“If we are one in heart we can do ten times as much” – Don Bosco
Our Salesian College has at its heart:
- Optimism and enthusiasm for the gifts and potential of every person
- a family environment where everyone feels included and welcomed
- High expectations for the development of the whole person; academically, socially, spiritually.
- A life in balance between work, prayer, relationships and recreation
- active involvement in shaping society and the wider world
- regular occasions to celebrate success, creativity and significant times of change
- taking responsibility for our mistakes and weakness; always in a spirit of acceptance and forgiveness
These values have shaped our work in forming the hearts and minds of young people for over the last 100 years here in Chertsey.
Support of full-time chaplain
The role of the Chaplain is central in the vision and Mission Statement of the school: to support and develop the spiritual life, and the Salesian and Gospel values of the school community.
Fr Kevin O’Donnell is our College Chaplain and works closely with the Pastoral Team, the RE Department and other members of staff to facilitate many of the aspects of the college’s spiritual life – daily prayer, whole school Mass, CAFOD Youth Leadership, Social Justice and fundraising initiatives, annual retreats and more. He is a Roman Catholic priest and a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco Religious Congregation.
The Chaplaincy is a friendly place where all students and staff receive a warm welcome and space to be listened to.
We “develop faithful believers and good citizens” – Don Bosco
Being 16 to 19 years old is a crucial time for the growth and discovery of our gifts and qualities as a person. Study and aspiration play crucial roles in this journey. Equally, opportunities to work with and support others are essential to developing our human qualities; such as generosity, empathy, self-sacrifice, commitment, resilience.
As part of the Enrichment programme, we offer opportunities for working in the community; such as in a local primary school and some charitable organisations. We also receive many one-off activities which are sent to us from various projects which we support.
Going as a Lourdes Helper
Each year, at the end of the first week of the Summer Holidays, the local Diocese of Arundel and Brighton organise their annual pilgrimage to Lourdes in southern France. This has been a special place for pilgrimage for over 150 years, especially for those who are struggling because of illness, old age, disability or anxiety. It is an extraordinary place for making lifelong friendships and discovering even more strongly the deep presence of God in ourselves and others. We actively encourage as many of our students as possible to go on this pilgrimage as helpers. They go to support pilgrims to ensure that everyone, whatever their ability, can participate fully in the whole programme. The overwhelming response of those who go is that it is the most formative and meaningful experience of their time in 6th Form. Many students have recognised that this experience can support their aspirations for future studies; especially in the areas of medicine and social care. Equally, The Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme highly values this experience to fulfil the ‘residential’ aspect of the Gold Award.
CAFOD volunteer training
Each year, students can volunteer to become CAFOD YOUNG VOLUNTEERS. This involves 3 days, through the year, of workshops that help those students to develop the skills for communication, fundraising and working with others. These are excellent and well planned days that develop important life skills, and we are grateful for their active involvement in building up the awareness in our 6th Form of global social justice.
RAG day and other fundraising opportunities
“The school [is] not the end; it [is] rather the practical and safe space for developing the quality of living.” – Don Bosco
Through the year, there are many opportunities for our students to show initiative and support various charities that are active in developing our world and bringing justice to the poor and vulnerable. The main focus of any of charitable activities is to raise the awareness of the members of our College community to the challenges that others face and encourage them to take practical steps to reshape their own practices and help others.
Rag Day is a well established Salesian College tradition which captures many Salesian qualities: generosity and thinking of others before ourselves; cheerfulness; not taking ourselves too seriously; and showing real care and affection for each other.
As we move to the final days of Lent and look forward to Easter, this celebration reminds us of why we fast, give alms and pray more during Lent. We do these things to make us more open to the joy of the Spirit and open to love and care for others.