For the third successive year staff from Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School and Newman Catholic College came together at the start of the spring term for a day of high quality reflection and debate. This year the conference was held at Newman Catholic College in Harlesden, NW10. The theme of the day was ‘Faith in Action’.
Both schools have been in partnership for the last four years; staff welcome the opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. The day was opened by Bishop John Sherrington who concluded his eloquent address with a homework question which asked: ‘How do you build this global vision and a civilization of love which provides the learning environment which enables each student to discover equality with the other and that diversity is valuable and a gift?’
During the course of the day staff chose four of 17 varied workshop presentations that ranged from ‘Social Justice and the Common Good’ to ‘Bereavement Counselling’ and ‘Overcoming Disadvantage in Schools’. JP Morrison, Direction of Education, delivered the day’s valedictory comments and reminded the assembled audience of nearly 200 teachers and support staff that ‘children are the priority, challenge is the realty and collaboration is the strategy’.
In addition to the high quality learning on offer a number of charity organisations, including Caritas, For Jimmy and Sufra Food Bank, were also in attendance. As well as informing attendees about their work, they were also able to take part in the dialogue and add to the general ethos of the day.
There is an acknowledgement from both institutions that, as well as ensuring that our students achieve the best possible educational outcomes, Catholic schools must place the concept of faith in action at the centre of their work. Daniel Coyle, Head teacher of Newman Catholic College, said: ‘We are delighted that for the third year colleagues from these two fabulous schools were able to join together to share and discuss ideas about the true meaning of Catholic education in an inner city context. We look forward to many years of collaboration which will enhance and enlighten the work that we do on a daily basis.’