Praying

Praying together

We have strong Christian values and that underpin our school ethos. We teach the children about the virtues we wish to develop in our children.

Our teaching and reflection times focus on developing our individual capacity to love, respect and empathise with one another. We think carefully about and celebrate the lives we have and the good fortune that we experience every day.

We reflect on the wonder of our world around us, the wider environment and other living creatures. We spend time thinking about the impact we have on this world and how we can be good citizens and take responsibility for our own actions.

We come together for collective worship twice a day and children take an active part in our prayers and reflection times. The Clergy lead two of our assemblies a week and are involved in planning for the spiritual development of our children.

We welcome families from our community with other faiths and learn much from them.

Our religious education scheme of work focuses on the stories of Jesus and his life in Key Stage 1 and the Early Years. In addition to this children learn about key festivals and stories from other faiths.

In Key Stage 2 the children continue to embed their knowledge of the Bible and the Christian teachings. In addition to this they learn about another world faith in detail each year and make comparisons across the faiths in their final year with us in Year 6.

Clergy

Two Parishes, four churches serve our two schools

Christ Church and Holy Trinity Schools are blessed with very supportive clergy who support the staff, children and families pastorally.  The clergy maintain regular contact with the schools, taking assemblies, services and engaging in class events, as well as serving on the Governing Body. It is a close and wholly positive relationship.

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Christ Church Clergy

Holy Trinity Clergy

Thinking of others

As Christian schools it is very important to us that we develop children’s ability to empathise with others and not always put their own needs and wishes before those of others.

A child who thinks of others :

  • shows tolerance for people being different in their beliefs, culture, appearance and background
  • tries to understand the reasons why people behave as they do rather than immediately judging them
  • attempts to speak to others and about others in ways that do not hurt feelings or cause offense

Our code of conduct for behaviour is based on developing children’s ability to evaluate their own thoughts, words and actions. This is something that will not just happen for most children it needs to be given time through our personal and social education and through assembly times.

There are many ways in which we try to instil in our children a sense of their own responsibility towards others. Developing these skills is challenging and involves a multi layered approach. The old adage “charity begins at home” is a good one. Children at Christ Church are very much part of a close community where a sense of belonging is important. Belonging brings with it responsibility towards others.

We encourage children to think what their own needs are and reflect on whether these would be the same for everybody. What are core needs? What should we expect from adults and children around us?

Themes in assembly often pertain to ideas of tolerance and understanding of difference. In assembly we look at ways in which we can contribute to the positive ethos of the school.

Another aspect of the assembly themes are looking at national and international news and current  affairs with the aim of creating a sense of identity with and belonging to a wider communities.

We regularly organise fundraising events and activities to support specific charities and national events.

Spiritual Development

10 steps to nurturing your child’s spirituality

  1. Read to your child every day. Stories feed the imagination, especially those such as fairy tales, which are about good and evil, courage and weakness, in an imaginary place or a mythical time. Bible stories, particularly those from the Old Testament, are great stories in themselves about what it is to be human as well as creating a knowledge base for future faith development.
  2. Share times of quiet – whether it be listening to a story tape, going for a walk, lighting a candle for someone in church or simply watching the ants.
  3. Keep in touch with larger communities like the family, school and church. When we kneel to receive Holy Communion together we learn that we all matter equally in the presence of God.
  4. The best toys for encouraging the imagination are a large cardboard box or a blank piece of paper and a pencil.
  5. Play is important for both adults and children. It helps repair the broken and worn out pieces of life. The word recreation means creating again.
  6. Singing, especially with someone else, gives voice to joys and sorrows and forges relationships.This is why singing together at football matches and community sing songs bind people together
  7. Teach your child to pray. One way is to make it a part of the bedtime ritual. A story followed by a quiet cuddle can be used to reflect on something good to thank God for. A problem can also be shared with God. It may be a time to say sorry to each other for an upset during the day. Or it may be the best treat of all – a time of comfortable silence ending with a kiss goodnight.
  8. Listen to your child and show that you recognise his or her feelings are important – in turn they will learn to listen to yours.
  9. Show that relationships matter and everyone’s dignity should be respected whatever their age and whoever they are. This is fundamental to Jesus’ teaching that we should love our neighbour as ourselves.
  10. When you make mistakes – and every parent does – reflect on it and admit your mistake or blunder to your child and say sorry. The very fact of recognising and owning up to our faults can be immensely healing and a valuable learning experience for all concerned. This healing is what the
    Bible calls redemption.

RE Teaching

Awe and Wonder

Useful RE Links

Here is a list of sites which for Key stages 1 and 2, which give children a chance to interact in a fun and informative way.  We recommend these sites as we feel they give children and adults alike to have a deeper understanding of other faiths.

Our Parish site can be accessed via the quick links to the right of this page.

www.reonline.org.uk
http://bibleforchildren.org
http://www.reonline.org.uk
http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk
Christian celebrations throughout the year
www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk
Learn about  the Jewish faith
Learn about the Muslim faith
Christian Organisations

www.christian-aid.org.uk
www.england.anglican.org

If you know of any RE websites that we could add to this list, please email Judith Kelly

Faith

Other Faiths or No Faith

Our schools are Christian and many children therefore are from a Christian background. There are a wide range of Christian denominations represented in both schools. We also very much value the children who attend our school whose family has another faith or a no faithbackground.
The rich mix of beliefs, languages, backgrounds and cultures is of great enefit to all our children. It ensures children learn tolerance and respect for people across their community.Christian values underpin both schools and the pursuit of developing Christian virtues is at the heart of all we do.We intend for these to resonate for all our children no matter their faith position.

Our core virtues are:

  • Forgiveness
  • Patience
  • Wisdom
  • Peace
  • Love
  • Justice
  • Generosity
  • Friendship

We have two times of collective worship a day and it is very overtly shared with the children that this is a time for peace and reflection and prayer for those who wish to.

Our Prayer Book

Prayers for Easter

This is our school,
Let peace dwell here,
Let the rooms be full of
contentment,
Let love abide here,
Love of one another,
Love of mankind,
Love of life itself,
And love of God.
Let us remember,
That as many hands build a house,
So many hearts make a school.
Amen

Concerts and Services

Both Christ Church and Holy Trinity Schools have regular special events and services, many of which are related to the Christian Calendar.

We post the Service sheets and concert programmes here for you to have a look at throughout theyear.

Please do try to come to as many of these special events as you can the dates for these are in the Key dates for the year part of the website.

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SIAMS Inspections

As voluntary aided Church of England schools we are duly inspected under Section 48 of the Education Act 2005. The Statutory Inspection of Anglican, Methodist and ecumenical Schools provides a process for evaluating the extent to which church schools are “distinctively and recognisably Christian institutions”.
SIAMS inspection focuses on the impact of the Church school’s Christian vision on pupils and adults. This involves looking at the school’s Christian vision, the provision the school makes because of this vision and how effective this provision is in enabling all pupils to flourish. Church schools will employ a variety of strategies and styles appropriate to, and reflective of, their particular context in order to be distinctively and effectively Christian in their character and ethos. SIAMS inspectors therefore do not look for a set template of what a Church school should be like, but rather take the particular context of the school into account and base their evaluation on the outcomes rather than the process.

The Evaluation Schedule has one inspection question: how effective is the school’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels, in enabling pupils and adults to flourish?

This is explored through seven strands:

  • Vision and Leadership
  • Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
  • Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
  • Community and Living Well Together
  • Dignity and Respect
  • The impact of collective worship
  • The effectiveness of religious education

Both schools have been judged as Outstanding.

Comments from parents made during the inspection about the schools:

“The focus is on the children’s wellbeing and making every child feel important and included.”

“The incredible staff and the outstanding support given on all levels.”

“Both my children have a good understanding of Christian principle.”

“Nurturing environment and a respect for all types of faith ….an extension of one’s family.”

“The children are exposed to different religions, ethnicity and disability on a daily basis, which breeds acceptance and tolerance.”

“The children are encouraged to develop academically, but also to be kind and understanding of themselves and each other.”

“The children are definitely valued at school, and the school has strong Christian values.”

“The Clergy are a huge part of the school and much loved by the children.”

“The school follows the Christian ethos with interesting weekly clergy assemblies and fantastic assemblies at Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day and Easter Passion services. This helps with the understanding of Christian values.”

“The strong Christian values ensure that my child is safe in his daily environment to be exactly as he is with respect for others and their individuality.”

“The sense of community emanates from every aspect of the school. The strong Christian values underpinning all activities, provides an excellent moral framework within which the pupils thrive.”

Church of England Link

Assemblies

A daily focus

Assemblies are a very important part of the school day and are a time for groups of children or the whole school and all the staff, to come together. They play an important part in fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness in our schools.

Assemblies reinforce the ethos of the schools, their values and mission. They allow us to develop a sense of who we are. This is what we stand for. We’re all in this together.We all belong to something with a common purpose.

Assemblies nearly always include an act of worship. There is a half termly theme for them which most assemblies will be linked to.

All assemblies are in the hall except Special Mentions Assembly which is in the Church.

The different kinds of weekly assemblies that children will experience are:

  • Clergy Assembly led by a member of the Clergy
  • Key Stage Assembly led by a member of the Leadership Team
  • Whole School Assembly Led by a Member of the Leadership Team
  • Music Assembly led by Mr Dollard or Mr Morley
  • Class Assembly led by Class Teachers
  • Special Mentions Assembly led by Mrs Hawkins

The content of assemblies is planned by Mrs Hawkins in consultation with the Clergy and the aim is that there will be synergy between the Clergy Assembly and Key Stage Assemblies. Every half term it is a different overriding theme that emerges as being appropriate for the time, it may be explicitly religious or have a moral underpinning. Assemblies will also aim to take account of world and local
issues and events.

Special Mentions Assembly

Special Mentions Assembly is a really important part of the week when the children come together in church to celebrate their learning. Two children from each class receive a certificate if they are ”Student of the Week” and most weeks a class will share some of their learning with the rest of the school.

Parents and carers are most welcome to attend the Special Mentions at Holy Trinity or Christ Church School.

The Christ Church Special Mentions is on Fridays at 9.10am in Christ Church Church and Holy Trinity Special Mentions is on Fridays at 2.30pm in Holy Trinity Church.