Church links

The Distinctiveness of being a Church of England School

All children regardless of their faith or background are welcome to join our school. The purpose of a Church of England school is to provide children from the local area and beyond with a broad and balanced curriculum that offers a spiritual dimension to the lives of young people, within the traditions of the Church of England. 

Our theologically rooted Christian vision builds on the Church of England’s vision to educate for ‘life in all its fullness‘ (John 10:10) by placing emphasis on relationships and a teaching approach that values opportunities for children to lead happy healthy lifestyle in an environment that helps nourish their loving hearts and ignites their natural curiosity.


We have strong links with our local church, St John the Baptist. Our local vicar regularly visits the school and leads Collective Worship at the beginning of the week. Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter are all celebrated at church. These services are jointly planned and prepared with the local vicar. Parents and friends of the school are always invited and encouraged to attend and participate in these services.

Character development


Character building or character development is an important part of our curriculum and the opportunities we offer children. Thus recognises that each child is unique and has many aspects that make them who they are and not just their intellectual or academic abilities. This is because Jesus Christ valued the human qualities of the individual.


Our staff offer children many planned opportunities as part of the curriculum to develop children’s character, building resilience, determination, willingness, generosity, gratitude, appreciation, etc. This includes extra-curricular activities and teaching approaches that enable children to practise these aspects of their character. 

 

We also recognise that character building is not exclusively developed solely through curricular opportunities, but also through interactions with other human beings. This means all adults who work in our school are in the privileged position of shaping our children’s thoughts, values, virtues and attitudes by their own interactions.

Religious Education  


The purpose of Religious Education is to stimulate and develop children’s curiosity and knowledge of different religious beliefs so that they can hold informed conversations about religious ideas such as faith, worship, prayer, creation, God, the meaning of life and the relevance of religion on society and peoples’ lives. Children about and learn from different religious beliefs and never in a way that encourages children to judge or place greater value on one religious faith over another. 

 

Children build their knowledge of religious ideas through inquiry, debate, asking questions, making connections, exploring religious artefacts, discussing sources of beliefs and examining religious texts so that they can talk about the similarities between the major world faiths including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.


Children build an in-depth knowledge of Christianity through the themes of God and creation, the fall, the people of God, incarnation, Gospel, salvation and the Kingdom of God and make links with other faiths.

 

Questions those who are interested in religion ask include:

 

 

Religious Education is important because it provides pupils with the knowledge and insight needed to challenge stereotypes, promote cohesion, tackle extremism and ponder the big questions in life such as where have we come from, what is the meaning of life and is there something beyond our worldly existence?


Our RE curriculum has been carefully designed. It is primarily is based on the Essex Agreed Syllabus and enhanced to ensure children at this school receive the full RE entitlement outlined in the Church of England's :  A Statement of Entitlement, 2019 . You can see our RE curriculum on our curriculum page.

Collective Worship 


We dedicate part of the day called Assembly in which Collective Worship takes place. Collective worship is the unique heartbeat of a Church school and is offered as part of a wider opportunity for pupils and adults to encounter faith by engaging in conversations about God, both as individuals and together. This is a special and sacred time of the day where we come together as a community to thank, celebrate and receive wisdom and inspiration of some kind. It is an opportunity for children to consider spiritual and moral issues and explore their own beliefs.  


Worship may find expression in many different forms: in music, song, dance, drama, in words of praise, in prayers, readings and teachings, in listening, in thoughtful silence, in meditation, in contemplation of symbols, in the service the lighting of a candle and other symbolic actions. 


Community


We recognise the importance of engaging and interacting with people and organisations around us, not only because it has positive spin offs for the education of our children and the reputation of the school, it also helps us to operate and function more effectively. It is important that our children also recognise this too not only on a local scale but a global scale. This involves being courageous advocates and ambassadors for the school.

 

We have links with the local library, a local author, the church and participate in a number of events such as the annual horticultural show.