When we are recruiting staff to work in our school, whatever the role (leader, teacher, support assistant or cleaner), we are actively looking for people who understand and support our mission statement.
The mission statement itself can be “unpacked” at many many levels.
We say that we are “Building a Learning Community” because we recognise that the process of learning is never finished – it is something that should continue throughout our lives. It reflects our commitment to developing our staff and to ensuring that we continuously review, adapt and improve our provision for learning.
The importance of “Community” has been at the heart of our school since its foundation in 1966 and we simply could not have written a mission statement that left out that word!
St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians about “Faith, Hope and Love” is famous. It is (understandably) one of the most popular readings at weddings.
“Faith” includes developing spirituality and an understanding of and respect for religious faith. It is also about developing faith in oneself and in each other. It is about having faith in the future and committing to the idea of making the future a better place, leaving our tiny part of the world a little better than we found it.
“Hope” is closely linked to that. It is not the wishful thinking kind of hope, but rather a positive commitment to face uncertainty with resilience and determination.
St Paul said that “the greatest of them all is “Love”. This tiny word sums up so much. He was not talking about romantic sentimental love, but about a deep compassion and care for ourselves, for our fellow human beings, and for the world around us. This kind of love can be challenging for both adults and children, because it means that we care enough to do difficult things, like telling our friends that they were unkind, or insisting that our child goes to bed when they don’t want to.
The Roof and Hands symbols that make up the “building” represent our school’s commitment to providing a supportive and nurturing environment that will enable all members of our community to grow and flourish. The Hands can be seen as God’s hands, gently cradling his children, but not enclosing them.
The open hands also symbolise the “letting go” that must happen as our children learn, grow and move on to secondary school and beyond.
The adult and child symbols are deliberately anonymous, because they each represent every one of us, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.
There are no walls to this building, but there are pillars that support it. The wording on these pillars reflect the things which we have identified as key priorities for our school community.
As a Catholic school, Social Justice (building awareness of human dignity, our rights and our responsibilities) and well-being for All (nurturing compassionate, resilient and resourceful human beings) are both fundamental to our purpose as educators.
Pope Francis has spoken movingly about our individual and collective responsibility to care for each other and for our planet, and he has called us all to be an active presence in our communities, caring for and supporting each other.
Life-Long Learning (developing self-motivated learners) really matters! The jobs and technologies that many of our children will work with as adults have not even been invented yet. Inspiring curiosity and the desire to know more about the world, and nurturing the resilience to deal with the challenges they may face, is really important in preparing our children for the next steps in their education and for their adult life.
Linguistic Development (developing effective communicators) is a key priority for our school. The primary school curriculum covers many important areas of learning, but good communication is a key skill that underpins every subject area. For our children to go on to be successful adults (in the broadest sense, not just financially!), it is crucial that they are able to communicate effectively, by listening and understanding, in their use of words and sentences (both spoken and written), in their use of numbers and by using the different technologies available to us.