Catholic Distinctiveness

Parents choosing to send their child to St Mary’s are opting specifically for education within the setting of a Catholic school. We are part of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and, as such, we belong to the strong family of Catholic primary and secondary schools throughout the north-east. This is a very supportive network of schools with whom we share the same ethos.

StMarysFeb14-004We are proud of our Catholic tradition and take seriously our responsibility to nurture the Faith in our young people and to
support them on their spiritual journey through life. We have the huge responsibility of helping to prepare our students for this life and their life to come.

Every day, students have the opportunity to join with their form tutor and fellow students in morning prayer, either in the form class, chapel or in assembly. This may be led by tutors but often it is the students themselves who lead prayer or who ask for prayers for particular people or
causes. It is a wonderful part of school life and greatly appreciated by many students and staff. There are also regular opportunities for collective worship throughout the year, in the form of weekly voluntary masses on Friday mornings and special liturgies. The school atrium has been the venue in our new school for whole school gatherings at different times of the year, including a Remembrance Day service, Christmas service and Lenten liturgy.

There are also increasing opportunities for reflection away from school. Each year group goes on an annual retreat and students are also invited to attend the diocesan schools’ summer festival, which is always a very popular event with our students. In addition to this there is an annual whole school mass held in July. This is a fantastic event involving all our students,celebrating our year together. In December 2013, we welcomed the diocesan youth ministry team who led the whole community in a week-long mission. This event increased links between parishes and the school which have continued to grow in strength.

DSC_0022We are enriched by children and staff of other faiths and we are proud of our inclusive approach to spiritual development. We actively seek opportunities in RE, form time and as part of the wider school life to explore how the varying faith traditions complement each other and strengthen us in our
everyday lives.

The school is proud of the work it does in what we call faith in action, through our support for many good causes throughout the year. We are always so impressed by the generosity of our students in their charitable giving and by the care and concern which they show towards those less fortunate than themselves, at home and abroad. In recent years, we have collected hampers for the region’s homeless and raised money to send Sixth Form students to Sri Lanka to support a school for children orphaned by the tsunami. Students really do try to live out t.

Whatever your child’s faith background, you can be assured that at St Mary’s your child will have the opportunity to explore and develop their spiritual life in a secure and supportive environment, where tolerance, mutual respect and learning from each other are some of our guiding principles.