The Catholic life of a Catholic school does not solely relate to the arrangement whereby it admits baptised Catholic children. Rather the Catholic life is a lived experience and permeates every aspect of school life. “A Catholic school’s ‘ethos’ may be understood to be the outward signs and experiences of the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church in the totality of daily life in a Catholic school.” Catholic Voices (2016) “The preservation and development of the quality and distinctive nature of Catholic schools depends on the faith, practice and commitment of the teachers in the schools, working with their governing bodies.” Catholic Voices (2016) The Gospel message is integral within all aspects of school life.
- School’s Mission Statement is understood by staff and pupils
- There is visible signage that the school’s identity is Catholic
- Staff and pupils should have a sense of belonging, being valued
- Classes have prayer spaces and prayers are said daily in accordance with the school planner
- Pupils have frequent opportunities to join in and/or lead Collective Worship and prayers in school
- For all who visit or for those who are in the school daily there is a respectful ethos at all levels
- Positive relationships are encouraged at all times
- A calm and happy atmosphere is evident throughout school
- School’s policies reflect the Gospel message i.e. Behaviour Policy
- High expectations of pupils’ behaviour at all times.
- Learning behaviour – pupils are ready to learn and learning behaviour in lessons is exemplary
- The governing body has overall responsibility for staffing.
- In voluntary aided (VA) schools with a religious character the governors have extra rights i.e. in relation to the school workforce they may give preference to persons.
- School has a Spiritual Council who are active throughout school i.e. displays, Collective worship
- Pastoral care reflects Gospel values – role of form teacher
- School supports and raises funds for a variety of charities
- Social justice projects – CAFOD water appeal
- Curriculum makes pupils aware of other world faiths and ensures their attitude is respectful of other faiths
- RES and PSHE programmes are in place
- Leadership roles for pupils – Spiritual Council, School Council
Our Spiritual Council is formed at the beginning of each school year with one representative from each form class. The Spiritual Council play a vital role in the Catholic Worship and Catholic Life of the school and meet regularly with the subject leader of Religious Education representing the pupil voice of all students.