Our school as a Church of England school
We have strong links with our local churches St Mary’s and St Nicholas, which are situated in Lavant Village.
Our pupils, staff, parents and governors attend church at key points throughout the year, to participate in services run by the clergy, pupils or a combination of both. Children enjoy going to church and worshipping together.
The Church buildings are also used to enhance our curriculum teaching, including visits to enact a ceremony in RE or historical enquiries.
We are privileged to welcome number of visitors into school each week to join in with, or lead collective worship and other activities. Mrs Frances Talbot, Lavant Church Youth Worker, leads our Church Assemblies on a weekly basis and pupils from Bishop Luffa School lead us in our collective worship fortnightly on a Monday. We also welcome volunteers from Chichester Baptist Church every other week who lead our ‘Open the Book’ sessions. These sessions not only enable children to access the wealth of wonderful stories contained within the Old and New Testament, but forge bonds between the pupils and often older members of the community.
Pupils talk confidently about Christianity, their beliefs or those of others in a well-considered and accepting way. They understand people worship in different ways or not at all. Through worship, pupils can reflect on their own behaviour and that of others and make links with stories to real life situations and our values. Children are challenged to ask and suggest answers to big questions and share thoughts about what if………….? They understand that there is often no right or wrong answer, but that faith is something personal that develops as time goes on. Pupils understand the significance of prayer in collective worship, being able to contribute to the wording, whilst those who chose not to join in, respect the needs of others and still reflect on the content.
Foundation governors (nominated by the diocese) are also fundamental in planning and evaluating the school’s programme of collective worship, resulting in a balanced programme that follows the Christian calendar, focusses on the schools’ core values, as well as responding to current local and national issues or initiatives. Our parents report children talk about collective worship at home – sharing key messages and reflecting on stories and values.
Ensuring Christian distinctiveness
The Senior Leadership Team and Foundation team work in partnership with the local church, ensuring there is an ongoing process to evaluate the effectiveness of the school as a church school. A recent increase in visits from members of local churches has already resulted in greater opportunity for pupils to reflect on their faith and hear about the faith of others from a more personal viewpoint. When initiating or reviewing key policies and practices, focus groups are instigated, often including members of the church community. This ensures that the distinctive Christian ethos is maintained and further developed.
Promoting and nurturing resolute Christian values
The school’s Christian values are consistently understood and clearly articulated by all members of the school community. They are visible around our school and sustain and guide our school community, with pupils demonstrating them consistently and describing the impact that the values have on our everyday lives. They contribute to our nurturing ethos and form the basis of our behaviour policy.
Messy Church is run monthly and is well attended by our pupils and families. Over the autumn term these session were held in our school hall but from January 23 they will be moving to the newly refurbished St Nicholas Church building.
The RE subject leader is an experienced teacher across a range of age groups and provides consistency in the teaching of RE across the school. Lessons are progressive, develop understanding from simple similarities and differences at the beginning of key Stage 1, to a deeper understanding and questioning, with personal response by the end of KS2.
Training in the teaching of RE and networking with colleagues in other schools, ensures that we are well informed about current thinking and initiatives.
Pupils develop a good understanding of Christianity – exploring key elements of the Christian faith and other faiths beyond just their festivals and special events, taught in such a way as to explore similarities and differences between them and Christian faith.