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Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social Teaching at St Nicholas Catholic Primary School

Catholic Social Teaching is our moral compass, guiding us on how to live out our faith in the world. Our faith calls us to love God and to love our neighbours in every situation, especially our sisters and brothers living in poverty. Following in the footsteps of Christ, we hope to make present in our unjust and broken world, the justice, love and peace of God. 

By blending Catholic Social teaching through our curriculum our children gladly embrace their personal responsibility to care for our common home, pursue the common good and serve those in need.  Below outlines some of the ways in which we do this.


Dignity of the Human Person

God made each of us, so every life is important and should be protected. 

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you (Jeremiah 1:5)

Catholic Social Teaching believes that human beings, created in the image and likeness of God.  This means that God is present in each and every one of us, regardless of race, origin, sex, orientation, culture, or economic standing.  Catholic Social Teaching emphasises that we must see within each other a reflection of God and we must honour and respect this dignity as a divine gift.

 What We Do At St Nicholas:

  • We 'Live' our School's Vision and mission statement (Living and Learning in Spirit and in Truth);
  • We welcome those who have had to leave their country due to war;
  • We celebrate special days;
  • We teach about other faiths;
  • We pray for those in need;
  • We celebrate different nationalities and cultures;
  • Mental Health Awareness Days;


Solidarity and the Common Good

God made everyone, so we are all brothers and sisters in God's family wherever we live.

You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person.  You are handing over to them what is theirs. (Saint Ambrose 340-397)

"Pursuit of the Common good is one of the ways in which Catholics practice solidarity: the common good is not just shared with those nearest to us, or even with all those in our own society; it is a universal principle, which fosters the unity of the whole human family" (Catechism of the Catholic Church - CCC, paragraph 1911).  In practising it, Catholics are called to have particular care for the weak and vulnerable, because they are our neighbours in a pre-eminent way.  (Luke 10:25-37)

What We Do At ST Nicholas:

We support CAFOD and charities such as the British Heart Foundation and Hospiscare

  • We organise charity events eg: Reindeer Run to raise money for Hospiscare
  • We use pupil premium funding to pay for a Family Support Worker;
  • We pray for our community at every Mass, or liturgy;
  • We write to politicians and leaders; 


Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

God wants us to help people who are poor, don't have enough food, a safe place to live and don't belong to a community.

The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted.  He has sent me ... to let the oppressed go free.       (Luke 4:18)

The option for the poor reminds us of God's preferential love for the poorest and most vulnerable people.  God's love is universal; he does not side with oppressors but loves the humble.

 What We Do At St Nicholas:

  • We try to 'Make a Difference' to everyone in need;
  • Give to Charity - the homeless;
  • Pray for those in need;
  • Organise 'Theme' days to raise awareness and money;
  • We do not judge others;
  • Monitor all children to ensure they have the same opportunities;
  • Offer support to vulnerable parents / families;
  • Everyone is welcome.


The Dignity of Work

Work is important in God's plan and their families, so jobs and pay should be fair.

Work is fundamental to the dignity of the person.          (Pope Francis)

Catholic Social Teaching holds that work is dignified and an intrinsic good, and workers must always be respected and valued.  Work must be undertaken responsible, and labour treated well, this includes how we approach the work we do, what it is we do with our work and how employers treat their employees.  Jesus speaks a lot about work, while must of this is in parables, we shouldn't restrict interpretations of these parables to be only spiritual ones. 

What We Do At St Nicholas:

  • Thank staff and show our appreciation;
  • Be polite and attentive to special guests and visitors;
  • Say each other's names when we greet each other;
  • Supporting staff through training;
  • Encourage past pupils to return for work experience / or to just visit us;
  • Support staff members going through challenging times through prayer and actions;
  • Treat everyone in our school as family;
  • Invite visitors in to speak about careers.



God created our wonderful world.  We should take care of all creation.

We are stewards, not masters of our Earth.  Each of us has a personal responsibility to care for the precious gift of God's creation.         

 (Pope Francis)

Respect for human life means respecting all of God's creation.  We must re-engage with our environment and take responsibility for it; live sustainably, live so that there are enough resources for everyone.   

Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.      (Pope Francis)

 What We Do At St Nicholas

  • We try to recycle as much as we can at school and home;
  • We give up our time to litter pick around the school;
  • We commit curriculum time to learn how we can contribute to a sustainable world and reduce the impact of climate change.
  • We regularly revisit the papal encyclical ‘Laudato Si’, reminding our children that they each play a part in looking after our world.
  • We help one another;
  • We put litter in the bin;
  • We have an Earth Day showing appreciation for God's world;
  • We have 'walking to school' days.
  • We have visitors in from companies such as South West Water, to see what we can do in our local community.


Family and Community 

God made us to be part of communities, families and countries so all people can share and help each other.  

Those who say they love God must love their brothers and sisters.     (John    3)

The human person is not only sacred but social.  Every person has a right to work to support themselves and their families as well as building up of the common good of all. 

What We Do At St Nicholas:

  • We are all one big family and we look after each other and care for each other;
  • We support not only our children, but our families;
  • We have close links with our Parish and share Masses;
  • We help in our local community;
  • We visit residents in local care homes and give them handmade cards and letter and sing to them.


Rights and Responsibilities 

God wants us to help make sure everyone is safe and healthy and can have a good life.

Open your mouth to speak on behalf of those in need.     (Proverbs 31)

Every person has a fundamental right to life.  It is this right that makes all other rights possible.  Everyone has the right to food, health care, housing, education and employment.  We all need to strive to protect these rights for others both locally and globally. 

What We Do At St Nicholas:

  • Try to make the right choices;
  • Try to make sure that we don't take more than our fair share;
  • Help those who do not have food to eat and homes to live in;
  • Share what we have with others.
  • Have pupil voice groups such as our school council