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Otterbourne C.E. Primary School

Excellence for All in Every Way

Being a Church School

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.


The trust deeds for Otterbourne School says.
      
              " a School for the instruction of children only of the labouring manufacturing and
               other poorer classes in the parish of Otterbourne."


 There were two requirements, the first to teach Christianity through "Religious Instruction" and the second to hold a regular act of worship.

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. So church schools work on the same basis as community schools.

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 Portsmouth and Winchester Diocese there are over 30,000 children being educated in a Church of England school.

What is being added by being a Church of England school?

Church school 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.

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.

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.

An Opinion Research Survey in 2008 showed:-
  • 79% agree that church school help young people develop a sense of right and wrong
  • 75% think that church schools help young people grow into responsible members of society
  • 78% agree that church schools promote good behaviour and positive attitudes
  • 85% agree that church schools have a caring approach to students.

What else?

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 real act 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

This information is adapted from a leaflet available from Portsmouth and Winchester Diocesan Board of Education.
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