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St Mary's Catholic High School

Catholic Life

Carol singers

St Mary’s Catholic High School is a Catholic school, rooted in the teachings, rituals and ethos of the Church. Whilst being truly catholic, we welcome and nurture pupils of all faiths and backgrounds. The Governors and staff at St Mary’s Catholic High School are committed to building and strengthening the Catholic ethos of the School, developing every individual and allow them to grow in God’s spirit. This is further articulated through the School's Aims, Core Values and Mission Statement.

School Prayer

Heavenly Father,
We praise Your Holy Name.
Send your Holy Spirit to guide us in knowledge and understanding.
Help us to show consideration to all the people we meet.
Give us the wisdom and courage to fulfil our holy vocation in the life planned for each one of us.
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Form Time

At St Mary’s Catholic High School prayer is a central part of our day, with students having the opportunity to participate in collective worship through prayer activities during Form Time. Weekly,  tutor-time Prayers & Reflections resources are available on the school website which includes the Sunday’s gospel reading with a reflection, media and student action.

At St Mary's Catholic High Schooleac h Form Group belongs to one of four Houses, with each named after a saint: St. John Bosco; St Bernadette; St Theresa; and St Peter. details of our House saints can be found here.

Assemblies and Liturgies

As well as marking the major liturgical events and seasons of the year, special Masses are also held each year, including a Welcome Mass for new students and their parents/carers and a Leavers Mass for Year 11 students and their parents/carers.

Year assemblies, led by the Head of Year with pupil participation, are held each week following the school’s liturgical calendar. There is a wide variety of celebration depending on the time in the liturgical year. Throughout Lent and Advent, year groups have liturgies based on the particular season. Other regular areas of focus include assemblies and liturgies based on Remembrance, Holocaust Memorial Day, Mental Health Awareness, and other themes. In addition, outside speakers from various charities and organisations, such as CAFOD, are invited to present assemblies, often linked to special projects or fundraising.

Pastoral Care

We pride ourselves on the way we care for our pupils and in turn, the way they care for one another. The needs of each pupil are at the heart of our provision with different teams of staff taking responsibility for different aspects of this work, whether it be supporting learning needs in the classroom, supporting home in dealing with challenging situations, supporting families into ensuring pupils attend school regularly in order to make the most of their God-given talents or the simple day to day support around friendships and other aspects of life.

Religious Education

It is our intent through our Religious Education curriculum to engage, inspire and challenge our students. While having a focus on the Catholic faith, we aim to raise awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities in order to respect and understand them. Through studying Religious Studies, students will learn how to critically evaluate a range of topics and issues, develop skills in considering evidence and structuring an argument. It is our aim to ensure pupils receive stimulating and engaging lessons.

The Religious Education curriculum plan is guided by the Curriculum Directory, published by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW).

CBCEW - Curriculum Directory

Teaching and Learning

As well as our comprehensive Religious Education provision, our approach is to teach new knowledge and new skills within a faith-filled framework which gives our young people a context for the things they learn. In addition, all students have a Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE) lesson each week in which Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural (SMSC) themes are the backbone of this programme.

Serving our Community

At St Mary’s Catholic High School, we aim to serve our school community in a number of ways. Through activities are fundamental to Catholic education and core to Catholic discipleship. We encourage students to participate in a range of activities that embodies our distinctiveness as a Catholic school and to empower the young people in our care through Faith in Action initiatives.

Throughout the school year, we invite and encourage our pupils to pray for, and to actively support, those in need. We send food parcels to those in need, particularly at Christmas, through local charities such as Croydon Commitment. We raise money for a wide variety of charities, which can be found on the Charities page on this website. Other appeals and events take place as need arises, and we are proud of the generosity shown by our school community.

In addition to fundraising, students regularly have the opportunity to meet with those in position of responsibility in our community, giving them the chance to discuss current issues and to question policy and practices. In recent years visitors include: local Croydon MPs, the Shadow Chancellor, business leaders, representatives of national charities, and others.