Catholic Ethos/Our Values
Our Mission Statement
Holy Family is a Catholic community, embracing the clear Christian values of respect, service and justice.
We are a family of many cultures sharing one faith. We exist to educate all young people towards excellence in all dimensions of their lives, recognising the uniqueness of each and the equality of all.
Diocese of Brentwood
Holy Family is a Catholic school governed by the Diocese of Brentwood. You can find out more about the Diocese of Brentwood Education Department by following the link below:
“An ethos is a way of living, behaving and doing things by people, though diverse, follow common values and are united by a shared vision of life.” (Monsignor Stack 2013)
We are a Catholic school and daily prayer and worship are integral to all that we do. We provide a range of opportunities for this. Staff briefings every morning begin with a prayer/reflection. Registration includes a prayer and every lesson is expected to begin or end with a prayer.
We offer staff and students the opportunity to attend Mass weekly on each site. At other times of the year we celebrate Mass in school, at the Our Lady and St George’s church. Once a year the entire school community gathers together at the Assembly Hall, the only time all 1,250 members of the school community can be in one pace together.
There are opportunities for students to receive the sacrament of reconciliation during Advent and Lent. Clergy from the local deanery and beyond make themselves available to hear confessions and on occasions we have had ten priests in the hall administering the sacrament.
It is important to note that the ethos permeates all aspects of school life; “The curriculum as a whole, and every part of it, is religious, since there is nothing which does not ultimately relate to God.”(Evaluating the Distinctive Nature of the Catholic school)
We are called after the ‘The Holy Family’ for a reason. The family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph greatly influence our school ideals. We are a place where people are made feel welcome and cared for. We live in communion with each other and with God. A place where young people can be themselves. Where the Gospel is lived out in the everyday experience. A place of refuge and absence of fear.
With all families, there will be good times and difficult times. The important thing is to be there for each other. By helping others we are enhancing our own self worth and in loving others we are also loving God.
We are one family, there are no outsiders. We must look out for the vulnerable, the lonely, the lost and the disturbed among us. We must be a place where young people can share their problems and we can offer a listening ear.
At Holy Family we exist to guide young people in their learning, their faith and the right way to do things. To offer advice, share our experience, avoid pitfalls and help them succeed. To be a school where students develop their critical thinking skills and discover their God given talents and vocation. A place where the young and not so young can all be a people of change, challenge and transformation.
In May 2019 we had our diocesan RE inspection which went really well. We see many examples of our Catholic ethos in action daily at Holy Family.
This includes House celebrations of Mass, retreats in school and at Aylesford Friary and charitable work including our annual Student Community Action Day where sixth formers spend a day helping others in the community.
To read the full inspection report click the link below:
The Aquinas Trust
The Catholic schools in Waltham Forest have worked closely together for many years. In June 2015 we formally created a soft federation including Holy Family Catholic School, Our Lady and St George’s Primary School, St Joseph’s Infants, St Joseph’s Juniors and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. In 2017 this expanded to become known as the Aquinas Trust after St Thomas Aquinas, the great scholar and patron saint of students.
The Headteachers of the Aquinas Trust schools meet every half-term and we produce an annual joint development plan focused on the ways in which we can work together for our mutual benefit. Recent activities include an annual Mass for representatives of the pupils/students of each school, an annual start of academic year staff Mass, joint training events, Headteacher reviews of the provision in each school, the annual inter-primary school Sports Day and opportunities for primary age pupils to visit Holy Family and experience lessons in specialist areas such as science and technology.