St John’s CS Prospectus

St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School Prospectus 2023/24

Welcome to St John’s Our mission is simple – to become the best school we can be, producing outstanding academic results “Excellence for All” and nurturing young people who will work to serve and lead others in society “Service to Others”. Our ethos and approach reflects the Catholic nature of our school and focuses on developing the whole person so that they fulfil their Godgiven potential. We aim to instil in all of our community, the importance of the gospel values and doing all we can to ensure that each interaction upholds “An outstanding Catholic School” Section 48 and models these values of love, mutual respect, tolerance, kindness and forgiveness (“Inspired by Christ”).

Our Vision In our Catholic School, the teachings of Christ permeate all aspects of School life. We pride ourselves in offering the highest standard of education to each individual while fostering excellent relations between staff, students and parents. We have a strong family ethos, where every pupil receives the very best care and guidance. Each person is recognised as a child of God, an individual who is encouraged to develop his or her full potential. By providing a wide range of exciting opportunities inside and outside the classroom, we prepare each student for future success and to positively contribute to society.

“Behaviour throughout the school is exemplary. It reflects outstanding pastoral care for all members of the community.” Section 48

A Smooth Transition We realise that the transition from Primary to Secondary Education can be a difficult and stressful time.

Our staff, wherever possible, are committed to visiting all primary schools to hold talks with pupils who are due to come to St John’s. We do this in surroundings that pupils are familiar with and allow them to make a connection to the school before their first day. The visiting member of staff will also speak to each pupil’s current teachers to gain a greater understanding of each child’s individual needs before they begin here at St John’s in September. In addition to the above, all pupils have the opportunity to come to St John’s for two transition days in July. They are given the timetable they will be following in September and have an opportunity to attend their lessons and meet their new teachers. We are confident that by having a smooth Transition between Primary and Secondary our students feel confident and inspired to succeed from the very start of their journey with us. “Our school is a great community. It is like a family here.” Ofsted

Providing Excellence for All St John’s has a broad and balanced curriculum, taught by dedicated and talented teachers who engage and inspire our students; a curriculum that provides challenge but also additional support when needed. St John’s students are part of a community that values every child regardless of their ability. Your child will be supported, guided and challenged throughout their schooling so that they can make the very most of their God-given abilities. “Principled and determined leadership underpins a culture of strong pastoral care and impressive academic standards.” Ofsted Our comprehensive and innovative Key Stage 3 curriculum provides students with wonderful learning experiences across a wide range of subjects. These learning experiences provide students with an excellent platform for Key Stage 4 study where students have the opportunity to specialise in their favoured subjects.

Going the Extra Mile At St John’s we focus on a strong core set of subjects with extra emphasis on English, Maths, Science and R.E. ensuring students have the very best start in life. To ensure each child achieves to the best of their abilities, our dedicated staff provide additional revision and teaching sessions throughout the year and in the school holidays. In an ever changing world we recognise the importance of making sure our students have opportunities to work with real businesses in order to play a more significant role in society’s social and economic development. Through personal, social, health and economic lessons, we teach students the knowledge, skills and qualities they will need to successfully embrace the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face in life. “Pupils behave very well at the school. They are kind and respectful towards each other and their teachers.” Ofsted

Inspired by Christ Something that sets St John’s apart from other schools is its Catholic ethos and clear emphasis on each person’s spiritual, moral, emotional and physical development. Students come here to grow, as well as to learn, and that principle shapes everything we do. As a Catholic school we: • Develop the spirituality, values and virtue of our young people. • Develop a sense of love, service and responsibility and the importance of family and society. • Provide an opportunity to know and believe in God. • Equip those who enjoy a faith for Christian life in the world.

We believe spiritual development requires a gentle and caring approach. We meet young people where they are and let them move at their own pace. We create a climate where they can be open and questioning. Our Chaplain is always available and, in turn, she is able to draw on a broad team of priests from the local parishes, to help support the sacramental life of the school. The spiritual life of the school includes prayer, liturgical and sacramental experiences and participation in the major events of the Church’s year. There are retreats (spiritually focused off-site events) that are provided each year, and we also create opportunities for spiritual expression through Art, Music, Dance and Drama to inspire our students. An important objective is to broaden each young person’s own ability to learn from the world around them and from life’s experiences. Our students have the opportunity to participate in fund-raising events for charitable causes that are most often chosen by the students themselves. Alongside the academic achievement of our students, we help them grow as human beings so that they are ready to enter into an adult life as generous-hearted and well-rounded people that are able to rise to life’s challenges.

Learning Beyond The Classroom We believe that education continues beyond the traditional school day. Our Extended Learning Programme opens the doors to wonderful experiences and opportunities that consolidate and further learning that has taken place in lessons. A wide range of lunch and afterschool clubs offer new experiences which enhance the skills and knowledge gained through our school’s curriculum. Having achieved ‘Healthy Schools’ and ‘The Gold Sports Mark Award’, we continue to actively encourage participation in a whole range of sporting activities and competitions. A wide range of trips are offered to support learning in a number of subjects. These include visits to theatres, galleries, museums and various educational organisations. Extended residential visits are also offered to further widen the educational experiences of students. These include visits to foreign countries, such as Italy, Tenerife, Germany and Poland as well as historical trips to Belgium and France to remember the fallen of World Wars 1 and 2.

Ofsted Extra-curricular Opportunities Our extra-curricular programme opens the doors to wider experiences and opportunities that enrich and engage students. Our students possess a wide variety of talents and skills and we endeavour to make sure that we provide every opportunity to embrace and nurture these talents. We are proud to offer our students a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities throughout the course of the academic year. These opportunities provide students with enriching and memorable experiences away from their academic studies, and offer students the chance to try something new, meet new friends and improve their well-being. These clubs include: • Art • Basketball • Chess • Computing • Cricket • Dance • Debate • Dodgeball • Drama • Fitness • Gymnastics • Jujitsu • Music • Netball • Photoshop • Reading • Rowing • Rugby • Science • Table Tennis “Pupils are proud of the school and they enjoy the wide range of clubs and other activities on offer.”

Growing in responsibility & Serving Others St John’s has a proud history of success with our Sixth Form, offering a broad range of courses, both academic and vocational, which cater for the varying needs, interests and aspirations of all of our students. In recent years, our students have achieved exceptional results which enabled them to progress to the next stage of their journey, whether that be university, apprenticeship or employment. The sixth form occupies a very special place at St. John’s. It reflects the ideals and ethos of the school and, for the students, it encourages their development from school pupil to young adult in the world of university, apprenticeship or employment. Within our nurturing environment, we pride ourselves on laying the foundations for students to move on to become successful, valued members of a thoughtful and caring community. We have a broad curriculum offer which enables each and every pupil to choose a personalised pathway. Alongside this, our excellent sixth form teaching and productive learning culture, provide the opportunity for every student to achieve highly and work towards an aspirational future. Our sixth form students act as role models to the rest of the school community. They support younger students both academically and pastorally, assist at key whole school events and play a lead role in charitable and fundraising events.

The Final Year Our ‘Leavers Mass’ event where we reflect on each student’s journey through St. John’s is a real highlight in every academic year. Based on our core values of “Excellence for All”, “Service to Others” and “Inspired by Christ”, our students have flourished and grown in their time with us. As a result of our excellent learning environment, community and spiritual life, they have developed into individuals who will rise to the exciting challenges ahead and can succeed in their next steps and aspirations, whilst always remaining part of the St John’s family. As each student’s time at St. John’s comes toward an end, we recognise, and celebrate with pride, the wonderful journey our students have made.

Contact Details St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School Rochester Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 2JW 01474 534718 If you are driving and using a sat nav - please use the postcode: DA12 2SY to arrive at the main school entrance in Rochester Road