Frequently Asked Questions
These questions may be of particular interest to families that do not have prior experience of Catholic schools.
What does it mean to be a Catholic school?
Catholic schools like St Matthew Academy are different from other schools because they place Christ at the heart of everything that they do.
In some ways this is easy to see; we display crucifixes in our classrooms, have a Prayer Room on site and students attend Masses at various times throughout the year in addition to going to lessons. Religious Education is a core subject, which means that all of our students sit a GCSE in the subject.
However, being a Catholic school is about more than just the outward signs. We are committed to educating the whole person – not just helping pupils to get good grades, but to become the best people they can possibly be so that they can serve God or their community to their fullest once they leave us.
Can I come to St Matthew Academy if I’m not Catholic?
The Academy was founded primarily to educate Catholic young people living in the local Lewisham and Greenwich community. However, we are proud to educate pupils of other faiths and those of no faith in addition to our Catholic pupils. We believe that our Gospel values are relevant and important to everybody, regardless of their religious beliefs.
Do I have to take part in religious services if I’m not Catholic?
We expect that all members of our community will attend Masses, services and other religious events. However, if you are not Catholic, you are not expected to pray; we just ask that pupils reflect in silence and are respectful of others.
What are Gospel values?
The Gospel values are derived from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. While they are obviously very important to Catholics, we also believe that these values help everyone to be their best. The Gospel Values are:
· Faithfulness and Integrity
· Dignity and Compassion
· Humility and Gentleness
· Truth and Justice
· Forgiveness and Mercy
· Purity and Holiness
· Tolerance and Peace
· Service and Sacrifice