St. Vincent de Paul R.C. Primary School.
Distinctive Nature of Education in Our Catholic School
Catholic schools are guided in all they do by an important and coherent vision of education. This vision is based on the truth revealed by God about ourselves, our life together in community and our ultimate destiny with God. This gives rise to an educational endeavour centred on the person of Jesus Christ, who is our Way, Truth and Life. Over a long period of time, this approach to education has proved to be one that prepares children and young people well for whatever roles they take on in society or public life, as well as for their personal and family lives.
At times, this vision of education stands in contrast to a secular model of education, based on the values of the prevailing culture, which are often far from clear and not always shared.
Those who choose catholic schools for their children are, in effect, seeking an alternative model of education. Catholic schools are clear and robust in the principles which guide them and the moral framework within which they educate.
We encourage our parents to send their child to a Catholic school and to be actively involved in its life. "Since parents have conferred life on their children they have the most solemn obligation to educating their offspring. Hence parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it". An extract from the Vatican Document on Christian Education.
The aims of our schools are to help everyone within the school community to grow in faith; to make the most of every ability they have been given; to achieve academic excellence and to prepare well for adult life in a modern and diverse society.
Education is to do with the total development of the child, it affects his/her spiritual and physical growth as well as his/her intellectual and psychological growth. The primary source of all human growth is the home. It is under the guidance of family love that children best discover how to be themselves, and to "grow in wisdom and grace".
The Church's liturgical calendar is followed and pupils are instructed for Confirmation, Reconciliation (their first confession) and first Holy Communion in Year 3. Active support of parents and their full co-operation is of invaluable assistance to the parish and the school in the preparation of their children before they make these sacraments.
Parents do have the right to withdraw their child from religious education. It must be understood that religious education takes place in all curriculum areas, and that the catholic values and beliefs are expressed throughout the day in everything we teach the children.
Our school is a community of learning with a distinctive educational philosophy which is based on the Gospels which permeate all its activities. It is attentive to the needs of each individual child.
The curriculum is seen as a unity in which religious and secular elements cannot be separated. Every human experience is seen as an opportunity to deepen our knowledge and love of God.
We try to enable our children to be able to speak about the faith with some coherence and competence, and to express it in their prayer, worship and daily life. To ensure that this happens approximately 10% of teaching time is allocated to RE.
The school community is expected to reflect the values of the Gospels and to express this in forgiveness, trust, freedom, justice, non-violence and discipline which is neither demeaning nor humiliating and the recognition of all achievement and talent.