We are a Church of England School having been founded by the local parish. Details of our Christian Values - Love, Courage and Respect can be found on the Vision and Values page of our website.
Our Trust Deed, dated 1841, clarifies our Christian foundation:
Recognising its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church at parish and diocesan level. The school aims to serve its community by providing education of the highest quality within the context of Christian beliefs and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers all its pupils.
A copy of our most recent Church School inspection can be found on the statutory information page of this website.
Our children regularly visit local churches to worship and also to learn about how people worship there.
Our school choir are invited to sing at St Mary’s Church Michaelmas and Christmas Tree festivals each year. Choir members and their families are always warmly welcomed at the church. The choir are also invited to sing for the enjoyment of the wider community and has strong links to Northcott House care home where, when permitted, we sing weekly.
Our children lead a Christmas Service at St Mary’s' Church each year. These acts of worship include carols, both traditional and modern, readings, presentations and prayers. Children, staff and parents all attend the service.
The children also lead a whole school Easter service and Remembrance service at St Mary’s Church where all members of the wider community are invited.
Year 6 attend the Portsmouth Diocesan Leavers' Service at Portsmouth Cathedral each July. They also help our reverend to lead a Leavers' Service at St Mary’s' Church to which their parents are invited as well as the rest of the school and wider community.
Year 3 children are welcomed into the Portsmouth Diocese and enjoy a whole day of spirituality workshops at Portsmouth Cathedral. School governors work alongside school staff and the Portsmouth Diocesan Education Team to plan and deliver engaging activities for our children that explore the core elements of spirituality.
Our school spirituality garden opened in 2017 and was designed by our young governors. They based their design around four key areas – love for others, love for the self, the beauty in the world, and the beyond. They built into the garden features such as mirrors, windows, door arches and candle lanterns as signposts to aid them and their peers in their own spirituality development. Children are encouraged to use this area for quiet reflection and prayer. We also use the garden as a place to gather for informal worship, philosophical debate and drama re-enactments of key bible stories.
In all Church of England schools, collective worship reflects the traditions of the Church of England and develops learners' understanding of Anglican traditions and practice.
Our daily worship takes a variety of forms. On a Monday the whole school - staff and children - join together for worship led by the Headteacher. On Tuesday the children gather for Songs of Worship. On Wednesdays, whole school worship is led by a guest – clergy from St Mary’s Church or one of our school friends from other local Christian churches. On Thursday children gather for a class or year group led worship, which may take place in the Spirituality Garden. Friday is a Celebration Worship where the Christian school values and weekly theme are explored.
Our daily worship is planned around a weekly theme often focused on one of our core values. We usually explore one value per term whilst making continuous reference to all three. We reflect on the theme and think about how our Christian Values can help us to make positive life choices. The elements of spirituality are interwoven into each worship. While it is a Christian act of worship, we welcome children of Christian faith, other faiths and no faith to our worship and ensure it is planned to enable all children and staff to benefit without compromising their beliefs.
Collective worship in our school gives children and school staff the opportunity to:
- Engage in an act of community
- Express praise and thanksgiving to God
- Be still and reflect
- Explore the big questions of life and respond to national events
- Foster respect and deepen spiritual awareness
- Reflect on the character of God and on the teachings of Christ
- Affirm Christian values and attitudes
- Share each other's joys and challenges
- Celebrate special times in the Christian calendar