Post-16 Ethos

St. Aidan’s and St. Anthony’s Catholic Sixth Form

St. Anthony’s and St. Aidan’s have, over many decades, worked together to deliver a wide ranging post-16 curriculum to the young people of both schools and beyond. From September 2018, we will provide a joint offer to all the young people within both schools and those who join us from other schools annually.

 

We very much welcome applications from young people joining us from other schools and academies for their post-16 education.  There is a long history of applications at 16 from across the city and beyond, and the students who join us have been both happy and successful in their studies.

 

Our Sixth Form is hosted in three buildings closely linked to the history of both schools : The Briery (St. Aidan’s) and Gabriel House and Somerleyton House (St. Anthony’s). These provide distinct post-16 facilities for students.  Post-16 students will make use of the brand new facilities at St. Anthony’s including touch screen technology within classrooms and twelve new laboratories.  We also have new Music, Art, Design, Technology and PE facilities, as well as a beautiful new hall with an adjacent drama suite and chapel.

 

 

St. Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy – serving Sunderland since 1904

Canon Kearney (Parish priest of St. Mary’s Sunderland) asked the Sisters of Mercy, who were newly arrived in Sunderland, to found an all age elementary school adjacent to St. Mary’s during the 1840’s.  From this first school, St. Bede’s, developed St. Anthony’s. A grant was received from the government following the 1902 Education Act to open a secondary school with sixth form and in 1904 St. Anthony’s was opened.

 

During the 1970’s St. Anthony’s Grammar School became a Direct Grant Comprehensive and later a Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School.

In 2012 the school became an Academy and in 2014 St. Anthony’s became the lead school in Beacon Teaching Alliance which works with over forty schools annually across the North East.

 

St. Aidan’s Catholic Academy – serving Sunderland since 1928

Canon Smith (Parish Priest of St Mary’s Sunderland) founded St Mary’s Grammar School at Bede Towers in 1928 -1929.   The Jesuits led the school from 1935 – 1948. The school transferred from Bede Towers to The Briery in 1936.

In 1937, the name of the school was changed yet again, to Sunderland Catholic College, and in 1939 to Corby School. The dedication of both Corby School and Corby Hall recalled the historical association of Sunderland with Father Ralph Corby who was martyred in 1644.

 

The school was renamed as St Aidan’s RC Grammar School in 1948 and remained so until 1973 when the school became a comprehensive school. In April 2013, St Aidan’s Catholic School became an academy and was renamed St Aidan’s Catholic Academy.

 

Partnership

Both St. Anthony’s and St. Aidan’s work extensively with the schools of Monkwearmouth Catholic Partnership (formerly St. Bede’s Deanery Catholic Partnership), Diocesan partner secondary schools/academies and all the schools/academies within Sunderland through primary and secondary forums.

 

 

Post 16 Ethos Statement

 

1.Post-16 partnership vision and mission – summary statement.

The post-16 partnership has developed to maintain and develop Catholic education in the area served by its schools.  Partner schools are committed to providing the highest quality of post-16 education for every student they serve.  They are committed to the holistic development of our young people, challenging and supporting every individual to develop as a person.

 

This includes fostering in young people a moral and practical commitment to those in need, through the ethos of the Edmund Rice Foundation (St. Aidan’s) and Mercy (St. Anthony’s).  Working together through partnership, post-16 provision will benefit educationally from expertise both within, and beyond, this outward facing Catholic post-16 partnership community and provide education which according to our summary ethos statement is:

  • Christ centred;
  • faith enlightened;
  • shows concern for the vulnerable and marginalised;
  • builds communities;
  • and pursues excellence;

 

 2. Post-16 partnership development and commitment – summary information.

The partnership is part of a Trust has been designated by the Secretary of State as trusts/schools with a religious character. The instrument of government states that the trust, and its schools/post-16 provision, are part of the Catholic Church and are to be conducted in accordance with canon law, the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the trust deed of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. At all times the trust and its schools are to serve as a witness to the Catholic Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The mission of the Church is to proclaim the good news of salvation to all.  The Catholic school:

  • assists in the church’s mission of making Christ known to all people;
  • assists parents, who are the primary educators of their children, in the education and religious formation of young people;
  • is at the service of the local Church – the diocese, the parish and the Christian home;
  • and is of service to society.

 

3. Post-16 partnership commitment to the mission of Catholic post-16 education – summary information.

The mission of the Church is to proclaim the good news of salvation to all.  The Catholic school/post-16 provision:

  • assists in the church’s mission of making Christ known to all people;
  • assists parents, who are the primary educators of young people, in the education and religious formation of their young people;
  • is at the service of the local Church – the diocese, the parish and the Christian home;
  • and is of service to society.

 

4. Post-16 partnership commitment to the key features of an excellent Catholic post-16 provision – summary information.

    • Christ at the centre of every aspect of learning, teaching and school life;
    • the “common good”;
    • ecclesial and cultural identity;
    • and civic and apostolic service.

 

5. Post-16 partnership commitment to the distinctive nature of excellent Catholic post-16 provision – summary information.

  • ensuring a Catholic ethos which is evident and open to all who enter the sixth form;
  • promoting Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church;
  • ensuring policies which reflect and embody the teaching of Christ and the Catholic Church;
  • leadership witness inspired by the image and life of Christ;
  • to be in communion with the local and universal Church;
  • to teach religious education which comprehensively and systematically studies the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the lives of the Saints and the relationship between faith and life – all of which is integrated into every aspect of the curriculum and life of the school, and adapted to the age and ability of the student;
  • to express the life of faith in acts of religion and personal and liturgical prayer;
  • to foster conduct and behaviour governed, ordered and guided by the seven cardinal virtues and rooted in Gospel values;
  • to model Gospel values which unite society by promoting a citizenship rooted in a commitment to social justice and the common good;
  • to attend to the spiritual needs of young people as a constant priority;
  • to care for the pastoral and special needs of young people in accordance with Gospel values and the teaching of the Catholic Church;
  • to engender a culture of vocation;
  • and to uphold the dignity of the human person through the maintenance and care of school buildings and, through external and internal symbols and displays, which manifest the centrality of Christ and the Catholic faith.

 

6. Post-16 partnership commitment to the Gospel values central to the work of the excellent Catholic school – summary information.

At the heart of our Catholic Partnership school communities:

  • faithfulness and integrity;
  • dignity and compassion;
  • humility and gentleness;
  • truth and justice;
  • forgiveness and mercy;
  • purity and holiness;
  • tolerance and peace;
  • service and sacrifice.

 

7. Post-16 partnership ethos delivery – summary information.

  • A shared mission and vision (mission statement)
  • Faithful stewardship (governance)
  • Personal witness (leadership and management)
  • Communion in the family of the church (partnership and collaboration)
  • Religious literacy (religious education and the whole curriculum)
  • Spiritual life (liturgy and prayer)
  • Encouragement of the potential of every person (a culture of vocation)
  • The spiritual care of students and staff (chaplaincy)
  • The Gospel of life and the dignity of the human person (pastoral care, support and guidance)
  • The promotion of justice and peace (charitable outreach)
  • Moral and ethical behaviour (code of conduct)
  • The learning environment (school buildings and physical signs)

 

8. Post-16 partnership – Catholic Life, Collective Worship and Curriculum RE – summary information from most recent Inspection Reports (2018).

Overview

St. Anthony’s and St. Aidan’s are currently outstanding in their overall effectiveness, securing the highest judgements in every category:  Catholic Life, Collective Worship and Religious Education.  Our Catholic ethos and mission to provide exemplary Catholic education underpins everything that we do; Gospel values are central to our vision and we are inspired by Christ to serve others.  A strong sense of community is evident in both academies and leaders at all levels lead by example, supporting all on their faith journeys, helping to create communities which are inclusive and respectful, warm and welcoming.  Collective worship is outstanding in each academy as we provide many and varied opportunities for prayer, reflection and worship.  These include quality liturgical experiences, assemblies, Masses and retreats.  Students are involved in a range of ministries and are enthusiastic participants, responding willingly, reverently and with confidence.  Our Catholic ethos is further enhanced through our strong links with our local parishes and partnerships.  The quality of Religious Education is outstanding, providing challenging and imaginative programmes to maximise learning opportunities.  Staff strive for excellence and students enjoy their learning, motivated to achieve well and develop spiritually by putting their faith into action in their daily lives.

 

 

St Anthony’s:  June 2018

The mission of this Mercy school permeates all aspects of school life. The focus on concern for the poor and the education of women and girls is paramount. The foundations laid by the Sisters of Mercy are lived out in this inspiring community.

Collective Worship is outstanding. The response of pupils, staff and governors is profound and deeply rooted in faith. A wide range of worshipping opportunities are prepared and delivered including liturgies, assemblies and Masses.

The Catholic Life of the school is outstanding. The strong sense of belonging, so passionately proclaimed by every member of this community, is overwhelming. It is in the quality of relationships that a deep sense of spirituality is evident. Tolerance and respect for all ensures that almost all pupils thrive and are confident in their spiritual, emotional and intellectual growth.

Religious Education is outstanding. The newly in post subject leader has led substantial improvements throughout the department with a significant impact on outcomes. Pupils enjoy Religious Education and make very good progress in a subject they enjoy.

 

St Aidan’s:  June 2018

St Aidan’s is an outstanding Catholic school. The school has a strong sense of its own identity and states rightly that it offers education for the whole person. There is a warm and authentic welcome extended to all who visit the school.

The Catholic Life of the school is outstanding. The deeply rooted religious dimension of life at St Aidan’s is woven through every aspect of the community. Leaders, staff and students speak freely and intelligently about matters of community, faith and the spiritual journey.

Outcomes for students in Religious Education are high at key stage three and four. Intelligent and creative approaches to teaching and learning ensure that pupils achieve well and enjoy their learning. Strong practice is linked to support systems and professional realism.

Collective Worship is strong. Acts of Collective Worship are thoughtful and have meaning for the pupils. Those of differing faiths embrace the Catholic nature and are respectful of the genuine prayer life found at St Aidan’s.

 

9.Post-16 partnership – the history of both foundations (summary information).

 

The holistic education of the young person.

Our post-16 provision, based on our Catholic distinctiveness, has a strong tradition of commitment to the education of the whole person.  Schools provide a well-rounded education based on breadth and balance with many opportunities to develop in music, sports and through a multitude of activities planned throughout our academic and pastoral curriculum. We are rightly proud of our achievements in these areas and are excited about the opportunities we would be able to increasingly provide for our young people as part of this partnership.

 

Working together for many decades to deliver high quality post-16 education.

 

St. Anthony’s.

Canon Kearney (Parish priest of St. Mary’s Sunderland) asked the Sisters of Mercy, who were newly arrived in Sunderland, to found an all-age elementary school adjacent to St. Mary’s during the 1840’s.  From this first school, known as St. Bede’s, developed St. Anthony’s. A grant was received from the government following the 1902 Education Act to open a secondary school with sixth form and in 1904 St. Anthony’s was opened. During the 1970’s St. Anthony’s Grammar School became a Direct Grant Comprehensive and later a Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School.  In 2012 the school became an Academy and in 2014 St. Anthony’s became the lead school within Beacon Teaching Alliance.  In 2018 St. Anthony’s joined the diocese and the new Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Education Trust.  In 2020 it joined with other schools in the area to form Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust as part of Diocesan re-organisation.

St. Aidan’s.

Canon Smith (Parish Priest of St Mary’s Sunderland) founded St Mary’s Grammar School at Bede Towers in 1928 -1929.   The Jesuits led the school from 1935 – 1948. The school transferred from Bede Towers to The Briery in 1936.  In 1937, the name of the school was changed yet again, to Sunderland Catholic College, and in 1939 to Corby School. The dedication of both Corby School and Corby Hall recalled the historical association of Sunderland with Father Ralph Corby who was martyred in 1644.  The school was renamed as St Aidan’s RC Grammar School in 1948 and remained so until 1973 when the school became a comprehensive school. In April 2013, St Aidan’s Catholic School became an academy and was renamed St Aidan’s Catholic Academy.  In 2019 St. Aidan’s joined with St. Anthony’s in Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Education Trust and in 2020 the small Trust joined the larger Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, as a result of Diocesan re-organisation.

For over half a century young people from both sixth forms studied subjects at the partner school.  For example, for many years St. Aidan’s offered A level Spanish and St. Anthony’s A level French.  Likewise, St. Aidan’s offered Law and St. Anthony’s offered Government and Politics, at different times in our close partnership.  In 2018 the partnership developed further with the creation of St. Aidan’s and St. Anthony’s Catholic Sixth Form.  This effectively broadened the offer to young people with over 40 Advanced level options available within a much larger post-16 provision of currently well over 400 students.

Our contribution to the Diocesan family of schools.

As part of the diocesan family of schools we have a strong and practical commitment to the wider life of our diocese. As a group of schools, we actively support various diocesan bodies including the Department for Education; frequently leading the secondary Headteacher groups, Professional Development Training and numerous diocesan events. It is also important to recognise our work with the Youth Ministry Team from retreats and missions to annual events such as the Summer Festival. We are rightly proud of our post-16 commitment to the diocese.  Our young people have a fabulous commitment to Food Banks, John Paul II Award and manay other initiatives linked to our Catholic ethos.

 

Our expertise within leadership and governance.

Across our trust, the local management boards within it and those undertaking trust wide roles we have a wealth of leadership and governance expertise to draw upon.  We have leaders with expertise in Law and Criminal Justice, Business, HR, Finance and Accountancy, NHS Leadership, NLG, Children’s Services, Education Leadership (past and present) including all phases of education from early years foundation stage to post-graduate level and beyond.

 

 

Our achievements over time.

Our two schools have a collective history of consistently strong external performance. At this time our two schools have Ofsted ratings of outstanding (1) and good (1) and both schools have Diocesan Inspection ratings of outstanding (1). Similarly, our academic performance has also been very strong over a long period of time both at A Level and GCSE. Stability, over time, has enabled our schools to flourish in terms of popularity within the communities we serve.

 

10.Post-16 partnership to create outward facing learning communities – locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

 

The two secondary schools in the partnership have links stretching back nearly a hundred years.  The relationship between the schools is deep-rooted and has been strengthened during the past five years.

Some exemplars:

 

  • Post-16 developments 2018 to the present.
  • Leadership training and recruitment through Leadership for the North-East (L4NE) and from 2020 National Professional Qualifications for School Leadership‌ (NETSP) based at Newcastle University, following a merger of L4NE and NETSP.
  • Teacher Subject Specialism Training (TSST) in Mathematics and MFL (2014-19) (St. Anthony’s).
  • Strategic partner for Carmel SCITT, Teach First (via BCCET) and the University of Linnaeus Department of Education (St. Anthony’s).
  • Diocesan Leadership and Management courses.
  • Training and development activities at both schools and within post-16 provision.
  • Regional and national partnership involvement eg. within BCCET, other Diocesan Trusts etc.
  • Global links eg. India, China etc.
  • Awards eg. Lord Glenamara Awards, John Paul II Awards, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme etc.
  • Educational Visits eg. World Challenge, visit to United Nations, NASA Camp Houston, subject specific visits eg. London Politics Visit, Music Tours etc.

 

In essence, “Catholic education can transform our children and we can transform Catholic education”, R. Peachey (2018).

 

Bibliography:

  • Christ at the Centre, Mgr. Marcus Stock, Catholic Truth Society (2005 Revised 2012)
  • Out of the classroom and into the world: how to transform Catholic education, Roy Peachey (2018)
  • The Catholic School, Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, Rome (1977)

 

Download a copy of the Post-16 Post-16 ethos statement