Catholic social teaching (CST) is rooted in Scripture, formed by the wisdom of Church leaders, and influenced by grassroots movements. It is our moral compass, guiding us on how to live out our faith in the world. It offers a set of principles to help us think about how we should interact with others. It forms the foundation of the choices we make, and how we view creation.
‘Dear young people… The Lord wants to turn your hands, my hands, our hands, into signs of reconciliation, of communion, of creation. He wants your hands to continue building the world of today.’ Pope Francis
Read more about some of the CST principles which inspire our work:
The common good
The option for the poor
Care for creation
The dignity of work and participation
Our faith calls us to love God and to love our neighbours in every situation, especially our sisters and brothers living in poverty. Following in the footsteps of Christ, we hope to make present in our unjust and broken world, the justice, love and peace of God.
Catholic Life at OLSK:
Findings from our SEF/monitoring & evaluation/Impact on outcomes:
- Pupils, staff, Governors & Parents, know and understand our mission statement, ‘Bringing out the best in everyone, for the benefit of all, in the Spirit of Christ.’ They see it as central to the life of the school and they feel that it governs and dictates everything they do.
- The Catholic Schools’ Pupil Profile (CSPP) has been effectively integrated into the Catholic Life of the school through assemblies, lessons and displays. Pupils of all ages can articulate the meanings of the values and how they influence the way they live their lives. They are very passionate about the Virtues and love to share their knowledge & understanding about them in the HT Assembly, every week.
- We have a highly welcoming and extremely engaging Catholic environment. School leaders, including Governors, and staff have worked hard to ensure that the Catholic character of the school is evident throughout, and is at the heart of all development of the site, both inside and out.
- Displays around the school and in the classrooms are of a high standard and reinforce the Catholic identity of our school, as well as providing pupils with resources to support their learning.
- Self-evaluation of the Catholic Life of the school is rigorously planned, well integrated and involves school staff, parents, children and the parish priest.
- Pupils appreciate and value the Catholic Life of the school and contribute formally to evaluation through pupil surveys, liturgy leaders, Minnie Vinnies and the School Council. Pupils speak confidently about their contributions to improvements and the willingness of staff to listen to their views and ideas. Children have a huge voice in school and their idea have been implemented around the school.
- School is a happy and joyful community where pupils demonstrate high standards of behaviour and feel valued and respected by each other and staff. Many visitors complement our children’s behaviour in learning; classes are calm and purposeful and around school, children treat each other with great respect.
- Through an annual Vocations Week and a variety of well planned activities, pupils have a deeper understanding of vocations and the call to serve. Senior leaders actively seek opportunities for pupils to express their views and ideas. school council, liturgy leaders, Mini Vinnies, Diana Ambassadors and the eco team, all have a voice within the school and meet regularly with staff and senior leaders. During this week, 2021, we welcomed Deacon Owen, from the Vocations Office, to come in and talk to the staff & children about his own vocation; he was able to spend the whole days with us; he was very well received by all our school family and we look forward to welcoming him again.
- The growth of the Mini Vinnies has been a great success and is an exciting example of what pupils can achieve. Approximately 50% of all pupils in the school are involved with the Mini Vinnies and the impact of this initiative is evident both in school and in the parish. The MV meet regularly with the members of the SVP in the Parish and support them with their fundraising in the Church.
- Pupils are acutely aware of the needs of others and have a good understanding of why they want to help those less fortunate than themselves. Charities such as CAFOD, Macmillan, Young Carers, Brain Tumour Cancer, Heart Foundation and the Good Shepherd benefit from fundraising activities.
- Pupils are proud of their school and feel safe. They feel that expectations are high but leadership, staff and pupils are fair and treat all pupils equally.
- Although the school is situated some distance from Our Lady and St Kenelm Church, relationships with the parish are good, especially the SVP links with our Mini Vinnies. We have an excellent reputation in the parish. Parishioners are very proud of the school and all that it achieves.
- FR Stefan, the parish priest, is a regular visitor to the school and pupils see him as a positive role model and someone they can relate to.
- Pupils are prepared in school to receive the sacraments and there is a programme of regular meetings to inform and support parents.
- We have worked really hard with Fr Stefan & the Diocese to ensure that all our children receive the Sacraments this year- 2021. The children in Y3, Y4, Y6 & Y7, can finally celebrate these special sacraments, during this Summer Term 2021. The Y6 children from last year, & the children in Y4 completed their Sacramental Preparation in school but did not receive the Sacrament in Church, due to Covid. The Lay Chaplain from Hagley, Liam Thomas, Fr Stefan and myself, are meeting together to ensure that the past children from Y6, receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in Church in July.
- Staff are highly committed to the Catholic Life of the school, and all believe they have a role in developing it. Many are practising Catholics and are a true witness to their personal faith. They have a clear understanding of their own vocation and a belief that they have been called to serve.
- Pastoral care of pupils is outstanding with all staff feeling responsible for the well-being and welfare of pupils. Staff have gone above & beyond during the pandemic to ensure that children’s mental health & wellbeing are supported & SLT have ensured that they have supported the staff through times of anxiety and stress.
- Pupils and their families are well supported through nurture provision, highly trained staff and close liaison with outside-agencies. Many staff go that step further and provide individual and personal support for our families
- Pupils’ knowledge of their class saints and other key saints of the Church is very good. Pupils confidently talk about saints who inspire them and which saint they want to be like. Last year, the school identified this as an area for improvement. The subsequent actions they took have had a clear impact on pupils’ knowledge.
- The school plans and delivers relationships and sex education using ‘Life to the Full’ and supplementing the diocesan programme. Parents are invited to review the content and resources prior to the programme, using the parent portal, and recent feedback (May 2021) shows that it has been well received.
- Catholic Life development has a high priority for Governors and they are actively involved in the evaluation process. Formal and informal reports, audits and information gathering means they are well informed and able to make significant contributions.
- Leadership is highly committed to the further development of all staff both professionally and personally. Staff are encouraged to take advantage of all professional development opportunities provided by the diocese, to further develop their skills and expertise.
- Recent lesson observations, assessment data & book trawls, evidence all of the statements above and findings are shared with all Governors at the Standards & Curriculum Meeting. Our RE Books have been used at the Inspectors briefing, to advise the S48 Inspectors on what to look for.
- Staff have visited Mary Stevens Hospice in the past, a part of their catholic life partnership work for their RE Inset Day in January 2020, developing fundraising links a part of their charity work; the children in Y5 have played a huge part in fundraising for the Hospice/ Enterprise Challenge during the year- this work will continue into 2021-22