At St Nicholas’, Religious Education is a core subject, undertaken by all students, which follows diocesan guidelines in Key Stage 3, with a GSCE qualification in KS4. In Sixth Form, Spiritual and Religious Education (SRE) supports the students in the mature development of their faith and moral identity and is accompanied by opportunities for service within the school community.
Students share in daily prayers and reflection with tutors during morning form time, and with senior staff or the chaplain during assemblies. Prayers and reflections respond to the liturgical season or other important events during the year, encouraging students to recognise how their faith is informed and matured through the life of the Church or by considering issues such as democracy, charity or remembrance. Assemblies take place each week during form time, and additional assemblies are organised to mark special events, such as St Nicholas day, Advent or Holy Week.
A voluntary Mass is celebrated every week and forms participate in their own Mass on a rota basis. Whole-school masses are celebrated on important holy days, whilst special masses for the wider school community are celebrated to mark events such as the new school year, or for year 11/13 leavers. In all liturgical events, the school is supported by local parish priests.
Retreat days take place each year for Year’s 7, 8 and 9. In Year 10, students attend a two day retreat, which provides an opportunity, in a number of creative and reflective ways, to explore faith and related issues, so as to encourage positive personal development and a sense of community.
The chapel is open throughout the school day for prayer and reflection. Morning prayer or meditation is celebrated most mornings. The Chaplain invites all students to the school chapel, on a number of occasions, to celebrate the liturgical year or to take part in reflective lessons and prayer opportunities.
All charitable work is closely tied into the message of the gospel and is accompanied by prayer and celebration. There is a pattern of responding to local and international tragedies through personal prayer and shared prayer activities. Events such as Remembrance Day or Holocaust Memorial Day are celebrated throughout the school.