Catholic Ethos and Values
Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God.
A Kingdom of Joy, Justice and Peace
As a Catholic Primary School, St. Patrick’s works hard to develop and sustain the school’s Catholic distinctiveness. We work in close partnership with Fr.O’Neil and the parish of St. Patrick’s as well as other schools in the Diocese of Middlesbrough: especially the family of school in the Our Lady of Light Catholic Academy; Christ the King, St. Theresa’s and St. Patrick’s College. Our Governors represent Bishop Drainey and work tirelessly in order to nurture the school’s Catholic ethos and ensure faith is manifested through every aspect of school life. Our school motto is taken from Matthew’s gospel “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God”. In simple terms, our aim is to bring God’s Kingdom of Joy, justice and peace to our children and their families and the wider community.
St. Patrick’s is founded upon core values. Our principal values are Gospel based: Respect for the Life and Dignity of Each Individual, Trust in God, Honesty, Compassion, Forgiveness, Mercy, Community, Servant Leadership, Equality, Simplicity, Justice and Peace. Gospel Values are what Jesus said, what Jesus did and what He told us to do. Although these values may be supported and shared by Christians and non-Christians alike, theological backgrounds and biblical references help to explore what is distinctively Christian about each value.
We have daily collective worship in classrooms. Whole-School collective worship takes place in the school Hall this is led by a Senior Member of Staff. Phase Liturgies also take place each week so that children have the opportunity to gather with children of a similar age. Different prayer stimuli is used like art, music and literature. The Friday Whole School gathering is a Non-Eucharistic liturgy but follows the order of Mass; gathering, penitential rite, The Word, prayer response and mission. Devotion to Our Lady is important to our community. Rosary is prayed in October and May and the parish and school gather in May to celebrate the May Crowning tradition.
The Catholic Ethos
An ethos is a way of living, behaving and doing things by people, though diverse, following common values – united by a shared vision of life. Our ethos is driven by our mission to bring Joy, Justice and Peace to the world in all that we do.
Religious Education is the core subject at St. Patrick’s Primary School and is timetabled weekly and 10% of teaching time is dedicated to R.E. As a Catholic School, Christianity forms the major study in Religious Education lessons but other World faiths are also taught across the year. We follow the “Come and See” Syllabus for RE, however, faith and spirituality is explored throughout the curriculum.
It is important to note that the ethos permeates all aspects of school life. The curriculum as a whole, and every part of it, is religious, since there is nothing which does not ultimately relate to God.
We also have a duty to foster an accurate and increasing understanding of religions and world views. As a result, pupils will gain greater insight into the world in which they are growing up. They will also be able to appreciate the faith of others and develop a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and practices. These outcomes contribute to harmonious relationships within and between communities, promoting social inclusion and overcoming prejudice. We have a Children’s Charter which encourages our Children to be good and positive citizens in the community in which they live as well as looking after our common home- The Earth.
Each classroom has a prayer space or ‘Sacred Space’ to enable children to explore faith and spirituality in a safe, creative and interactive way. Prayer is an integral part of the school day where all children are invited to participate in their own personal way. When possible, parents and carers are invited to join the children in prayer and acts of worship. “Stay and Pray” Friday sessions are enjoyed across the school as well as classes taking it turns to join the parish in worship at Mass.
We have a house system in school where every child is affiliated to. Each house has a dedicated saint: St. Aiden, St. Bernadette, St. Clare and St. Dominic. The living example of these saints form the focus and ethos of each house, particularly in their service and self-giving to others as the houses are connected to local and global charities. Children donate their house points into pennies to help these causes.
We believe that the Catholic Education that we offer at St. Patrick’s develops the potential of each child. We share responsibility, along with parents and our parish community, for the education of our children and young people. This follows the African proverb of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Together we can bring God’s Kingdom here to Thornaby and help make bright futures for our children.