‘From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith and having its own unique characteristics. Everyone should be aware of the living presence of Jesus, the ‘master’ who today as always is with us in our journey through life as the one genuine ‘teacher’, the perfect man in whom all human values find their fullest perfection.’
(Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, 1988)
As a Catholic school, faith is the bedrock of St Bartholomew’s Primary and permeates the school’s day-to-day activities and routines, no matter how ordinary or apparently ‘unspiritual’ these may be. We constantly strive to ensure Gospel values inform and underpin everything we do, for only in doing so can St Bartholomew’s successfully fulfil its call to be an authentic Christian community where faith is not only taught and spoken about, but lived and experienced.
We are deeply conscious of the huge responsibility that rests on each of us to be positive Christian role models for our pupils. Jesus was the ultimate teacher and we, as Catholic educators, constantly endeavour to mirror and imitate Him in all we say and do so that our daily words and actions genuinely reflect the character and perfect example of Christ.
St Bartholomew’s believes that, for children to reach their full potential, faith and spirituality must permeate all aspects of school and classroom life. This is certainly not a matter of indoctrination. Rather, it is a commitment by the school to help children recognise God in the ‘ordinary’ and nurture in them a life-long openness to question, discover, learn and grow in their own personal faith. Learning about faith within St Bartholomew’s, therefore, has to do with a great deal more than simply acquiring head-knowledge about the Catholic faith. We seek to make Gospel values – values which have their source in the teaching and example of Christ – the threads which run through all our efforts to educate, nurture and form the young lives entrusted to us. Our ultimate hope, as outlined in our school aims, is that St Bartholomew’s pupils will respond positively to God’s invitation of friendship and will go out into the wider world with the desire, knowledge, strategies, skills and resilience to follow in the footsteps of Christ, whatever situations and challenges they might face.