St. Mary's School
St. Mary’s School provides quality Catholic education in an enriching environment of spiritual, intellectual, and moral formation.
St. Mary’s School Philosophy
‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ (Matthew 11:29)
‘Christ is the first and principal teacher of spiritual doctrine and faith’ (Aquinas. Summa Theologiae, IIa q. 7 sed contra).
How does Christ instruct his disciples? He teaches by word and example. When Jesus calls his disciples to take up his yoke, he is inviting them to join his school. They begin a pedagogical journey which will embrace their whole lives. St. Mary’s School is a school of discipleship in which the pre-eminent teacher is Christ. We all sit in his school. ‘Neither be called teachers, for you have one teacher, the Christ’. (Mt. 23: 8,10) The foundation stone of St. Mary’s educational philosophy and the purpose of our school rests on Christ, the Teacher. Mary’s aims to instill in its students knowledge, as well as the skills of acquiring that knowledge, but the goal of its pilgrimage is the encounter with God in Christ. As St. John Paul II wrote to the National Catholic Education Association of the United States, ‘Catholic Education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others.’ (Rome, April 16th, 1979). Our learning is expressed in action. St. Mary’s teachers in how they teach and how they live their faith seek to do more than communicate information, they seek to communicate a way of life through faith and teaching. The goal of our instruction is to enable students to follow the path of discipleship that lies before them.
Aristotle wrote that knowledge begins in wonder. (Metaphysics, I.9826) St. Mary’s attempts to promote the imagination of its students so that they may think, question, and debate. Students are encouraged to discover new things, and to realize that some of our knowledge is superficial so we are challenged to a deeper knowledge and insight. St. Mary’s believes that all children may learn, although not all children learn in the same way. A key element of St. Mary’s classroom learning is differentiated instruction. All students receive the same quality of education allowing them to become educated in the course of a whole lifetime.
St. Mary’s believes that there are different ways of determining whether a student has mastered a body of knowledge. One way is to see what use a student can make of it. Forms of assessment need not be confined to the competitive practice of tests and examination but may include methods determining the individual student’s personal appropriation of the subject studied. Results need to be evaluated in terms of the student’s competence and not solely related to the achievement of other students. St. Mary’s aims to form critical thinkers who through the acquisition of organized knowledge and intellectual and moral skills may become true disciples of Christ and responsible and productive members of society.
St, Mary’s places great emphasis on academic achievement, but also on the formation of character. In this regard students are taught to understand and manage their emotions, to set and achieve positive goals with the support of their teachers, to feel and show care and concern for their neighbors, establish, and maintain positive relationships, and to make responsible decisions for the shaping of their lives and futures.