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Catholic Social Teaching

As a Catholic school in the modern world, we believe that the education, guidance and challenge pupils receive in school should permeate and be evident in all aspects of their lives.

God has a plan for our creation and how we should live our lives, this is evident through all aspects of St Bede’s life. Our belief in God, is not limited to Mass on Sunday or Feast Days but should be evident as we teach the children about growing up in the modern world as responsible global citizens. The seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching that we are called to uphold are:

Seven Major Themes of Catholic Social Teaching

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person, for example respecting the unborn child, learning about and campaigning for asylum seekers.
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation, we teach about the value of marriage in lessons and promote community cohesion with our ecumenical work.
  • Rights and Responsibilities, we expect pupils to take on leadership responsibility and as a result they have the right to contribute in a meaningful way to school life.
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, learn about social and historical inequality and its causes, pupils will be actively supporting and being advocates for the poor.
  • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers, pupils know that their work adds to the treasure of the church. They are advocates for workers across the world.
  • Solidarity and Peace, the school’s motto is PAX in Virtute. Let peace be my strength.
  • Care for God’s Creation, being proactive and informed as guardians of the earth and all creation.

Link to more information: Catholic social teaching principles | CAFOD

These principles of Catholic teaching are embedded across our entire curriculum and can be seen in many areas. Examples on the Curriculum maps on our website, show that we challenge pupils to look at modern issues and examine with them how they would respond, and more importantly how God would want us to respond. Our curriculum is flexible to ensure that current affairs such as Black Lives Matter are not only covered in our curriculum by reading books such as Journey to Jo ’Burg and examining slavery in the Americas but can be discussed in our reflection times each day. Coverage of the Holocaust is not just linked to History but is covered in RE in Judaism and in Art and Music so that pupils can express their views through the medium of Art.

Our Collective Worship is a huge part of school life and we tackle issues of Social Justice with worship prepared by the children to further enhance their learning and gain an appreciation of issues in the world. Our collective worship plan has dedicated sessions where we look at issues of social justice such as National Holocaust Day, Black History Month, Anti Bullying week, Human Trafficking, Martin Luther King, Migrants and Refugees and World Water Day.

As well as extensive coverage in our curriculum, we build into St Bede’s life our non-uniform days, opportunities for pupils to work closely with CAFOD and Mini-Vinnies and the Columbans at St Chads. By giving pupils the opportunity to look at the plight of refugees, pupils have worked hard to elicit responses from people in authority to try and make these people’s lives better. Staff have served at soup kitchens for the homeless in the centre of Birmingham, run by the St Vincent de Paul Society, taking sandwiches made by the pupils in school to alleviate the plight of the homeless closer to home. Such is the demand to make sandwiches that in our last full academic year every pupil in school volunteered to make sandwiches at least once. All facets of school life involves staff and pupils alike displaying servant leadership. We are all here for each other and the community we serve, and our mission is to support those less fortunate than ourselves. As a school community our Mission Statement and Ethos highlights the truth that we are all made in God’s Image and as such all have an inherent and unique dignity. This is reflected in our relationships, our focus and actions as well as our policies and governance at the heart of our School. We are all brothers and sisters together in a community which dovetails into one wider, more diverse and global community who share our common home together on our planet.

As a result, our children feel that we are making a difference to the world by having an impact on social justice.

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