designed to be completed a group/class, instilling the idea of working together as a community. In this way, participants will become aware the others around them are on the same journey of discovery.

The Bronze Award

Service

Participants at Bronze level take the initial steps in responding to their faith, by way of serving others. At this stage, participants will begin to gain a deeper understanding of how faith is interlinked with service. The award also starts the process of encouraging participants to engage with and serve their wider community, helping them to understand that their faith and action not only makes them belong to a community, but also makes them responsible for the well being of others who belong.

It will lead participants to ask deeper questions of themselves and others. They respond to the ‘call of faith’ by using their on-going service and project work to both complete the award and learn to support and be supported by the communities to which they belong.

The Silver Award

Leadership

The Silver Award level encourages a maturity of faith which is expressed in terms of leadership and initiative. Participants at this level should be able to recognise that serving others is a direct consequence of their faith and their desire to do God’s will.

In addition to meeting the criteria required for the Bronze Award, participants should be making the best use of their gifts and talents by leading others for the good of the wider community.

The Gold Award

Innovation

The essence of the Gold Award is found in the participant’s desire to develop and establish new ideas in terms of outreach and missionary work on behalf of the Church community.

Participants will be required to complete acts of service outside of their existing parish/school structures, which demands a greater level of innovation.

As faith matures and one begins the process of saying, ‘Yes’ to God’s call, then true freedom and personal fulfilment are to be found at the service of the Good News. More than a message, the Good News sets prisoners free, raises the down-trodden, gives new sight to the blind and proclaims God’s favour for us all.

This level promotes spiritual and personal growth, and challenges participants to be true missionary disciples.

Why have a Catholic award scheme?

  • To celebrate the faith journey of young people
  • To celebrate what already happens
  • To encourage tangible living faith in the ‘real world’
  • To strengthen links between individuals, communities and organisations
  • To explore the universal call to holiness
  • To work for the Good News and the common good

What is it for?

The Faith in Action Award Scheme facilitates an exploration of scripture and Church teaching, with an emphasis on translating this into action. The scheme rewards young people for their active service in schools, parishes and encourages them to take their service into the wider community and accept greater responsibility for their faith in action. 

How does it work?

There are four levels of award: Pin, bronze, silver and gold. Participants accrue credits of service in parish, school and the wider community. The Scheme builds on what young people already experience, asking them to reflect upon it so that they may find new ways of living out and exploring their faith. There is an opportunity for both guided reflections, through group reflection points and personal reflection, through journalling. At the end of the scheme, participants submit a final piece of work for moderation before being awarded with their Faith in Action Award.

Valuing the unmeasurable?

  • Good for school/parish community
  • Completely inclusive – accessible by all participants
  • Simple and powerful way of reflecting on active faith
  • Enables outreach and inspires action
  • Encourages stronger community links
  • Provides measurable data for faith life of the school (Sect 48 / OFSTED)
  • Transferable skills
  • Participants thanked by the Bishop as Diocesan Award Ceremony

Why should I do the award scheme?

  • I want to make a difference
  • I want to learn new skills (develop)
  • I care about my community
  • I want to make new friendships
  • I want to explore what faith is and what it means to me
  • I want what I believe to influence how I live
  • It will look good on my record of achievement

Credits of Service

The Faith in Action award encourages young people to engage in faith activity both in their ‘home base, be that at school or in the parish, and in the wider community, their ‘away base’.

If your group is based in a parish, that is where your ‘home’ credits should be accrued, and your ‘away’ credits could be accrued at school or through service in the local community . If the young person does not attend a Catholic school, they could still gain credits at school for volunteering service but they could equally gain the credits in their Scout group or a social club that they attend.

In a school based group, the ‘home’ credits are accrued through school, however we would encourage that for any Catholic taking part in the award some credits should be gained in the parish, even if connection up to this point has been limited. It may be that the group leader should support this engagement by letting the local clergy know that the programme is in place and that they may have young people looking for volunteering opportunities.

Click here to download the Home and Away Credit Table

What should leaders expect

The most valuable resource of this award scheme is the leader and the relationship he/she fosters with the participants.  It is this dynamic, played out in a faith context, which will allow for informed guidance and decision making at each point in the process.

For the award to have meaning it is vital that the participants feel challenged and supported so that they encounter personal and spiritual growth.  What is important therefore is not that a specific list of activities are completed and ticked off, but rather that the experiences help move the participant forwards on their journey of faith.

It is important that the leaders see themselves as more than administrators of the process. The leadership that they give should allow participants to synthesize experience, learning and action in a real and concrete way.

Leaders are therefore encouraged to be creative and to remain responsive to the needs, experiences and context of those with whom they journey.  It is hoped that each level of this award could be gained by a young person with learning disabilities – academic achievement should not be a barrier to gaining each level, but every young person should feel that their award has been suitably personally challenging.

The key words at each level have been put in bold in the expectations column above and in order to justify a level these words should be evident to the leader.

Participate in the scheme