Our school Mission Statement started as a project in which members of the whole school community worked together.
After a lot of discussion and working hard together to find a ‘phrase’ which we think all our children will remember easily and understand the meaning, we decided upon the statement: ‘Jesus is at the heart of all we think, do and say.’ This is our aim of all we do in our school – putting Jesus at the centre of our lives and at the centre of all our learning within our school community.
Staff, governors, parents and pupils looked at many documents and readings from the Gospels. We all especially liked the ‘Beatitudes’ from the Gospels – these words spoke out to us all as Jesus explains clearly the ways in which we can live together and be followers of Him today. Values, which we in school, help our children to know and experience in their lives. Rooted in the teaching of Christ, these Gospel values constitute the targets and outcomes of all the educational enterprises in our school.
As stated clearly in the document, ‘Christ at the Centre’, for this to be possible, ‘these Gospel values need to be explicitly named, their meaning unpacked and pupils helped to understand how they relate to their lives both at school, at home and in society. This enterprise is not in addition to the quest for high academic standards and vocational excellence but integral to it: “Catholic schools, while providing a quality education, hold up Christian values to children, inviting them to build their own lives on them. Teaching these values, for those who know how to accept and live them consistently, yields highly positive results - as experience confirms - at the personal, family and professional levels.”
Whilst not definitive, the Gospel values based on the Beatitudes may be summarized as follows:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven” Values: Faithfulness & Integrity
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” Values: Dignity & Compassion
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” Values: Humility & Gentleness
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” Values: Truth & Justice
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” Values: Forgiveness & Mercy
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” Values: Purity & Holiness
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” Values: Tolerance & Peace
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven; they persecuted the prophets before you in the very same way” Values: Service & Sacrifice
We are also called as educators in a Catholic school, to work in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church. By helping to put Jesus at the heart of all we ‘think, do and say’, we are supporting parents and the Parish in their mission to teach children about Jesus and grow in their own faith. References: ‘Christ at the Centre: Why the Church provides Catholic Schools,’ by Mgr Marcus Stock (Catholic Truth Society 2012)