As a Catholic school we believe that as a family we should journey together through good times and bad. We also believe that young people need to grow in a caring environment which allows us to make mistakes and learn from these experiences in a culture of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 18
Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’
This vision is shared by the whole STM community and is the reason the school has such low exclusion figures compared to national. However as a community we always insist on high traditional standards in behaviour, uniform, manners and attitudes to learning – see Attitude to Learning (Behaviour) Policy.
The Damascus Room
Internal Exclusion serves as a serious school sanction directly below a Fixed Term Exclusion. Internal Exclusion is used as a sanction to prevent students from engaging with the school community but without this impacting on their academic learning.
The Damascus room is a space for our students to reflect on their attitudes and work with the Pastoral Team on how they can manage their behaviour and feelings next time. It is a provision which offers guidance, support, empathy and close monitoring. After a period of time the students re-join their classes but will continued to be monitored and supported by a report card.
The Damascus day starts at 8.35am when the student will be welcomed and collected from reception. The day ends at 4pm. When possible the Damascus room is also available to other local schools as an internal exclusion provision.
On the road to Damascus Acts 7
As he journeyed he came near Damascus and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
And he said ‘Who are You, Lord?’
In an instant Paul’s point of view changed. Even though Paul was blinded by the light, for the first time he could really see.
‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’
Walking the Right Path
'Walking the Right Path' walking group is an extension of this support by allowing students the opportunity:
- To break the cycle of negative attitudes to learning
- To promote a healthy mind and body
- To create an atmosphere of awe and wonder
- For space to build and strengthen relationships
- For time to reflect and set individual goals.
Each term a group of different students are taken to a place of natural beauty for a walk, space to think and to reflect.