Our Church School
Religious Education & Collective Worship
St Andrew's CE Junior School - Vision
Through experiences rooted in Christian Values, and through mutual Respect, we guide children to develop Compassion, Responsibility and Resilience in a caring environment
What is a Church of England School?
Before the government became involved with providing education for everyone in England- there were church schools and other charitable schools. The majority of church schools were built in the 1800's.
When the state became involved with providing mass education, church schools became integrated into the education provided by the state. All these schools are known as maintained schools - they are funded by the state. All maintained schools including the Church school have to teach Religious Education and hold a daily act of worship.
The purpose of a Church of England school is to offer a spiritual dimension to the lives of young people, within the traditions of the Church of England, in an increasingly secular world.
25% of primary schools in England have a Church foundation.
In the Derby Diocese there are 111 Church of England schools. The schools are supported by the Board of Education whose vision is deeply Christian, with Jesus' promise of 'life in all its fullness' at its heart.
The Church of England's vision for education is for the common good of the whole community:
Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills: enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life.
Educating for hope and aspiration: enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them.
Educating for community and living well together: a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.
Educating for dignity and respect: the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth.
What is being added by being a Church of England school?
Church schools have Christian beliefs and values at their heart. This means that every child and adult associated with the school is not just important because they are members of the school but because they are seen as unique individuals within God's creation.
Church schools recognise that as well as academic and emotional intelligence human beings also have spiritual intelligence. The spiritual aspects of life will be recognised, and nurtured alongside the academic and emotional needs of all.
Church schools are places where challenge through questioning is encouraged, as through this we can make sense of the world, the gift of life and the purpose of our own personal lives.
What differences should you notice?
As a pupil, parent, visitor or member of staff you should find that your church school is as good as any other good school but you should feel that the way the school works is different and distinctive. That distinctive difference will be rooted in Christian values that affect the way everyone is respected.
Church schools are encouraged to:
- ensure that the school is led by a headteacher who is committed, with the help of staff, to establish and maintain the Christian character of the school in its day to day activities and in the curriculum
- engage meaningfully in a variety of Christian worship every day
- offer a school life that incorporates the values of the Christian faith
- ensure that religious education is given at least 5% of school time and that the character and quality of religious education are a particular concern of the headteacher and the governing body
- observe the major Christian festivals and in schools which other faiths are present ensure that those faiths are able and encouraged to mark their major festivals with integrity
- maintain and develop an active and affirming relationship with a parish church
Links with St Andrew's Church
We have very close links and are well supported by our local church St Andrew's, Hadfield.
John Roberts, a St Andrew's Church Reader and lay minister, leads a weekly Collective Worship for pupils and staff. John was also a Foundation Governor at St Andrew's for many years. We are also well supported by the Priest-in-Charge, David Mundy who is a welcomed visitor to school and leads Collective Worship on a half-termly basis.
Seeing a pupil and community need, St Andrew's Church started the early morning Breakfast Club several years ago to support our pupils who may otherwise have missed their breakfast. Teams of volunteer church members served the pupils each day. Over the years, many thousands of our pupils have received a healthy breakfast. More recently, the Church asked if the School could begin to take over the running and leading of the Breakfast Club. This has enabled the original vision to meet the needs of our pupils to continue and grow.
Through our close links to St Andrew's, we were delighted to host a visit in June (2019) by the newly appointed Bishop of Derby, Libby Lane.
St Andrew's Church and the local Methodist church, supports and is well represented on our school Governing Body, and appoints three Foundation Governors.
The Church also encourages and supports the school in many other practical ways such as the use of the wonderful church building to perform our larger whole school performances and enjoy our Christian festivals and celebrations.
Collective Worship and the Law
Collective worship in community schools is grounded in the historical past and enshrined in educational law to be ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’. In Church schools the requirement is to reflect the Anglican status of the school as expressed in its trust deed. In the same way as worship in churches is aspirational, constantly evolving and being re-imagined there is an expectation of a continuous, dynamic reimagining of what collective worship means in the Church school.
Worship is collective in that it involves meeting, exploring, questioning, and responding to others and, for some, to God. In the Church school pupils, their families and other adults can expect to encounter worship that is inclusive of, and fully accessible to all.
Many pupils and staff in our schools will come from homes of different faith backgrounds as well as of no faith background. Moreover, many pupils will naturally be at different stages of their spiritual journey during their time in school.
Pupils should be given the opportunity to think and ask questions. There should be space to consent, and dissent: to participate and to stand back; and to consider. It is an expectation that care will be taken to ensure that the language used in Collective Worship avoids assuming faith in all those participating, listening and watching.
Collective worship should not be ‘done to’ but will involve meaningful contributions from the whole school community, including pupils. It is recognised that pupils will bring their own experience to worship. Inclusion requires pupil involvement in planning, leading and the evaluation of worship. Although part of a national legislative framework, collective worship in the Church school grows out of the local context and out of pupils’ experience, including their cultural backgrounds.
Parents, pupils and adults can expect to encounter worship that is consistently invitational. There should be no compulsion to ‘do anything’. Rather, worship should provide the opportunity to engage whilst allowing the freedom of those of different faiths and those who profess no religious faith to be present and to engage with integrity.
Collective Worship in Our School
Collective Worship place daily with each day varying in content:
Monday - Roots & Fruits Christian based resource which focuses on a different Value to explore each half term led by Mrs Cornwall.
Tuesday - Whole school singing assembly where a variety of non-secular songs from a variety of sources are shared. Termly Collective Worship Leaders assembly, organised entirely by themselves.
Wednesday - LYFTA assembly focuses on our Global neighbours and Christianity across the world/ Individual Class Collective Worship presented to the whole school
Thursday - Stories from the Old Testament - St Andrew's Church Lay Preacher/ Enterprise Day (twice yearly) linked to our sister school in Fort Usher.
Friday - Celebration Assembly. This is a celebration of our flourishing school and the week's achievements for both pupils and staff.
We have an enthusiastic team of about 70 Collective Worship Leaders from Years 4, 5 & 6. The children are led by a Year 6 pupil who coordinates the children for morning worship, preparation of the Worship table, leads weekly Collective Worship meetings and oversees and coordinates the content for an end of term whole school Collective Worship.
Pupils have the opportunity to reflect on their personal Collective Worship experience in a Reflection Journal and time is given for this on several occasions within each half term. Pupil voice sessions are also held where children have the opportunity to voice their opinions about the effectiveness and value of Collective Worship to them personally.
Promoting spirituality should not be confused with developing faith. Faith is a set of beliefs by which you live your life by and could be a response to a belief in God. Faith is something you choose whereas spirituality is an aspect of human development ‐ it is not separate but integral to who we are and what makes us whole. Spirituality is for everybody regardless of faith.
At St Andrew's, our children are given numerous opportunities to reflect and to 'withdraw inwards.' This can be through Collective Worship, at given moments during the day in class and before Religious Education is taught.
Our school aims to support children in making sense of themselves and the world around them. We aim to help them observe their own responses to different experiences. Our school believes that experiences, both in and out of school, are important to the development of all pupils. We will create frameworks that help them to consider big, sometimes overwhelming, concepts such as life, death, identity, war, environmental factors etc. but without necessarily offering answers. These opportunities come through the teaching and learning of our whole school global awareness curriculum particularly our values, Collective Worship, RE, PSHE, RSE, Science, Art, Music and English. Children will have exposure to spiritual experiences and conversations to know that it exists for everyone including adults.
Please see our Spirituality Policy below.