"Delivery of excellence in Catholic Education for our children with the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ at its heart"
The Catholic Life of the School
BGN is a Roman Catholic School which aims to be an extension of the Christian home to help parents bring up their children in the Christian tradition. Our religious ethos can be found across the whole school curriculum and first and foremost in RE.
Religious Education, as a subject, is taught throughout the school and all students are entered for public examinations (either OCR GCSE or Edexcel Extended Project Level 2) at Key Stage 4. In addition, the school has an excellent record of achievement at AS and A2 Level Religious Studies where it is studied as “Theology and Philosophy”. At Post 16 we follow the Edexcel Level 3 Award in the Extended Project which has a distinctive religious focus, examining the Catholic Church’s teaching on various ethical issues.
Religious Education is based on Scripture, Doctrine, Liturgy and Life Experience as the means whereby we discover how best to “love God and love our neighbour”. The aim is to help each person to deepen his/her awareness of Christ and His Church, thereby developing an ever maturing realisation of his/her vocation. Parents are encouraged to discuss the religious educational progress of their children with the Head of RE, Miss Rachel Smith, or with the individual RE teacher concerned.
Spiritual development of students does not begin and end in RE lessons, but is integral to the whole school and so we offer a range of religious experiences outside the curriculum. There are residential retreats to Alton Castle and Soli House in Staffordshire, as well as the yearly Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. There are also day retreats in school and visits to places of historical and religious interest, for example Harvington Hall.
We celebrate mass as a school community at the beginning of the year and on the Church’s named Holy Days. The School Carol Service takes place at St John’s Church, Banbury. As a School Community we attempt to reach out not only to the parish but also to the local community, holding a party for Senior Citizens every Christmas and supporting local and national charities e.g. Father Hudson’s Homes, CAFOD, Shelter, and LEPRA. Every other year pupils take the Passion Play ‘Born for This’ out into the local parishes and perform it for our partnership primary schools, enabling us all to reflect more deeply on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The Pope has said that parents are the first and best educators of their children and this is particularly so in the field of Sex and Relationships Education. In school we endeavour to support the work of the home and ensure that sex education is firmly situated within the teaching of the Catholic Church. Further information about Sex and Relationships Education at BGN may be found under the RE Department webpage.
Prayer of the Teacher
This is a modernization of the prayer that the Christian Brothers prayed before school each day some time after 1850. Although some mistakenly attribute the origin of the prayer to De La Salle, Brother Gerard Rummery, FSC, a Lasallian scholar, notes it has its genesis in the eighteenth century Traité des Étudesby Charles Rollin. The prayer echoes the spirituality of St. John Baptist de La Salle, who was proclaimed by the Catholic church on May 15, 1950, to be the Patron Saint of Teachers.
You, O Lord,
are my strength, my patience, my light, and my counsel.
It is you who touch the hearts of the children entrusted to my care.
Abandon me not to myself for one moment.
For my own guidance and that of my students,
grant me the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and piety,
the spirit of a holy fear of you and an ardent zeal to procure your glory.
I unite my efforts to those of Jesus Christ, and I beg the Most Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph, the Guardian Angels, and Saint John Baptist de La Salle to protect me this day in the performance of my duties. Amen.
Please see our pdf below which features responses from Year 7 students to the question "What makes BGN a faith community?"