Working Together in a Community of Faith Policy Document
" Mission statement
" Board Of Management
School leadership and Management
Spiritual Needs of Students
Role of Staff
Extra Curricular Activities
Links with Parish, Diocese and Wider School Community
The Patrician High school is a Catholic Voluntary School under the trusteeship of the Bishop of Clogher and is managed by a Board Of Management that is made up of representatives of the trustees, the parents and the teaching staff. The Patrician High School has over one hundreds years experience of education in Carrickmacross. Since it opened its doors in August 1902 it has promoted the Personal, Spiritual, Physical, Creative and academic development of its students.
The fundamental purpose of the school is to produce well educated, mature citizens by engaging students in activities which are designed to help them to come to a Christian maturity which leads them to base their lives on Christian principles.
Our school mission is the promotion of the educational development and fulfilment of the educational needs of all our pupils in a secure environment.
The pursuit of excellence in individual achievement while nurturing a growth in responsibility that will prepare pupils for their role in family and society.
The maintenance of an educational philosophy, based on our Christian principles, which will guide, and support our students through further education and field of work.
The creation of an atmosphere within the school in which
" Authority is respected
" Study and achievement are promoted
" Spirituality is encouraged
" Environment is preserved
" A supportive partnership is maintained with parents, employers, and the wider community.
The development of a school spirit, in accordance with our Christian ethos, in which there is mutual support and respect between all groups involved in the school.
The development of an understanding of different cultures and minorities and a respect for all people irrespective of their gender, colour, creed, or nationality.
The promotion of the highest standards of teaching and learning through professional development of staff, and the development of all facilities necessary to deliver an up to date and comprehensive education to our pupils.
The maintenance of our independence to pursue our aims while developing links with other educational institutions in a spirit of co-operation.
We as a school strive to foster a spirit of co-operation between all the partners of the school community. It seeks to live by the Gospel values, recognise the dignity of each individual and promote peace and justice in the school and the wider community.
Board of Management
The Board wishes to emphasise that ours is a Catholic school with its own tradition and ethos built up over more than a century. The Board is committed to an educational programme which is Christian in outlook and actively seeks to promote the religious, moral, intellectual, physical, aesthetic and social and spiritual development of the students.
The Board of Management ensures its practical commitment to this ethos by, among other things, employing a full complement of qualified teachers for the teaching of Religious Education.
The Religious Ethos of our School Community is the distinctive spirit and attitudes of the community of faith as reflected by our school tradition. The Religious Ethos of our school should be fostered by the whole school community.
School leadership and management
The Trustees delegate the management of the school to the Board of Management. In accepting the role of management, the Board of Management acknowledges the apostolic purpose of our school. Day to day management is delegated to the principal.
In the exercise of this authority the Board Of Management and the Principal will endeavour to ensure that:
" The Philosophy of the Patrician High School is adhered to
" Professional Standards of Education and management obtain in the school.
" Appointments and promotion of staff are all made impartially and in the best interests of the school.
" Suitable cooperation in educational matters in maintained and developed with all relevant agencies.
" The focus on the importance of value based Christian Education in the Catholic tradition is maintained and supported.
The Religious Education Department involves people who are consistently and actively involved in religious education. All members of the Religious Education Department provide a structured curriculum in Religious Education. The Religious Education Department includes 1 full time qualified RE teacher, 2 part time qualified RE teachers and 2 other teaching members of staff.
Spiritual Needs of the Students
Within our tradition, Religious Education is a core subject. The school has the services of a chaplain and offers extra curricular activities, on a voluntary base, which aim to promote the spiritual development of its students.
The aims of Religious Education are:
1 To explore how the human search for meaning has found and continues to find expression in religion.
2 To identify how understanding of God, Religious Traditions, and particular the Christian tradition, have impact on personal lifestyles, interpersonal relationships, and relationships between individuals and their communities and contexts.
3 To contribute to the spiritual and moral development of the student.
(Religious Education Syllabus, 2003, pg. 5.)
The general aim of Religious Education is to awaken people to faith and to help them throughout their lives to deepen and strengthen their faith. (Religious Education Syllabus, 1982, pg. 4)
The Religious Education Department took a decision to follow the prescribed Junior Cert syllabus in order to facilitate an informed decision on the potential of the exam course in terms of education; catechesis and holistic development.
At Senior cycle students follow a structured non exam Religious Education Programme incorporating Justice and Moral Education, Spiritual Development, Relationships Education, Contemporary issues which explore the life and experiences of young Christians in today's world are also approached
To allow us to broaden and enhance the progress of our Religious Education programme in the future, we would hope for the timetable to facilitate team teaching in senior classes.
Role of Staff
The whole school staff has a role in supporting the Religious Development activities that occur within the school context.
Parents in completing their son's application to the school duly recognise and commit themselves accordingly on their own part (and on behalf of their son) to the school ethos and mission. They also seek to submit their son to a Roman Catholic Education in accordance with the admission policy and Christian ethos of the school.
Our primary aim is to fulfil the mission statement of our school in accordance with the law and the limited resources available to it. The Board of Management makes reasonable provision and accommodation for all students. Equality of access and participation in the school will be in accordance with relevant legislation and with due regard to the efficient use of resources provided by the D.E.S.
Diversity of tradition, values, beliefs, languages, and ways of life are all respected within this school and the community that it serves. The Religious Education Policy of the Patrician High School does not aim to erase differences between individuals. The goal is to enable all students to belong to the school community without prejudice and within which individual difference is celebrated. Inclusiveness minimises the barriers to learning and participation. Practice within the classroom and the school should reflect this inclusive culture.
The chaplaincy services currently available in the High School consist of one of the local priests (currently Fr Michael Jordan) visiting the school regularly. The chaplain also endeavours to be present for school liturgies, subject to his schedule.
The role of the Priest Chaplain is to be available for various liturgical celebrations during the school year, and to be a sign of God's presence in the school.
The Chaplain and members of the Religious Education team meet a number of times each year.
Awareness of the liturgical year is promoted in the Religious Education programme. Christian symbols have a place in our school building. We aspire to celebrate key events during the school year in the context of our faith. These may include events such as induction of first year students, graduation ceremony for Leaving Certificate students, etc. The entire school community is encouraged to actively participate in the organisation and celebration of these events.
It has been our tradition as a Christian school to provide opportunities to concretise, affirm, and celebrate our faith through liturgy and Para-liturgy.
The use of the local Church St Josephs and the Holy Family Hall and Catholic rooms have been of valuable use to our school community.
There are religious symbols and pictures on display through out the school. Liturgical seasons are highlighted in class and with some displays through the school. We hope to extend and develop this in line with our new school-building project.
Extra Curricular Activities
Extra curricular activities, which promote the personal and spiritual development of the students, are offered in the school.
Junior and Senior cycle students are encouraged to participate fully in events organised for them. They are also encouraged to, where suitable, help organise these activities. Transition year students are involved in a rich program of charity activities.
The following are examples of the extra curricular activities that have taken place in the school:
Carrickmacross Cancer society fundraising
Young Pioneers association
Fundraising for the developing world
Jump for joy
Christmas day swim
In line with agreed school policies, parents are requested to support their son's participation in the events.
We use the whole school community and have the pastoral care office to facilitate out of class situations. We use the notice boards to remind staff and students of Christian related activities.
The RE teachers use a number of texts and publications in their teaching that is enhanced by the use of audiovisual equipment. They also review and evaluate new texts, as they become available for their value in the RE department.
We would hope that a prayer room would become available to students in the future to help broaden and enhance the student's spiritual experience. To facilitate and deepen the spiritual experience of Para liturgies and self-thought.
A budget is allocated to Religious Education in the school, following analysis and review of needs by the RE department on an annual basis. Funding is allocated on the identification and goals in line with the mission and vision of the school.
At the beginning of each year, students are asked to pay a subscription that contributes to:
Access to texts and resources
Supplies and materials
A waver exists for families experiencing financial difficulties.
Links with Parish and Diocese
The school community should experience a visible link with the parish, be that through the work of a clerical/religious Chaplain, or a Parish based Catchiest or in the manner in which the parish or Diocese link with the role of as lay Chaplain/RE teachers within the school.
Religious Education comes alive when the students are encouraged to become actively involved in the spiritual development through extra curricular activities.
The support of the Diocesan Advisor for those teaching RE is greatly appreciated. It is a means of sourcing information, providing resources and linking teachers across the Diocese.
Parents have provided their support by assisting and participating in school liturgies.