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School closes for the Easter break on Thursday 28th March at 2pm. We reopen on Monday 8th April at 08:30. Happy Easter everyone

Visions and Values – Mission Statement

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) articles supported by our school mission:

Our aim is to provide a happy, caring and stimulating environment in which every child’s uniqueness is celebrated and can grow with Jesus as their example. 

 

St Mary’s Mission: ‘Love one another as I have loved you’

 

We believe we are called to be Angels. Witness to God’s shining light on Earth; reaching out to the people and the world around us through our prayers, words, work and play.

 

Let us celebrate the uniqueness of every individual.

 

Let us work to uphold and protect the dignity of each person in our diverse, faithful and forgiving community.

 

Let us feel the presence of Christ’s love in the warmth of our welcome as we open our doors, our hearts and our minds to serve, strengthen and encourage all who enter here.

 

Let us be an inspirational community where we truly love one another as God loves us: With open hands and gentle kindness.

With quiet caring, vibrant voices, and joy in our hearts.

 

We want our pupils to:

  • Develop lively, enquiring minds with the ability to question and argue rationally

  • Acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to enable them to participate as citizens in a rapidly changing world

  • Appreciate human achievement by study and knowledge of language and literature, mathematics, art, music, drama, science, technology and physical pursuits and to experience their own sense of achievement in these areas

  • Understand the world in which they live and the need for co-operation between individuals, groups and nations

  • Display responsibility and exercise judgement

  • Realise that the school is a caring, supportive learning environment, where there is equal opportunity, regardless of sex, race, age, culture or disadvantage

 

Members of the School Community have been working on explaining our School Mission so that we all understand it and can demonstrate it every day. You can read more about it in the attached leaflet, which is a summary of some of the recent work by Year 6 pupils.

Mission is a concept that is rooted in biblical truth, where actions are taken to proclaim the Good News and make Christ known to all peoples. “Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News as every Catholic institution is a place to encounter the living God”. Catholic schools endeavour to be a place, rooted in Christ, where the entire school community can encounter Jesus Christ. Catholic schools are part of the mission of the worldwide Catholic Church, it exists to witness to the mission, beliefs and values of Jesus Christ. In doing so, a defined mission is passed on to its pupils.

 

The Catholic Church were the first provider of schools in England dating back to 600AD. The purpose of Catholic schools was not only to carry out the Church’s mission through education, but also to provide education for the poorest in society. When the Catholic hierarchy was restored in England and Wales in 1850, schools were often built before churches because the Church viewed education with such importance they decided that the education of the poor was to be their first priority.

 

St Mary’s RC Primary School, Levenshulme, has a clear mission - to ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ Using these words from Jesus’ Greatest Commandment gives a concise yet effective mission for the pupils, staff and all who are a part of the St. Mary’s community to put into action. The impact of this mission is immense; children are fully aware of our mission, they articulate their understanding of this really well and are often heard using the phrase around the school. Our mission is lived and felt in everything that we do, rooted in Biblical truth, we are putting the Lord’s words into action every day by loving and showing kindness to one another.

 

Our school chaplains have taken a leadership role within the provision that the school offers to all children through ensuring that our mission is talked about and witnessed throughout the school. They have recently established our school’s ‘Mission Award’, showing an active participation to enhance the Catholic life and mission of our school (CLM 1.1). The St. Mary’s ‘Mission Award’ seeks out children and staff who are living the words of our mission statement. Each week, children and staff can nominate someone that they have seen showing an act of love or kindness. This helps us all to embrace and witness our mission of loving one another as Jesus did and the Chaplaincy team are leading this with great enthusiasm.

 

Our clear mission is also shown through the children’s sense of worth. This was noted in our most recent Ofsted report from May 2022, where it was stated ‘children know their voice is valued and they are cared for. They voice this through the responsiveness of listening systems used in school. Children value each other's needs and opinions and listen to and support each other for example through use of the friendship stop’ (Ofsted 2022). This identifies that pupils express an understanding that they are valued and cared for as unique individuals. Children at St. Mary’s demonstrate respect for self and others, their behaviour is consistently exemplary. Pastoral care is also of a high importance at St Mary’s and this is carried out inspired by a commitment to the Gospel and the person of Jesus Christ. The children’s sense of worth and their behaviour reiterates their understanding of a defined mission as they are able to act cordially and respectfully throughout their time at school, while the pastoral care provision exemplifies Jesus’ love in action.

 

Another way in which St. Mary’s gives children a sense of defined mission is through our learning powers. We have seven learning powers which link an area of growth mindset vocabulary to a Bible story. For example, our learning power for ‘being resilient’ is linked to the parable of the persistent widow. Some of our other learning powers include ‘being creative’, linked to the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand and ‘making it better’, linked to the parable of the talents. By using this vocabulary, we are constantly making links between improving as a person and learner and the Biblical truth that we endeavour to emulate in our lives. We are ensuring that the children use and hear this language at all times, when reflecting on their own learning as well as during our weekly celebration assembly. The children’s sense of defined mission is reflected through our learning powers as they try to apply the Bible’s teachings during their school life. It is then hoped that this stays with them after they leave our care.

 

Catholic schools can give pupils a sense of defined mission through the principle of stewardship under the umbrella of Catholic social teaching. Stewardship is based on the Book of Genesis where God entrusted humanity with looking after our common home. Stewardship is defined as the receiving, developing, sharing and returning of God’s gifts and reminds us that we are not owners of these gifts but merely stewards. CAFOD’s Live Simply award which encapsulates the aims of Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si' to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”. Caring for our common home enriches the children’s understanding of their mission as it provides something tangible for them to endeavour to care for. In achieving the Live Simply award, schools can take many steps to acknowledging our personal responsibilities with pupils at the forefront of this change. For example, schools may create an outdoor space for prayer and contemplation or a shared vegetable garden. With this provision, children are reminded of the gifts from God and how their role as stewards is integral to the mission of the Church.

 

A school’s provision for prayer and liturgy also supports the children’s sense of defined mission through enabling children to experience the presence of God. Worship will be at the heart of every Catholic school and while not all worship is a liturgy, the opportunity for prayer and worship is crucial to the children’s moral and spiritual development. By providing spaces for quiet prayer and reflection, schools can allow children to explore their own sense of mission and purpose. A prayer room that offers a purposeful environment and a calm ambience for spontaneous prayer and planned collective worship gives children time to reflect on their day so far, on things that have happened and give thanks and praise to God or ask for guidance.

 

One way that St Mary's tries to enhance the prayer life of the children is by creating a Memorial Wall during the month of November. This gives families an opportunity to send in photos of their loved ones that have passed away to be shared on the Memorial in the Prayer Room. All families are then invited to come into the Prayer Room on a Friday after school to light a candle, share a message in our Memorial book and pray an Eternal Rest together. This aids the children’s sense of defined mission as they are reminded through activities such as this, that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life” and of the Good News of heaven and an eternal life with their Almighty Father.

 

There are many facets to giving children a sense of defined mission and this is something that school leaders and staff do with diligence and thought throughout all key stages. Ultimately, the provision for engaging and enlightening children with their mission comes down to spreading the joy and light of Christ. Madeleine L’Engle perfectly summed up our mission when she said - “We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.”

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