At St Wilfrid’s RC College we work in close partnership with parents and carers to nurture and develop the individual qualities of each child so that they may flourish and, to quote St Catherine of Siena, ‘set the world ablaze’ with their unique gifts and talents. Our vision for the formation of each and every child in our care is clear: we will support them every step of the way as they learn and grow in faith, becoming the best versions of themselves, living life to the full and, ultimately, benefiting society as a whole.
Our school is deeply rooted in the Catholic faith, with particular emphasis on the example set by St Wilfrid, the servant of God. Our House Saints are all named after prominent Northern Saints, the character of whom we hope our students aspire to emulate. Daily spiritual life at St Wilfrid’s is rooted in Gospel Values and the Cardinal and Theological Virtues. We celebrate ‘Vir-Tuesday’ weekly, focusing on a different virtue, encouraging our students to develop these habits and understand their greater purpose that brings strength and fulfilment.
Regardless of faith backgrounds, we engage all within our care with an opportunity for spiritual development and an understanding of the need to understand and appreciate diversity and difference. We hope all of our students feel comfortable attending our masses, liturgical services and other school events and we are committed to ensuring that nobody feels excluded.
We have our own school prayer that was written in November 2022 by St Wilfrid’s students. The prayer encompasses the vision encapsulated in our school motto: ‘Excellentia per fidem, per scientiam, per adiuvatum’ (Excellence through faith, learning and support):
Lord, you have given us incredible gifts,
talents and potential.
Guide us to always be the best versions of ourselves,
so that we make our world a better place.
Encourage us to celebrate our faith joyfully.
Inspire us to learn with gratitude and humour.
Help us to accept, respect and support each other.
May we take responsibility for our words and actions
and forgive the mistakes of others.
Bless each member of our school community.
There are many exciting opportunities for spiritual development at St Wilfrid’s. Daily worship occurs in tutor groups each morning and House assemblies take place once per week, beginning with a distinct liturgical prayer focus. We enjoy celebrating welcome masses, themed liturgies, carol services, stations of the cross and feast day celebrations. Our relationships education is rooted in Catholic teaching, using resources provided by Ten:Ten. Every Friday, students lead liturgy in their tutor groups, sourcing/writing prayer that unites their close-knit tutor group community in prayer towards a common good. We are delighted to offer opportunities for our students to participate in spiritual retreats at the Emmaus Youth Village, attend the annual Catholic Flame conference at Wembley Stadium and ‘God Camp’ (the Summer Festival) at the Emmaus Youth Village with the other Diocesan schools. Proud to be a member of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, we also have the privilege of contributing to whole-Trust events such as ‘Footsteps’ – a musical performed at Durham Cathedral.
As a Catholic school, we encourage our students to consider the vulnerable, disenfranchised and poor. Where possible, we ask students to support charitable events. This does not necessarily mean that we expect monetary contributions. In times of need, our students provide support and solidarity in a multitude of ways including support, time and prayer. We believe recognizing the challenges faced by others and showing empathy and care to be an integral part of humankind, following the example of Jesus’ ministry.
Finally, every single student at St Wilfrid is made in the image of God and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We promise to do our utmost to ensure that they thrive in our environment and truly can set the world ablaze by realizing their talents and flourishing as unique individuals, confident that they may be the people that God wants them to be.