Our School Values
Autumn 1st Half term- Loving & Compassionate
At Holy Family pupils are trying to be Loving by their just actions and forgiving words.
Love is something that is learned not by being taught but by having first experienced it for ourselves. Parents are the first and best teachers by what they say and do (Rite of Baptism n.77). The most important lesson they teach their children is love. It is by being loved that we learn to love.
Of course, it is easy to love those who love us. In speaking about love, Jesus throws out the challenge to take love deeper: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’” (Matthew 5:43-44) This is where love becomes challenging. To love in this way is to love as God loves.
Schools build on the foundations laid by parents. By building up communities characterised by compassion and love, schools create the context in which children can learn and acquire these virtues for themselves. Schools can also show children people, living and dead, who exemplify these virtues and, conversely, show situations where their opposites have done terrible damage to people and society. In an educational context, we should take children to horizons of experience that may be very unfamiliar to them and give them perspectives which allow them to see the world as the compassionate and loving God sees it, “gazing down on the face and circuit of the earth and deciding to work the redemption of the human race.” (Spiritual Exercises n.106-7)
The Greatest Commandment
“Teacher,” he asked, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’
At Holy Family we are trying to be Compassionate towards others, near and far, especially the less fortunate
To be compassionate is to experience suffering or change alongside someone else – to listen to their cares and concerns and to share their joys and sorrows , to see the world through their eyes, to step into their shoes, to empathize.
Being able to empathize is a virtue very necessary for being a good human being. To live successfully in a family, or a school community, or workplace, or in wider society, means being able to see, understand and feel things from other points of view, even ones to which I may not be particularly sympathetic. In the Christian tradition, it is never enough simply to be attentive: we must allow ourselves to be moved by what we see, especially by the plight of those who suffer or are less fortunate than we are.
Getting children to stop and notice how others are experiencing their lives, and how they feel, and why they say and believe what they do, is an important aspect of parenting and teaching. Ultimately, it is what makes us kind and, at a deeper level, opens up the possibility of being loving through our just and merciful actions and forgiving words.
Jesus’ great commandment is “Love one another.” (John 13:34) The more we love others, the more we are truly human and most truly ourselves.
Autumn 2nd half term- Grateful & Generous
At Holy Family we are trying to be Grateful for their own gifts, for the gift of other people, and for the blessings of each day
At Holy Family we are trying to be Generous with their gifts, becoming men and women for others.
Spring Term 1st Half- Curious & Active
At Holy Family we are trying to be Curious about everything
At Holy Family we are trying to be Active in their engagement with the world, changing what they can for the better
Spring term - 2nd half - Faith-filled & Hopeful
At Holy Family we are trying to be Faith-filled in our beliefs
Faith, hope and love are known to the Christian tradition as the three theological virtues. They underpin our whole understanding of what it is to be human and the nature of our relationship with God.
We have faith in those who are closest to us – our family and friends. This faith grows and deepens over time and as our relationships are tested, sometimes knocked and rebuilt with forgiveness, so they become stronger and more resilient.
We need to have faith in ourselves – that appropriate self-confidence and modest self-esteem which reflect a realistic self-knowledge of the good and not-so-good in us. Faith in ourselves is about integrity.
We should also have faith in the communities to which we belong – our neighbourhood, parish, school, wider society, our country and the international family of all humanity. This faith grows only to the extent to which we engage in and contribute to the common good. It is about having a wider perspective than the just the narrow concerns of our daily lives.
And finally, God invites us to have faith in him and in his son, Jesus Christ. This faith grows if we work at a relationship with God in prayer, by trying to live out the gospel values, and by being part of a community of faith. Teachers in a Catholic school have the responsibility of passing on the living faith story of Christianity, handed down in the collective memory of God’s people.
To be faith-filled is crucial to human wellbeing – faith in myself, my emotions and judgements; faith in others and their faith in me; faith in my family and the communities to which I belong; and, ultimately, faith in God. Faith cannot be taken for granted; it has to be revisited constantly and built up day by day.
At Holy Family we are trying to be Hopeful for the future
Hope is perhaps the most elusive of virtues. It grows out of faith and love – the stronger faith and love are, the stronger our hope will be. When we have strong faith and love today, we have hope for tomorrow. Hope enables us to trust ourselves and those around us with the decisions that will shape our future. Without hope we become insular, lacking in love, and ultimately despairing. Christianity teaches that God is a God of hope: his Christ walks before us, giving us the gifts (the graces) and courage we need to follow.
Children learn to hope by seeing and hearing hope-filled adults. They learn not to be frightened to step out into the darkness of the unknown but to draw on their own character strengths, and of those around them, to face challenges with courage and resolve.
Our challenge in schools is to notice when children drift into lack of faith and hope, when they begin to create prison bars for themselves; and then to step in with encouragement, opening new doors to a better way forward in freedom.
Summer Term 1st half - Truthful & Attentive
At Holy Family we are trying to be Truthful of what they sat of themselves, the relations between people, and the world
Being able to speak well is not much use if what you speak is not worth saying. Eloquence must be used in a truthful way – to speak truth about myself and others, about relations between people, about the world, and about God. Education is the search for truth and the eloquent articulation of what we discover. As Jesus tells us, “The truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
Knowing the truth about some thing or situation or person is what sets you free to see clearly and know surely. It is what allows us to grow as individuals and as a society. Promoting the virtue of truth in our schools is not simply about teaching children not to lie, important though that is, it is about teaching them to seek the deeper truth, the more nuanced expression, the better account of something.
Our contemporary culture seems obsessed with the quick and easy, the instant sound bite; there is a temptation to settle for the trite and superficial. The virtue of being truthful seeks, in contrast, to speak the truth in all its depth, complexity, messiness, and uncertainty. This is the Ignatian magis in action – seeking the more.
At Holy Family we are trying to be Attentive to their experience and to their vocation.
Summer term 2nd half- Learned & Wise
At Holy Family we are trying to be Learned, finding God in all things
At Holy Family we are trying to be Wise, in the ways they use their learning for the common good.