Last week, I shared with you the updated school mission statement which includes the phrase, “educating the whole child.” This phrase expresses something that has long been an important part of our community. In fact, I recently found a copy of the 1997 Press Gazette “School Snapshot” in which our school identified “educating the whole child” as one of our unique qualities. But this tradition stretches back far beyond 1997.
In 1977, a group from the Vatican clarified the mission of Catholic education in today’s society and gave guidance to school leaders. They emphasized educating the whole child.
“It must never be forgotten that the purpose of instruction at school is education, that is, the development of man from within, freeing him from that conditioning which would prevent him from becoming a fully integrated human being. The school must begin from the principle that its educational programme is intentionally directed to the growth of the whole person. (The Catholic School)”
So, what does educating the whole child mean? It means we strive to help each child to grow up well-rounded and fully developed. That while academic achievement is a premier focus of education, an equal value is placed on forming the spiritual, social, and emotional health of each child. Doing all of this well is a huge challenge, but our kids are worth it. Working as a community, we can foster an environment in which children grow up surrounded by adult role models who seek to educate the whole child.