Welcome from the Chair
In March 2015, something amazing happened to Catholic education in North Warwickshire. St Benedict’s Primary in Atherstone and St Francis Primary in Bedworth joined St Anne’s Primary, Our Lady and St Joseph Primary and St Thomas More Secondary School in Nuneaton. Together they formed the Holy Spirit Multi-Academy Company and so began an amazing journey.
One of the first things the MAC agreed was what became known as The Holy Spirit Experience which set out the education that every child and young person would receive from the age of three in the nursery to the age of eighteen in the sixth form. The Holy Spirit Experience described all the things beyond the national curriculum that make up a truly wonderful Catholic education for every single pupil irrespective of age or background. We agreed six pillars that would underpin everything a child and young person would experience – Catholic Life; Charities and Social Action; Residential Experience; Sporting Opportunities; Cultural Experiences; Vocations, Journeys and Destinations. Overall we made over 100 commitments to deliver experiences for every pupil that they would receive many times over as they progressed through the MAC as small children in the nursery to young men and women leaving the sixth form fifteen years later.
As the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The pupils responded brilliantly and loved the new opportunities many of them were experiencing for the first time whether that was a residential experience in the UK or abroad, a new sport or activity or a visit to a place of historic or cultural interest. Interestingly, the area that many responded to with the greatest passion was Charities and Social Action. The generosity of the pupils in reaching out to those in need was incredible. Through foodbank donations, support for the homeless shelter and generosity to numerous charities the pupils demonstrated faith in action in a really remarkable way. It was as if the Holy Spirit was truly at work in preparing us for what was to come.
In March 2020, the pandemic struck and the whole world experienced something nobody had ever imagined. Very quickly we became used to a new language of lockdowns, social distancing, PPE and learning bubbles. Online learning took on a new meaning as most pupils had to stay at home for four months. And yet despite the world being turned upside down the Holy Spirit MAC rose to the challenge. We knew what to do and The Holy Spirit Experience paved the way. The staff across the MAC responded magnificently. Families in need received regular food parcels, every pupil had a laptop and staff were in touch on a daily basis. High quality learning continued albeit in a new and very different way. Ofsted visited in September to assess the damage done to pupils’ learning. They were astonished to discover they had flourished during lockdown and declared themselves ‘humbled’ by what they saw.
Today the Holy Spirit MAC has transformed Catholic education in North Warwickshire. Parents are clamouring for places for their children in both primary and secondary schools. Contrary to the national teacher shortage we are contacted constantly by staff who wish to join us. We hope our website gives you an insight into the way we work and a glimpse of the passion we have to serve the children and young people in our care. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more. We would love to hear from you.