At St Alban's Catholic High School we strive to embody the description given by the Second Vatican Council of the kind of education which the Church must provide:
“she has the responsibility of communicating the life of Christ to those who believe, and of assisting them with ceaseless concern so that they may grow into the fullness of that same life…the Church is bound to give these children of hers the kind of education through which their entire lives can be penetrated with the spirit of Christ, while at the same time she offers her services to all peoples by way of promoting the full development of the human person.” (GE 3)
We recognise that the Catholic School plays a primary role in delivering this education. St Alban's Catholic High School is not just an environment for providing a series of lessons; it operates out of an educational philosophy which aims to meet the needs of the young people of today in the light of the Church’s faith in Jesus Christ. (c.f. RDECS Para 22).
The Second Vatican Council declared that it is the religious dimension that makes the Catholic school distinctive. This religious dimension can be found in:
a) the context in which education is delivered,
b) the means by which the personal development of each student is achieved,
c) the relationship established between culture and the faith of the Church in the message of Christ,
d) the fact that all knowledge is informed by and derives its ultimate meaning from the faith within whose context it is pursued. (cf. RDECS paragraph 1).
We believe that the specific task of the Catholic school is to bring faith and scholarship together: keeping the freshness of the challenge of Christ’s message to human living today while, at the same time, respecting the autonomy and methodologies proper to human knowledge. (C.f. RDECS Para 31) The paramount concern is the formation of persons.
“A true education must seek the development of all the human faculties of the student: preparing him for professional life, cultivating his ethical and social consciousness, extending his awareness of the transcendental, making him a freeman of that spiritual realm that is his one sure fortress against the world’s conditioning. For man is an inhabitant of eternity as well as a dweller on earth.”
Professor Patrick Reilly: Keynote address on the Aims of Education, at the National Debate on Education 2002.
Relevant Current Documents:
St Alban's is achieves the Gold Quality Mark for RE
We are pleased to announce that at the end of the Autumn term the RE Department at St Alban's was awarded the Gold Quality Mark for RE
The introduction of a Quality Mark for RE is a new venture for RE nationally and our school was asked to be in the second pilot, so we are one of the first schools in the country to be awarded this Quality Mark. The assessment was rigorous and covered some 100 criteria, each of which had to be comprehensively evidenced. During the assessment students were interviewed. One said that RE is the subject which influences and helps him with all other subjects, because it teaches him how to live. Another said that RE has made him think about his own vocation, whether to marriage or the priesthood and there were other wonderful and inspiring things said.
The assessor wrote: "Congratulations again on gaining your Gold Award.
I was truly impressed with the wealth of evidence you provided, and the wonderful young people I met.
I would have loved to have seen more of your advent prayer spaces, but perhaps another time!"
Mary Myatt, former Suffolk Advisor for RE and now one of the RE Quality Mark team, wrote: "I am delighted, but not surprised to hear that you have achieved the Gold REQM. The assessor was extremely impressed with the quality of what you are providing for your students and your evidence. Very many congratulations and good wishes"
In the letter to Mr McGarry confirming our Quality Mark the Project Managers of the RE Quality Mark wrote: "Congratulations on achieving the Gold award for the Religious Education Quality Mark. We are delighted that you applied and that the hard work in Religious Education has been recognised. We look forward to seeing some of your pupils’ work on the RE Quality Mark website.We wish you well as you network with local schools to share (and receive) good practice in Religious Education."
Who was St Alban?
Alban lived during the 3rd century in the Roman city of Verulamium. Although he was then a worshipper of Roman gods including the emperor, he gave shelter to a Christian priest fleeing from persecution. Influenced by the priest's prayer and teaching he became a Christian.
When the authorities discovered the priest's hiding place Alban exchanged clothes with him. The priest escaped and Alban was bound and taken before the judge. The judge was furious at the deception, and ordered that Alban should receive the punishment due to the priest, if he had indeed become a Christian.
Alban declared his Christian faith, saying in words still used at the Cathedral of St. Alban in England, "I worship and adore the true and living God, who created all things." Despite flogging Alban refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods and was sentenced to death.
He was brought out of the town, across the river and up a hill to the site of execution where his head was cut off.
Legend tells us that on the hill-top a spring of water miraculously appeared to give the martyr a drink and that the original executioner was so moved by this manifestation of God's power that he refused to carry out the deed and a replacement had to be found to carry out the execution.
Ever since those early times, people have journeyed to the Cathedral of St. Alban in England to remember Alban and all that he stands for. They go to pray for peace, healing, and to seek God.