The Distinctive Nature of Catholic Sixth Form Colleges
College Distinctiveness Statement compiled by Sr Mary Kelly FC and a group of governors and staff.
We aim to provide a well-rounded education for the development of the whole person of each student. We would hope to exercise this responsibility in a safe and secure environment that facilitates growth and development. As well as having a dedicated staff who are being continually developed by in-service training, we have been involved and still are in an ambitious programme of improvement in building and resources that should ensure very good facilities for our students and staff.
We are a group of people who are very aware of the rich spiritual heritage of our institution. History has endowed us with a clear tradition of caring for all who live and work here. Our task is to educate the students who choose to come to us and, of course, facilitate their learning. How we deliver that education is something that has changed considerably over the years and is changing very rapidly now. In our present development all our students are preparing for examinations. For them we must provide, in a short space of time, a rigorous curriculum which will secure them their qualifications and equip them for the competitive world ahead.
But we are an inclusive college where a narrow curriculum would not be suitable in all cases, nor indeed in any case. We aim to take care of the individual and to create a climate where he/she can become his/her best self. We aim to make our students spiritually aware so that they can see beyond the material and transient and be able to witness to things eternal.
Being human beings as they are, they have to develop their personalities in the period of history in which they find themselves. To do this now they need the tools such as spiritual and moral awareness, self-confidence, self-esteem, aesthetic awareness, emotional maturity, awareness of others, literacy, numeracy, computer literacy and so on.
So, whatever the gifts of our students, we aim to provide a core curriculum where they gain the tools for meaningful, purposeful human existence through which they can reach out to the divine and transcendent. We realise that academic excellence is only one form of excellence and we have to be in the business of developing all the many and varied talents of the students who come to us.
We must also care for the carers. All the staff who work here, in whatever capacity, need to be sustained and developed in an atmosphere of encouragement and support. Our College is situated within a community - local, national and international. We aim to have links with that community to contribute to it and receive from it. In common with other people, we realise that we have responsibility for the environment, we need to respect it and preserve it for those who come after us.
Our Mission Statement says that we accept staff and students of all faiths. In practice that means that we are aware of other persuasions and faiths and have the greatest respect for those motivated by them.
Our specific religious instruction and our worship is in accord with the doctrines and tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. This is not a static institution either but is very insistent that all its believers are on a journey of faith. Our task is to nurture and develop that faith during the students stay with us.
Whilst the role of Catholic Sixth Form Colleges continues to focus on the education of those aged 16-19, we welcome recent opportunities for our work to include the 14-16 cohort as well as adult learners, consistent with the spirit of lifelong learning. We also welcome the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of partners to enable us to fulfil this role in the interests of the Catholic and wider communities we serve. Such provision embeds the distinctive Catholic concern with the growth of the whole person and witnesses to the Common Good.