St. Michael's School
Phone: 01635 278 137 Email: stmichaels.uk @ fsspx.email
|Firstly, a few general announcements:
OFSTED BOARDING INSPECTION REPORT for 2015:
This 11 page report can be viewed in .pdf by clicking here.
Weekly and Monthly Mass schedules
can be found on the Chapel Addresses & Mass Times
page (or via the button in the column on left).
Items of variable news relating to the school including Term Dates are contained at the foot of the page - please click here
Donations to the School:
The School is able to reclaim money through the Gift Aid Scheme. You can donate with or without subscribing to the Gift Aid Scheme, and you can make regular or one off donations. A suitable self-explanatory two-page form can be downloaded by clicking here and here.
The school calendar:
A new copy of the school calendar for 2016-17
in .pdf format is now available. After viewing, please use your browser's back arrow if you wish to return to this web page.
The school's policies:
As of October 23rd 2015 this information was updated and a table of the policies can be viewed here
The school's four most recent newsletters:
To access a table containing a list of links to recent newsletters in .pdf format, please click here.
Prospectus for St. Michael's School
What is Catholic education? In this Prospectus we hope to lay out a blueprint of St. Michael's School to better view the ways and means used to realize the ideal of a Catholic education.
We must remember that success in this world can only be defined with reference to the next. Man was created to know, love and serve God. The one necessity in this life is that he saves his soul. If he suffers the loss of his soul, he has lost everything.
A truly Catholic education will help your children to save their souls. It will give them the tools they need to fulfil their duties here below. It will foster in them vocations to the priesthood and to religious life. It will enable them to become the leaders of tomorrow, strong Catholics who will lead their families, their communities, their industries and businesses, their countries and its laws back to the sweet and gentle reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is an education that will prepare them to resist the revolution which seeks to put man in the place of God. It is an education that will not only profit them here in this world but more importantly also for all eternity. It is an education committed to the restoration of all things in Christ.
We cannot overestimate the importance of a Catholic education. St. Michael's School is unique because of our commitment to the Church's concept of education. We understand that any discussion of education must be in reference to eternal values.
The following pages outline the values which make up the Catholic education offered at St. Michael's School. These are the values that we will give to your children.
Traditions of the Church
St. Michael's School seeks nothing other than what the Church has always sought and achieved in the education of young Catholics. We share the Church's desire to spread the Kingdom of God on earth. With loyalty and dedication, we are devoted to the command of Archbishop Lefebvre:
We have to build, while the others are demolishing. The crumbled citadels have to be rebuilt, the bastions of Faith have to be reconstructed; firstly the holy sacrifice of the Mass of all times, which forms saints; then our chapels, our monasteries, our large families, our enterprises faithful to the social politics of the Church, our politicians determined to make the politics of Jesus Christ - this is a whole tissue of Christian social life, Christian customs, Christian reflexes, which we have to restore.
Our founder's goals are also our goals.
Elements of a Catholic Education
According to the Catholic concept, the object of the school and of education is the formation of the perfect Christian. This means a balanced formation that has the perfection of the child in all spheres - spiritual, intellectual, moral, social and physical - as its goals. Since man is a creature of God in all these realities, every aspect must be subject to the motherly guidance of His Church.
The concept of Catholic education is admirably presented by Pope Pius XI:
Since education consists essentially in preparing man for what he must be and for what he must do here below, in order to attain the sublime end for which he was created, it is clear that there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man's last end, and that in the present order of Providence, since God has revealed Himself to us in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, who alone is "the way, the truth and the life," there can be no ideally perfect education which is not Christian education.
(Encyclical Divini Illius Magistri)
Reign of Christ the King
Since our ultimate goal is the forming of good Catholics, we draw our inspiration from the Church and her mission to teach all nations. Unlike modern man and his obsession with his own subjective feelings and rights, as Catholics we must seek the reign of Christ in all aspects of our lives.
As the education of the young people of today is the foundation of the Christian society of tomorrow, a society which must be fully subject to Our King, we must always remember the words of Psalm 126: "Unless the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it."
Our school finds in the traditional liturgy of the Church the privileged source of supernatural life and of solid piety. For this reason, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered daily in the Tridentine Rite. The Rosary is prayed each evening. Pupils have a regularly scheduled time for the Sacrament of Penance, but are encouraged to come to a priest at any time if they wish to go to Confession. In addition, other devotions such as Sunday Vespers and Benediction will prove conducive to fostering a greater love of God in the heart of the pupil.
All pupils receive Catholic instruction as part of the curriculum. This is given by Priests and Oblate Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X. Children are prepared for the reception of the Sacraments, the boys are taught to serve Mass and all pupils are taught to sing the hymns and the prayers of the Mass.
The curriculum of St. Michael's School is broad-based and balanced.
The Junior Curriculum lays the foundation upon which the pupil's advancement in later years will depend. The emphasis in these critical years is on skills in the English Language, Reading and Handwriting, Mathematics and Religious Education. Lessons in History, Science, Geography, Music, Art, Latin and PE complement the curriculum.
Our curriculum enables each of our pupils to meet or surpass the goals of the Key Stages 1-2 set by the National Curriculum in a Catholic environment which has man's true nature and end in view.
The Senior Curriculum is based on the following framework:
Religious Education is the most important subject a pupil studies and thus progress in the school will be determined, at least in part, by his application with regard to this subject. In addition to Religious Education, a wide range of subjects are taught, at G.C.S.E. level: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, History and Ecclesiastical Latin. Note that Geography, and Design & Technology, are not offered as examination subjects. Additional classes in PE and Music are offered, but Music is available only to Seniors 1,2 and 3 and is not a GCSE option. Although the school is not bound by the National Curriculum, its guidelines are followed insofar as they are helpful or practicable.
Homework is set daily and given emphasis as a means of consolidating class work and developing independent study.
Through formal, systematic, whole-class teaching, the pupils are expected to achieve a high academic standard. All subjects are taught in harmony with the Faith, for it impossible for faith and reason to be at variance with each other. The school aims to improve the child's powers of reasoning, which will preserve the intellect from error and enrich it with varied knowledge.
After completing GCSE's pupils may stay on at the school for A-Levels. The School offers A-Level courses in up to 5 subjects, depending upon the needs of the current GCSE students. Pupils wanting to study additional subjects should make arrangements with the Headmaster by April of the previous year to see if the school can offer these subjects.
Education is more than the mere imparting of facts, it also consists in the instilling of Virtues. Through the School's teaching, the example of teachers and fellow pupils and the Sacraments of the Church, the child learns the practice of virtue and that his Catholic Faith is an integral part of everyday life. Self control, good manners and disciplined behaviour are instilled with a view to developing the child's character and sense of moral responsibility. This is also enhanced by participating in the domestic organisation of the houses by keeping dormitories and classrooms clean and tidy under the supervision of prefects who are expected to set an example of good conduct. As a small school, we are able to create a family atmosphere in which the children are cared for in a friendly yet disciplined setting.
In its approach to discipline the school conforms to Catholic Tradition expressed by Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical Letter Divini Illius Magistri:
Disorderly inclinations must be corrected, good tendencies encouraged and regulated from tender childhood, and, above all, the mind must be enlightened and the will strengthened by supernatural truth and by the means of grace, without which it is impossible to attain the full and complete perfection of education intended by the Church, which Christ has endowed so richly with divine doctrine and with the Sacraments, the efficacious means of grace.
Man, by his nature and by the conditions of his existence is called to live in society. Thus, any true formation must take into account man as a social being. A good Catholic, "precisely because of his Catholic principles, makes the better citizen, attached to his country, and loyally submissive to constituted civil authority in every legitimate form of government." (Pius XI: Divini Illius Magistri)
The school endeavours to impart a social formation to the pupils that enables them to resist the exaggerated individualism of today. In truth, as Pius XI reminds us, children "enter into and become part of civil society, not directly by themselves, but through the family in which they were born." Thus, it is essential that the home and school work together, endeavouring to aid the development of good relations and associations with others and working to distance the child from those influences which may be un-Christian or corrupting. The importance of the home environment with regard to religious practice, order and discipline, entertainments, dress and music cannot be overemphasized. The media, especially the television, can cause considerable harm. All parents will therefore need to show their commitment to the school's policies on these matters as a necessary condition of obtaining/retaining a place for their child at the school.
Guiding the pupils carefully in their reading, spare-time activities and social contacts is the important responsibility of every parent and teacher:
More than ever nowadays an extended and careful vigilance is necessary, inasmuch as the dangers of moral and religious shipwreck are greater for inexperienced youth.. This necessary vigilance does not demand that young people be removed from the society in which they must live and save their souls, but that today more than ever, they should be forewarned and forearmed as Christians against the seductions and the errors of the world. (Pius XI: Divini Illius Magistri
Physical exercise and organised sports are seen as an essential part of education; they instil a sense of discipline, develop a child's co-ordination, serve as a means of expending energy in a constructive manner and are an aid to health. Although the school is small, it possesses a large gymnasium, which is designed to accommodate a variety of sports such as badminton, basketball, five-a-side football, netball and volleyball. When it is possible, matches are arranged with other schools.
The school also has a large sports field that can accommodate sports such as football, rugby, rounders, cricket, etc.
Vocations and Christian Families
The natural fruit of Catholic education is the flowering of Priestly and Religious vocations and the foundations of new Catholic families.
In this way, our school will fulfil a goal of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who prescribed in the Statutes of the Society that: Schools, truly free and unfettered, able to bestow on youth a thoroughly Christian education, shall be fostered and, if need be, founded by the members of the Society. From these will come vocations and Christian homes. (Statutes III, 4 )
St. Michael's School was founded in order to fulfil this sublime ideal.
St. Michael's School is owned and operated by the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, which is registered in Great Britain as charity no. 274695. The District Superior is Rev. Fr. Robert Brucciani whose contact information is below.
St. Michael's School accepts boys from Reception Year of Primary School through to A-levels. Please enquire of the Headmaster about admissions for girls. There are currently (2014-15) no senior girls. Our facilities are situated in the beautiful countryside of North Hampshire in the rural village of Burghclere, about four miles from Newbury, Berkshire.
Modern buildings were constructed and added to our facilities in 2004. These include the Collett Library, the Vigoureux Hall classroom wing, Archbishop Lefebvre Refectory and Kitchen, and Campion House, which is the Senior Boys' Dormitory.
We admit children of traditional Catholic families from the parishes and Mass centres of the Society of Saint Pius X. Admission is regardless of colour, national or ethnic origin. St. Michael's welcomes foreign pupils. Parents are encouraged to visit the school before enrolling boarders.
Infants and Juniors Pupils are admitted as Day Pupils only, but exceptions in the case of Junior Boys may be made at the discretion of the Headmaster. Senior Boys are admitted as either Day or Boarding Pupils. In the case of Junior Pupils whose families do not live close enough to commute daily to the School, the families will be encouraged to look for a host family near the School so that these pupils may be enrolled as Day Pupils.
Each pupil must be academically ready for the year for which he is applying. Applicants giving evidence of unusual learning, emotional, or behavioural difficulties cannot be accepted because of our limited facilities. A child is eligible for Reception Year in the school year he will turn five years old. For other years, a report from the former school is necessary. In doubtful cases, the school will give an admission examination to determine placement.
The tuition fees are outlined in the Fee Schedule which is available upon request. These fees must be paid on time and do not cover co-curricular activities such as field trips.
School Terms and Times
There are three terms per academic year, each usually lasting eleven or twelve weeks, with a one-week half-term break in the middle of each term. Pupils are required to attend school each day that it is in session. Holy days and special activities on feast days are part of the school calendar which the pupils must attend as they form an important part of their formation.
Classes finish earlier on Fridays, making it easier for parents to collect their children for those boarders who wish to go home for the weekend.
Administrative and Teaching Staff
St. Michael's School is staffed by qualified and dedicated teachers who share our vision. The staff is led by the Priests and Oblate Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X, who ensure the School's essential commitment to the Catholic Principles of education. The staff is complemented by competent and dedicated lay teachers.
The Priests and Oblates Sisters currently assigned to the school are:
Rev. Fr. Patrick Summers, Headmaster
Rev. Fr. Gary Holden, Housemaster
Rev. Fr. Lawrence Barrett
Sr. Mary Elizabeth
Sr. Mary Vincenta
Sr. Mary Ancilla
Sr. Marie Salome
The District Superior in Great Britain of the Society of St. Pius X is:
Rev. Fr. Robert Brucciani
St. George's House
125 Arthur Road
To enrol in St. Michael's School, or for more information, please contact:
Rev. Fr. Patrick Summers, Headmaster
St. Michael's School
e-mail: bursar.sms @ gmail.com
tel. (01635) 278137
Fax. (01635) 278601
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Links to the school's policies, last updated 23rd October 2015:
(Please use your browser's Back arrow if you wish to view more than one Policy).
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Links to the four most recent newletters: (Please use your browser's Back arrow if you wish to view more than one newsletter).
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Term dates 2016 (awaiting notification)