The purpose of the resource The Catholic School: Developing in Faith is to help school leaders incorporate into their school evaluation and planning processes an appropriate focus on the particular mission of the Catholic school. This is in line not only with national developments in Scotland but also with the Church’s universal call for a renewed focus on Catholic school identity. It builds on the great efforts which have been made to strengthen the rationale for Catholic education in our country and to exemplify excellence in all we do.
The document uses the well-established Charter for Catholic Schools in Scotland as the foundation of a set of themes which cover the main activities of a Catholic school community. Schools are asked to incorporate these 5 themes over a number of years into their normal processes of school evaluation and planning for improvement. The choice of themes and their sequence of coverage is for each school to decide, in the light of its own content and stage of development. It is intended that the information which will be provided by schools will enable the sharing the best of practice against each of the themes. The SCES website will feature exemplar materials and other documents to support effective use of the document. These will include discussion points and presentations for staff, parents and pupils.
It is intended that all schools will make use of the document, with a focus on ONE theme during session 2016-17. In January 2017 SCES will prompt schools to send a short report, highlighting the outcomes of their evaluation of this theme and detailing any proposed actions.
HOW TO USE THE RESOURCE to complete your evaluation
In order to be able to facilitate this, an online form has been produced that offers 2 options to schools. Both ask schools to simply ‘click’ on the theme that they have been focussing on, and then the first format allows schools to ‘cut and paste’ information that they want to share from their existing Standards & Quality report. The second option uses the 4 reflective questions from DIF as the framework for sharing responses. (What is our vision for this Catholic school? Where are we now? How will we achieve our vision? What have we achieved?) Schools can choose whichever format best suits their needs. There is an additional optional box at the end of the form that allows schools to add anything else that they think is relevant that is not connected to the theme they had chosen.
The form will be available from November until the end of May. This is to ensure that it fits in with the varying expectation of local authorities for submission of S&Q reports. SCES will collate the responses from each Diocese and send them on to the R.E. office and local Bishop. SCES will also collate all responses, according to each of the 5 themes, and publish on the website the reflections that schools have shared. This is intended to allow those choosing their next theme to benefit from the experience of those who have already considered it.