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The 5Ws are: Word; Welcome; Welfare; Worship and Witness. It is the framework by which our effectiveness as a Catholic school is assessed.
For our children, these translate as:
Our Religious Education is at the foundation of our school and its principles are maintained across the whole curriculum and life of the school. We try always to be Witness' to the Word of God in our daily lives towards each member of the community. We learn about stories from the Bible that tell us how Jesus acted and how God wants us to try to be. Children are encouraged to engage in 'Big Questions' and higher level thinking generated from our faith, and also about our faith. We celebrate the Word of God in worship and liturgy in class, during assemblies and at Mass in school.
We are all welcome in God's name, as God's children. We try to include everyone within our community and celebrate who they are and where they come from. We try to look after and respect each other like God asked us to. When we think about how we want our school to be, we think about the Kingdom of God. Along with our children, staff, parents and parish - we are a sign of Good News that speaks and listens to God.
We see each individual child as a child of God. We want to enable every child and adult to 'have life to the full'; cultivating an attitude of respect for each other among the whole community. We all have a responsibility at The Divine Mercy to follow Jesus and support each other in our community. We try to be fair, we care about each other and always try to help, including those less fortunate than us and those outside of our community. We are all stewards of our lovely school and help the adults look after and take care of it.
Our prayer can be traditional prayer of the Church, meditation, imaginative prayer or reflection on the Word of God. We aim to provide as many worship opportunities for our community as possible throughout the school (prayer, reflection, liturgies, assemblies, Mass) including small groups, year groups, the whole school, parents and parishioners. We hope that this develops, nurtures and deepens our relationship with God and with each other.
God is central to everything that is done throughout our school and we recognise God is with us in every aspect of our lives. All the family of our school bear witness to our Mission Statement which informs everything we do in our community. We are all witnesses to the values of the gospel such as love, forgiveness, respect, peace, tolerance, dignity and justice. We nurture, support and challenge the children to live out and to give witness to the Gospel values in their everyday experience of school life and by developing their sense of responsibility to play their part in caring activities for good causes in the wider community. We are witnesses to our environment and all God's world by being good stewards of Creation.
Spiritual Development is about expanding your experience of self and life – learning about whom you are and your connection to God. Teaching children that they are connected to God, and that He loves us no matter what, is fundamental to our faith and enables children to recognise that we are all God’s children and as such have been created as loving beings.
Morality is about our ability to learn the difference between right and wrong and understand how to make the right choices. Children’s experiences at home, the environment around them and their physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills influence their moral development. As a Catholic school we aim to focus on the dignity and worth of each person and a vision of a just, social world.
Catholic education also promotes the development of critical skills and the integration of social issues into the learning process. To this end, learning includes a moral and ethical framework from which to discuss current social concerns such as world hunger, the interconnection between issues of justice and peace and the call to ministry in Jesus' name.
Catholic education promotes an appreciation of the value and richness of a child’s own culture and that of the cultural diversity in Britain and beyond. It calls for an awareness that cultures, different from one's own, have their own special qualities and that the people of these cultures need to be met and understood as they are, not stereotyped.
For more information about SMSC and "Building the Kingdom" have a look at the slides we used with our staff to help them develop understanding, just click here.