At St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, as our Mission Statement suggests, we are learning to become more like Jesus Christ. We follow his example and try to do what He asks us to do. In short, we try to live our lives following Gospel values. These Gospel values can be summed up by the 'Sermon on the mount' where Jesus explained to those present how they should attempt to live their lives.
“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
Religious Education is central to our whole school curriculum and is about the development of a way of living which improves the quality of life for all.
The Religious Education scheme followed at St Thomas’ is the ‘Come and See' Scheme recommended by our Diocese. It is supplemented by other RE schemes and materials and accounts for 10% of the entire curriculum time excluding liturgies, assemblies and collective worship.
Through these schemes the children are taught the basis of the Catholic Faith, spirituality, morality and social issues which are constantly related to their own life experiences. Children are helped to come to a fuller knowledge and love of God which will develop into mature Christian living. On Holy Days of Obligation and at the beginning and end of each term, we celebrate the Eucharist as a School. Each week Fr Brian celebrates Mass in a Key Stage 2 class. Year Three children are prepared for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist within the parish.
Other faiths are taught in keeping with Diocesan requirements.
There are weekly school assemblies and liturgies, when groups of pupils take it in turn to lead the rest of School in prayer and reflection. The pupils are fully involved in the preparation of both Mass and Liturgy. Each day pupils pray together as a class.
There is an open invitation to all parents to celebrate any school Mass with us.
Promoting British Values at St Thomas'
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). At St Thomas’ these values are reinforced regularly and in the following way:
Each year the children decide upon their class rules and the rights associated with these. All the children had the opportunity to contribute to the drawing up of our behaviour policy. We have a School Council which meets regularly to discuss current issues. The council has its own budget and is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the School Council is elected by their class mates. Children have an annual questionnaire/pupil perception survey where they are able to put forward their views about the school. Children also vote for the House Captains.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at St Thomas’. Children are taught from an early age the school’s expectations and the rules of the school. These are based on the Gospel values of Jesus Christ and our school mission statement. Children are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
At St Thomas’ children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to make informal choices, through a safe and loving environment and an empowering education. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety and PSHE lessons.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our mission statement and school aims. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect of their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. At St Thomas’ we ask and expect all children to follow the school rules and the school mission statement.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
St Thomas’ is a Catholic school but it is also a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Our equality policy illustrates our commitment to exploring our diverse school community. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. There are planned visits to places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary school, we aim to create and sustain a stimulating Christ centred environment, where everybody involved, children, staff and parents, may grow in their faith and their love of God, developing respect for themselves and an awareness of the needs and gifts of others.
We aim to create an environment where children will be happy, independent and will be able to achieve their full potential, spiritually, academically, morally, emotionally, socially and physically.
We aim to provide children with the experiences, knowledge and skills necessary:
We aim to celebrate and share successes and achievements, both individually and collectively.
The school undertakes to work to complement the home and church environment by setting before the children the ideal of Christian life.