Each year group in the school has a year head and each form class has a form teacher who takes special responsibility for the boys in the class. The usual class size is 22 pupils. The Form Teacher looks after personal, social and health education and all the elements of the Personal Development curriculum. The form teacher meets with the Form Class at the start of each school day and plays a vital role in assisting and advising the boys, encouraging progress and involvement in school activities and ensuring good discipline at all times.
As our students progress through the school we work with them to develop the self-confidence and independence of thought that is necessary to cope with a rapidly changing and challenging world. We feel that this is most likely to be successfully achieved in an informal atmosphere, with a relaxed, friendly and mature relationship between staff and students. The personal, academic and social responses of our senior students, their successes and their loyalty, have confirmed the advisability of this policy year after year.
Special Needs Pupils
We strive to provide for the needs of all who will benefit from a St Patrick’s Grammar School Education, including those who have physical, medical or other needs. The school has a Special Educational Needs co-ordinator who takes responsibility for pupils with a range of needs, and classroom assistants are employed as required.
The school is committed to positive behaviour and good conduct. All in the school community, including parents, co-operate in the task of educating the kind of young men of whom we may all be justifiably proud.
A detailed code of conduct and responsibilities for students is circulated in August, before the school re-opens, to the parents of every student in St Patrick’s and all parents are encouraged to discuss the code with their sons.
In the event of a student breaching any aspect of the code a number of sanctions and approaches are taken as outlined in the school’s discipline policy.
Through frequent discussions with the Student Representative Council over several years, the school has worked to improve both the quality and the range of food on offer throughout the school day. A major drive for Healthy Eating has also proved successful and popular. We hold theme days when foods of particular countries are available, and by providing high quality, tasty fruit and vegetables we encourage good eating habits. New students always comment on the quality, choice and value, and we pride ourselves in responding to the trend towards healthy, nutritious food.
In the Classroom
Students come to St Patrick’s from a very large catchment area. Most enter at the age of eleven and remain with us right through to sit A levels at the age of eighteen. On entry, year 8 students are introduced to the school by a fully trained induction team. This ensures that the transfer from primary to grammar school is as smooth and happy as possible.
Key Stage 3, lasting three years, aims to introduce each pupil to the academic disciplines of modern languages, the sciences, the arts and humanities, as well as information and communications technology (ICT) and technology and design. All students follow a full programme of Religious Education, and we constantly revise and update our courses in Personal Development, Citizenship Education and Learning for Life and Work.
At Key Stage 4 the student embarks on a two year programme of study for the General Certificate in Secondary Education (GCSE). More able students may sit examinations for some subjects a year early, and they will aim for top grades in nine or ten subjects.
During year 12 all students receive careers advice to help in their choice of A level subjects. This choice will depend upon their career aspirations, subject aptitudes, results and preferences. A large number of subjects are on offer, and our students enjoy high achievement and go on to secure university places in a wide range of courses.
Visiting the School
The school values the support of parents as one of the greatest assets students can have throughout their time at St Patrick’s. Parent / Teacher meetings are held for each year group in the first or second terms.
Parents are, of course, welcome to contact their son’s Year Head or Form Teacher at other times. All such appointments may be made through the school reception.
Parents of primary school pupils who are considering sending their sons to St Patrick’s may visit the school and view facilities on Open Night, held early in the second term, or at any other time by appointment with the Headmaster.
Religious and Educational Philosophy
The Catholic Church has received the mission of proclaiming and establishing the kingdom of god among all peoples. The specific mission entrusted to St Patrick’s Grammar School is the Christian education of its students. It is for this purpose that the school exists. Inspired by Gospel values, St Patrick’s Grammar School:
- Gives priority to education in a living faith whereby students grow to appreciate the life and mission of Jesus Christ with a view to being committed to the world as he was.
- Has a special concern for the poor and under-privileged:
- Is challenged to develop a curriculum, which promotes the harmonious growth of the whole person.
St Patrick’s Grammar School works at forming a community composed of students, teachers, parents, management and other staff. This community:
- Seeks to live gospel values
- Recognise the dignity of each individual:
- Contributes to the building up of the local community,
- Works for peace and justice in society.
The central purpose of the school community is the religious, moral, intellectual, physical and social education of the student. This community seeks to create the atmosphere of Christian care and concern in which the student can grow to maturity.
The school is committed to:
- Respecting the dignity of the student with his background, tradition and beliefs, valuing the potential of each and encouraging the strong to support the weak.
- Enabling the student to develop a healthy self-image and to form positive relationships with others.
- Promoting the student’s appreciation of his cultural heritage
- Preparing the student for his vocational role in life
- Providing opportunities for the student to experience God in the wonder of creation, in worship and in service of others
- Developing a critical sense in the student, helping him to challenge the forces that threaten human life
- Providing a disciplined atmosphere in which the student is encouraged to grow and to take increasing responsibility for his own education and for the life of the school community
The primary right and obligation to educate young people belongs to their parents. In choosing our school, parents subscribe to its philophy.
Parents are encouraged to exercise their right and obligation by:
- Giving the school their trust and co-operation
- Ensuring that their children respect, obey and co-operate with the teachers
- Supporting the varied activities of school life
- Taking the responsibility, in collaboration with others in the school community for the quality of education and for the character of the school.