St Helen's Catholic Primary School

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St Helen’s Catholic Primary School

Life At A Catholic School

Ask yourself this question - Have you ever considered a Catholic school for your child, but been put off because of other peoples’ ideas of what they are like? If so, you aren’t alone and you’d be surprised at how much Catholic school life at St Helen’s differs from those ideas!


In this article we will bust some myths and take you through what life is really like in a Catholic school, and more specifically St Helen’s, to offer you a peek into your child’s education and school life.



Catholic School Life In Barnsley


What are the core values of a Catholic school?

St Helen's school teaches its pupils in an inclusive and respectful environment in which they develop values necessary for them to participate fully in society. Our curriculum and ethos are based on love, care and respect.


Do Catholic schools only accept Catholic children?

Definitely not. It is important to note that Catholic schools give initial priority to Catholic children, but do accept children from families who come from a wide range of faith backgrounds. You may be surprised to know that 70% of children in our school are of other faiths or none. Overall, nearly a quarter of a million non-Catholics attend Catholic schools and are known for their support of other religions as they integrate into communities.


Do Catholic schools teach the National Curriculum?

The National Curriculum, as taught in all Catholic schools, involves everything you'd expect in a traditional school. We aim to provide our children with the most complete academic education, alongside helping them to grow as individuals.


We make sure our curriculum is broad and balanced, so students at all key stages get what they need spiritually, morally, culturally, and socially.


We make sure that our students' education is rooted in our core values. Our curriculum aims to develop young people who are informed, confident, and capable of contributing to the world.


Is Religious Education the main thing you teach?

Like any school, St Helen’s teaches R.E., as this is part of the wider curriculum. Our R.E. curriculum follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, but also teaches about other faiths so that children have a good understanding of the world they live in. This helps our children become well-rounded members of the community and society as a whole, through respect and support for others.


Is prayer a regular thing?

Daily prayer is something that we take pride in and is done as a way to thank those people who care for us, but it is in no way compulsory for the children. Prayer is an important part of our daily lives and is a chance for children to reflect on their day, be thankful and ask for help when they, or someone else, might need it.


Do you have to be Catholic to teach in a Catholic school?

Catholic schools support and value teaching as an important role, regardless of background or beliefs. Our staff are fully qualified teachers and could teach in any primary school, regardless of its faith-based foundations.


Everyone who joins St Helen’s joins a family, where everyone is special and treated as an individual, a school that does everything rooted in love, care and respect - what’s not to like about that?



More Than Meets The Eye


Just like in the points above, no Catholic school falls into the expectations that people have, and St Helen’s is no different. Catholic school life in Barnsley has more to it than you think!


Our school is welcoming to all and, because of its smaller size, has a genuine family feel - where everyone knows everyone. We strive to ensure that our children develop as well-rounded and confident individuals, therefore we aim to help them grow through their studies, and also as people. St Helen’s does this by teaching them the benefits of being unique and having special qualities that help them to stand out in the world.


Through teachings on charity, St Helen’s helps your children to understand that there are other people who are less fortunate and to find ways to help people in need. The key lesson here is how to be tolerant and forgiving, to be loving, kind and helpful, in a way that enables them to grow into the best adults they can be.


To learn more about how St Helen’s supports your child and their growth into incredible members of society, please contact us to discuss a visit, or take a look at our Admissions page!

One family, growing together in love and faith, flourishing in an ever-changing world. We love, we believe, we shine, we achieve.