What is a Church of England School?
Our school started life in the crypt of our parish church, King Charles The Martyr, some 300 years ago and since then has moved a few times within our town before it opened it’s doors in what was the old girls’ school here on our current site. King Charles, as a church school for our town, started 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, like ours, were built in the 1800’s.
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.
What is being added by being a Church of England school?
At King Charles, we have Christian beliefs and values at the heart of all we do. This means that every child and adult associated with our school is not just important because they are members of the school but because they are seen as unique individuals within God’s creation.
As a church school we 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 who work and play within our school community.
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.
We see a core purpose for our school is bringing the church, the teachings of Christ and Christian beliefs and values to our school.
What differences should you notice ?
As a pupil, parent, visitor or member of staff you should find that a church school is as good as any other good school but you should feel that the way the school works is different and distinctive. At King Charles, this is something we pride ourselves on and we know that the distinctive difference is rooted in our 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 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