The main reason for the existence of St Andrew's Academy is to provide a Catholic background to the general work of education. This is achieved for the most part by provision of a structured programme of religious education. Catholic teaching is also emphasised and reinforced throughout the curriculum especially in subjects such as Biology, Health and Social Education.
In St Andrew's Academy provision is made in the curriculum for two periods of Religious/Moral Education each week. While the syllabus is mainly in the hands of the teachers we have been invited to visit the school regularly to take an active role in what is being done. On occasions such as Holydays of Obligation the whole school attends Mass in the school theatre. There are also Masses in the school usually for class groups. During Lent, the pupils may attend daily Mass on a voluntary basis. There is ample opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Masses in the school are arranged to achieve the maximum participation of the pupils and, as far as possible, the theme of the Mass relates to their religious education programme. In this way it is hoped that your children will come to appreciate the Mass and the Sacraments as an essential part of their everyday lives. The Religious Education provision has been enhanced by the introduction of a new syllabus and the appointment of a Principal Teacher of Religious Education. In addition, a school committee is devising a Sex Education course in accordance with a framework for Sex Education provided by the Catholic Education Commission and this course is incorporated into the Religious Education programme in St Andrew's Academy. We have had many opportunities to discuss the programme with members of staff and to take part in its implementation. In addition, time is made available when we may talk informally to pupils and give support and guidance where necessary. Moreover, the School Oratory provides a centre for the spiritual life of the school. The Oratory also offers pupils and staff a holy place of prayer and meditation throughout the school day. St Andrew's Academy is blessed with staff who give religion a very high priority in their education programme. All of us are very aware of the daunting task you have in raising your children as committed practising Catholics. We see it as our role to give you every possible support and we are certain that with your cooperation we will succeed in achieving this aim.
With every blessing Father Stephen Baillie School Chaplain