Main School

Mission, Ethos & Values

Catholic schools play a key part in the work of the diocese. As such we are proud to help deliver the Bishop’s vision, for our Diocese and the common good.

Canon Law 793 §1 states: “Parents and those who take their place, have both the obligation and the right to educate their children. Catholic parents have also the duty and the right to choose those means and institutes which, in their local circumstances, can best promote the catholic education of their children”.

What do Catholic Schools do?

  • Catholic schools share the vision of the Catholic Church
  • Provide the best learning for each child to reach her/his potential
  • Give the best context for young people to engage in worship and Christian action
  • Have headteachers who witness as prophet and priest, anointed to the service of school community
  • Have community members, i.e. staff, who lead worship and model Christian life and values
  • Provide learning opportunities about faith: evangelisation and catechesis
  • Are the place where children and young people engage daily with their faith: worship, witness of staff, opportunities to reflect, pray and put their beliefs into practice

We believe that the person of Jesus Christ is at the centre of the Catholic School and that every aspect of our school operations should bear witness to this, and be informed by this. This ‘bearing witness’ should be felt, seen, and heard, in the language we use, the worship we undertake, the images and iconography across the school and as underpinning all our policies and procedures. This, ethos is no vague, warm feeling.  An all-pervading Catholic ethos helps ensure the following:

  • The person of Jesus Christ is presented to pupils and to staff, with due respect and regard for those of other faiths and none
  • The values and attitudes of Christ are modelled by the adults of the school community.
  • Over time, pupils in Catholic schools encounter the person of Jesus Christ, manifest in the many ways described above, such that they develop a personal relationship of faith with him, that is then proclaimed in the way they live their lives, now and in the future.
  • Pupils are encouraged to make the values and attitudes of Jesus Christ their own. 
  • The school recognises the Spirit of the Risen Christ, present, alive and active in the school community.

Our values are best summed up in our student-generated statement, which encapsulates what we want to be, as an educational, as well as an ecclesial, Catholic community, in communion with our Bishop.

Believe
Happiness
Family
Caring
Service
In God
In ourselves
In each other
In our work
In our play
In our goals
Family and school together
School as Family
Family of God
For ourselves
For each other
For our world
In Leadership
In our career destinations
In generosity of spirit
Belief

This must be nurtured and developed throughout school through excellent liturgy, regular and meaningful prayer, high quality religious education and the opportunity to engage in service to others. Staff, too, given due regard and respect for their own beliefs, should be well-resourced, supported and encouraged to a greater understanding of faith, and its manifestation in our Catholic school.

Within Catholic social teaching (CST) belief, therefore, includes participation, the dignity of the human person and the common good

Happiness

This is not to be found in constant fun and distraction, but in peace, in knowing that one is loved and in experiencing love. Therefore, happiness requires interdependence with others, rather than independence. It requires a spirit of understanding and mutual respect: between students, students and staff, within the staff itself and in the myriad of relationships the school itself has with others.

Within Catholic social teaching (CST) happiness, therefore, includes solidarity with the other, the dignity of the human person and the common good.

Family

The family is a school of love, pointing to, and drawing from, the Holy Family of Nazareth. Though it is not always easy and can take many forms, the family is the primary context to receive love, care, guidance and support, and represents the first educators. Our school, therefore, must work tirelessly to engage with families support them in their role as educators and encourage them in their role as active collaborators with the school community. This is particularly so for hard-to-reach families, those unsure of UK systems and those experiencing trauma.

Our school too, while not a family in the traditional sense, should foster the sense of kinship which comes from being a community, with a shared history, core values and a sense of purpose.

Within Catholic social teaching (CST) family, therefore, includes solidarity with the other, participation, the dignity of the human person, the Common Good and Subsidiarity – the State should only play a family role in extreme circumstances and the dignity of the family unit is profound.

Caring

Caring works in two ways. Caring is focussed on looking after oneself – showing one’s own body, soul and spirit the respect it deserves – just as it is in caring for others. This is particularly so where children and young people have a low self-regard or poor mental health. Caring is also the expression of empathy and inter-connectedness in a society that often privileges a form of independence which can degrade into isolation, alienation and worse.

Within Catholic social teaching (CST) caring, therefore, this theme includes solidarity with the other, the dignity of the human person [starting with oneself], the common good, the promotion of economic justice, the preferential option for the poor and the stewardship of creation.

Service

This is one of the most powerful aspects of the unwritten curriculum. Service operates across the school, in leadership and generosity of spirit, but also as part of the consideration of the vocation of every student. For a student to serve requires the student to [1] see that others matter and [2] that s/he has agency to make a difference. In so doing, the student’s intrinsic, God-given value, over and above her attainment at 16 or 18, is reinforced throughout their journey through school. 

Within Catholic social teaching (CST) service, therefore, this theme includes solidarity with the other, the dignity of the human person [starting with oneself], the common good, the promotion of economic justice, the stewardship of creation and participation.