St James' is a Catholic School and our teaching of Religious Education is according to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Each day offers the opportunity for communal prayer in which the pupils play an active part. We are very fortunate to have the services of a number of our priests and they are supported by a group of committed lay people.
Mass is celebrated regularly in school and at other times in small groups, form groups, year groups or the whole school. All assemblies are collective acts of worship and these are often prepared and delivered by the pupils. There is a carefully structured programme of assemblies and every member of staff is involved in collective worship at St James’. Each school term ends with a whole school mass or liturgy and these are also highlights of our school year.
The Year 7 pupils at St James' are able to become involved in one day of spiritual/social experience away from school for each class. Throughout their whole school life, St James’ pupils are given every opportunity to learn to integrate their spiritual and moral development with their academic and social progress. The generosity and sheer hard work that so many pupils put into our many charitable undertakings are one reflection of this.
All members of staff, regardless of their personal beliefs, are aware that St. James’ School is a Catholic, Christian school. As such it aims to establish a relationship of trust with parents and the local parishes in the context of which the individual student will re-affirm, or make for the first time, a personal commitment to Christ.
It is hoped that in the present ecumenical climate, a Christian member of staff will feel able to support the religious formation process by playing an active part in the religious life of the school as distinct from the formal teaching of Religious Education.
In a Christian school, Christ is at the heart of everything that is done. The Christian elements of school life cannot be separated from the other elements. They should pervade all aspects of the curriculum to some degree. Staff/student relationships, important though they are, are not the only ones that bear scrutiny. The relationships of staff to each other and of students to their peer groups are equally critical.
In the transmission of Christian ideals the importance of the silent witness of the teachers’ deeply held convictions, impinging upon the students’ personalities should not be undervalued.