is an exciting new resource which takes particular account of the distinctive mission of the Catholic school, referring to all aspects of the school’s key activities:
• its vision, values and leadership
• the processes which underpin its work and life
• the outcomes and impacts which identify its successes.
to evaluate and to plan for improvements in how it offers a distinctive form of education through:
• proclaiming Gospel values
• nurturing relationships based on respect and dignity
• promoting service to others
• helping young people to know, to celebrate, to pray and to live the Catholic faith.
to identify the key features of a Catholic school which reflect its distinctive nature and purpose, referring to the school’s key activities: its Gospel-based vision, values and leadership; the processes which underpin the work and life of the school; and the outcomes and impacts which identify the school’s successes and achievements. It is based on the Catholic Church’s teaching on the purpose of Catholic education in the modern world.
It is intended to help staff, pupils, parents and the wider community to develop a shared understanding of how the Catholic school’s mission and aims influence all aspects of its life: its curriculum, its learning environment, its spiritual life, and its inclusive ethos. It will help to build upon the considerable expertise of staff in school evaluation and it will enhance the confidence of the school community in articulating a shared vision of Catholic education for the 21st century.
The booklet provides, in sections 1 and 2, a vital introduction to this resource. These sections can be used by teachers in CPD sessions to reflect on the rationale and processes of self evaluation in the Catholic school.
Section 3 serves as a useful reference document in setting out the overall framework of quality indicators, themes and key features of a Catholic school. While these features are more fully articulated in the Tables provided on the CD, this summary format provides a useful introduction to the framework underpinning Shining the Light of Christ in the Catholic School.
Section 4 provides three Case studies to illustrate uses of the resource to evaluate particular aspects of school provision. In the Appendices you will find advice on preparing for external review and inspection.
The CD provides some 90 tables which set out, for each quality indicator:
• the key features of the Catholic school
• the key questions to be asked when considering each key feature
• the sources of evidence which can be used to support the answers to these questions
• suggestions for possible next steps on the school’s journey of improvement.
When using the CD, teachers should select the most useful quality indicators from a menu of key areas, familiar to users of How Good is Our School? Individual tables can be printed out, as required. In the Extra Resources section of the CD, a worksheet is provided for each table to enable users to record their own evidence and their own next steps and to form a plan for action. A presentation provides an introduction to the rationale underpinning the resource.