St Benedicts Catholic College 2021

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MISSION STATEMENT We are an inclusive community with Christ at the Centre We nurture spiritual, emotional and academic growth We develop our gifts and talents through prayer, work and respect It’s what we do and believe

Welcome To St Benedict's Catholic College We all know that choosing a secondary school for our children is a key turning point for every family. I hope this brochure will provide you with useful information about our learning community and what we can offer your child. As a Roman Catholic school serving Christian families throughout north-east Essex, we strive to promote the values of our Christian faith throughout our daily life. We are proud of our caring ethos and academic success. We believe in putting learning first and striving for excellence in all we do. Learning at St Benedict’s takes place in specialist teaching rooms equipped with the latest technology. The college is set in pleasant, spacious grounds which include hard play areas, playing fields and tennis courts. We have well equipped buildings with many refurbished rooms across the college, including six science labs, the library, food and textiles rooms, a new building for geography and a stunning outdoor classroom. Our chapel is used regularly by students and staff for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. This brochure provides a glimpse of our community, showing students who are developing into happy, confident and self-aware young adults. There are many opportunities for them to thrive and shine, through high quality teaching and numerous extra-curricular activities.

I warmly invite you to visit us to see our college for yourself and look forward to meeting you.

Yours faithfully

Mrs J E Santinelli, Principal

Behaviour for learning As a Catholic community, we acknowledge the different and unique talents which God has given us and our responsibility to use them wisely. We have a clear code of conduct to ensure everyone can work together safely and happily. Good work and behaviour are rewarded and there are clear consequences for any unacceptable behaviour. We endeavour to offer a safe, caring, well-ordered environment based on respect for all who make up the college community. We believe strongly that young people achieve more in an atmosphere of trust and encouragement. Our students contribute so much to the life of the college and deserve the many commendations they are given. The importance of excellent attendance is also recognised each term.

Partnership with parents and carers St Benedict’s strives to achieve its aims through a strong partnership between parents, teachers, governors, students and our local parishes. Many of our governors are parents/carers or past parents and members of our church communities. We believe that this enhances our sense of shared commitment and responsibility. We believe that we can only achieve the best for your child by close co-operation between home and school, through the use of students’ planners, weekly college newsletters and regular information about academic progress.

Pastoral care The tutor group forms the basis and first point of call for pastoral care in the college. Form tutors will normally stay with their group throughout its five years at St Benedict’s and are responsible for the welfare of the students in that group. Students spend twenty minutes at the start of each day in their form group. Each year group has a designated pastoral lead who has overall responsibility for the well-being of students. The pastoral leads support tutors break down any barriers to learning that students may experience through a variety of interventions. We also have a number of experienced staff who offer mentoring and coaching support as well as therapy and counselling.

All students study personal, social, health and economics education (PSHE) as part of their curriculum. This includes Relationships, Sex and Health Education.

Teaching and learning

At St Benedict’s we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of all students, enabling them to achieve their full educational and spiritual potential and make progress in their learning. Each year group has a designated Raising Standards Lead who tracks and monitors student progress as well as attendance and behaviour. They will implement interventions where students are not meeting expectations.

continue to provide a curriculum of breadth and balance: alongside the core subjects English, maths, science and RE, they are also given a wide choice of ‘pathways’ subjects including modern foreign languages. Almost all students can expect to be entered for at least nine GCSE examinations and many obtain more. A small group of students may, by invitation, be offered some alternative pathways to the curriculum above. This may include one or two days at a local college or work placement.

At key stage 3 all students study a full range of subjects. At key stage 4 our philosophy is to

We aim for students to acquire knowledge and develop their understanding in a wide range of different subjects, developing the skills that will ensure they are prepared well for the next stage in their education, training or employment. Above all, we aim to ensure that students develop the skills to learn for themselves with curiosity, enthusiasm and enjoyment.

“St Benedict’s is a good school with some outstanding features, with a Catholic ethos which permeates all areas.” Section 48 inspection report “Students are very proud to be members of the college. They have good attitudes to their work, are polite, and willingly take on responsibilities.” Ofsted report

Relationship and sex education

Relationships and sex education (RSE) is a statutory part of the curriculum. We teach RSE through a variety of subjects, principally through RE, PSHE and Science. It can be a sensitive subject, and we rely on working in partnership with parents and carers to ensure that students acquire the relevant knowledge and understanding as they grow in their maturity and that the content delivered is developmentally appropriate. RSE covers the physical aspects of reproduction, social issues and sexual health.

It also is responsive to issues which affect our students and are currently in the media.

Our teaching reflects the teachings of the Catholic Church: our values and beliefs influence our approach to RSE, where it is set within a moral framework and within the guidelines prescribed by the Church.

“Provision for the students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding and makes the college a pleasant and harmonious place to be.” Ofsted

At St Benedict’s, all students are encouraged to continue with their learning when they leave school through either an academic or vocational route, or both. We are therefore committed to ensuring that every student throughout the school is guided towards an informed and impartial decision about their future. providers and employers to enrich the curriculum. The CEIAG curriculum incorporates activities that allow students to explore the different further education pathways they may be interested in. The support of a bespoke learning platform offers lots of opportunities for our students to build up their ‘Careers and Skills’ profile during their time at St Benedict’s, in addition to offering a wealth of resources which will allow them to make informed decisions and choices in the future. Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance We work closely with Colchester Sixth Form College, Colchester Institute and a variety of

“Parents greatly appreciate the opportunities that the college provides for their children and virtually all would recommend the college to other parents.”

Ofsted

Learning for everybody

As a Catholic college we believe that each individual person has unique and infinite value in the sight of God. We therefore take the development of each student equally seriously. The role of the special educational needs department is to enable students who have special educational needs to gain equal access to the full curriculum and to take all measures necessary to ensure that this takes place. This is achieved by learning support staff working with all colleagues and other professionals to meet the individual needs of students as an integral part of normal curriculum delivery.

In years 10 and 11 some students are offered a differentiated timetable where appropriate, together with enhanced career provision and a personal business mentor. In all years students with special educational needs receive extra support, which is offered either as in-class support or as withdrawal sessions for individuals and small groups by skilled teachers and learning support assistants. We also have a significant number of able, gifted and talented students who are supported through a variety of activities, both curricular and extra-curricular.

Spiritual life

We are firmly and fully committed to supporting the faith journey of all members of the college community. The college chaplaincy is an excellent source of support for everyone and very active in all areas of college life. We enjoy very close links with the parishes and significant support from the priests in the diocese.

for attending Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation, and for going on retreats and pilgrimages.

The entire philosophy of the college rests upon Christian values and experience. RE is a compulsory subject that is taught throughout the college. St Benedict’s is a Catholic college and students are encouraged to explore their own faith within a Catholic context.

Our religious ethos underlies all aspects of college life and permeates the curriculum. In addition, students are provided with ample opportunities

“Support for students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development pervades the work of the college.” “The environment is a pleasant one in which students can work harmoniously together.”

Ofsted

“Students make an outstanding contribution to the Catholic life of the school.” Section 48

Community At St Benedict’s we pride ourselves on our strong links with the local community, ranging from primary schools through to post 16 providers. The college has well established links with the diocesan youth service and students take part in a variety of activities including a monthly youth Mass at Brentwood, youth camps and trips to London.

There are many opportunities for businesses and members of the community to work with our students and we are always extremely interested to hear from parents who might wish to become involved in any of our community projects.

A parent says: “The communication and support from the college is amazing. The work of all of the staff is excellent and very much appreciated.”

A parent says: “All teachers are providing brilliant learning for our child, we really do appreciate it and are so grateful for all the encouragement and inspiration they are giving to students.”

The wider curriculum At St Benedict’s we believe strongly in the value of the wider curriculum and offer a considerable extra-curricular programme, encouraging all students to get involved in a wide variety of activities. We have a long standing sporting tradition, which encourages sport for all as well as the usual teams and competitions, inside and outside the college. Our performing arts department is a thriving and exciting community within the college, with many opportunities to develop students’ talents, from individual tuition to ensemble work and music productions. We also have a strong tradition of developing students’ interests in drama and literature generally, with visits from children’s authors and trips to the theatre locally and to London.

We work hard at developing our students’ confidence and many excel at public speaking; we enter several speaking and debating competitions every year.

Opportunities are given each year for trips abroad; we also run regular pilgrimages.

At the end of the year, year 7 students attend a residential activities camp on Mersea Island.

“The governing body is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all young people and expects all staff to share that commitment.”

Principal: Mrs J E Santinelli BA(Hons) NPQH

Norman Way Colchester Essex C03 3US Telephone: 01206 549222 www.stbenedicts.essex.sch.uk e: admin@stbenedicts.essex.sch.uk

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