Christian Life of the School
Church school distinctiveness and the Christian life of the school
We warmly welcome you to the Christ Church family. As a Church school, we value our distinctive ethos to which all members contribute. As a member of staff here, your presence and work will affect the ethos. We invite you to help us to continue to make our school a special place.
The head teacher, school leaders, governors and staff recognise that Christian values underpin our work here. These can be seen in the life of the school in the relationships between its stakeholders. These values, which incorporate Care, Honesty, Respect, Integrity, Sensitivity and Trust, are modelled to our children in our everyday behaviours and highlighted to the children in assemblies and further opportunities in and out of class.
How does our School show that it is a Church School?
Signs and displays
There are many outward signs. We clearly proclaim our connection with the Church of England and Christ Church.
Outside our school you can see:
Pictures which remind us of the life and teachings of Jesus and other biblical references. There are also signs of the church calendar at particular times of the year (use of liturgical colours, displays to celebrate festivals)
Worship and prayer
Worship and prayer are seen as central to what we do in Christ Church Primary School. There is a daily act of collective worship. This might be a whole school assembly, Key Stage Assembly or class assembly.
Themes for assembly are set by the Senior Leadership Team / RE Lead. Themes provide the opportunity for children to reflect, based on Christian values/dispositions. Christian values and Anglican elements form part of each assembly e.g. Lord's Prayer, prayer, blessing, song / hymn. The adult leading the assembly helps create a sense of occasion. This may be created through signs and symbols, a piece of music on entry, lighting a candle, use of the Assembly table in the hall or RE display area in the classroom (includes cross and school prayer.) Assemblies are carefully prepared to develop a given theme, spiritual development and promote respect for all.
Children know that assembly times are special. They enjoy assemblies and participate in them, asking and answering questions, bringing in items from home, sharing artwork or drama. Children contribute to the planning of assemblies eg for Friday assemblies, prayers. Assemblies provide the opportunity for staff / children to reflect quietly, and pray. Hymns / music are chosen to reflect the theme of the assembly. Opportunities are taken for worship at Christ Church, especially at Easter and Christmas. We invite parents to worship with us during (Friday) class and praise assemblies.
We want to encourage children to discover the power of prayer and time spent with God. We have time for prayer (during collective worship, before dinner time and at the end of the school day).
Relationship with the church
We belong to Christ Church. The vicars support the school by leading worship, teaching part of the curriculum, providing experiential learning opportunities, running Messy Church after school, and governorship.
We visit the church for a service during Christian festivals) and as part of the RE curriculum.
We enjoy links with the wider family of church schools via our participation in the diocesan football team, our attendance at the annual year six leavers’ service in the Cathedral.
Relationships in School
All these aspects of our school life are very important, but there are other aspects which as just as vital to our school but which are not as easy to portray. These include good relationships with an emphasis upon seeking and receiving forgiveness, welcome, and respect for integrity. Our behaviour policy states clearly how we regard children and how we endeavour to encourage them to adopt the best kind of behaviour for the wellbeing of the school community.
We want you to feel welcome in our school just as we would like all who come here to feel welcome. We make people feel welcome by (greeting them at the entrance, speaking to them, inviting them to school events).
All of the children are welcome here in the school whether they come from a Christian family, a family of a different faith, or a family with no particular faith background. The same is true of staff. We would like this to be a place where all can flourish and where children (and adults) have the opportunities to learn about the Christian faith, but to have the chance to practise their family faith without fear of prejudice or bullying.
As our children come from a wide variety of religious backgrounds, we like to respect them by having displays and artefacts that represent their traditions. In doing this we are recognizing that their faith is just as important to them as the Christian faith is to the life of the school.
We put spirituality at the heart of education recognizing that this is an essential feature of human life and experience. We proclaim the importance of the Christian faith as seen above, and provide opportunities for pupils to develop their ways of living. This is more than encouraging private and collective prayer and praise. It is also through nurturing a concern for others, e.g. compassion, service etc.