Being a Church School
Being a church school means that every day there is a meaningful act of Christian worship either in the school hall or in the classrooms where children come together as a whole school, a key stage or a class to observe the traditions of The Church of England.
As a church school we have Christian beliefs and values at our heart. As a church school we recognise that as well as academic and emotional intelligence human beings also have spiritual intelligence. At St Barnabas the spiritual aspects of life are recognised, and nurtured alongside the academic and emotional needs of all.
There are 4,644 Church of England schools and 200 church schools in Wales. Church schools are supported by their local Diocesan Board of Education. The Church of England has always been concerned with education in many forms and the history of Church schools began when the National Society for the Promotion of Education was founded in 1811.
Church schools in numbers
- Approximately 1 million children attend Church of England schools.
- About 15 million people alive today went to a Church of England school.
- A quarter of primary schools and over 200 secondary schools are Church of England.
- With 250 sponsored and over 650 converter academies, the Church is the biggest sponsor of academies in England.
- Over 500 independent schools declare themselves to be Church of England in ethos.
- Across the country, Church of England clergy dedicate a million hours every year to working with children and young people in schools, often providing holiday and after-school activities.
- There are 22,500 Foundation Governors in Church schools recruited, trained and supported by dioceses.
- Each diocese runs a Diocesan Board of Education supporting Church schools, which represents an annual investment of over £15 million.
There are around 2,000 VC schools, of which all but 20 are primary schools. VC schools are 'managed' by the local authority (LA) whilst maintaining their distinctive characteristics.
The key characteristics of a VC school are:
- The LA employs the staff, but they are appointed by the governors
- The LA is responsible for admissions arrangements.
- The LA can advise the governing body; the diocesan director of education (DDE) may be given the same opportunity to advise.
- RE taught is the LA agreed syllabus and worship reflects the Anglican tradition
- No one group of governors is in a majority. Church or Foundation governors are in a minority.
Our school family is a strong, vibrant Christian community, with a mission to inspire a love of God, each other and learning. This helps us all grow in faith, wisdom and compassion. Once ‘rooted in love’ we flourish: living fruitfully, branching out and sharing God’s love in St Barnabas and beyond.
Within God’s love, we will support and encourage one another to grow and flourish.
Nurture, Grow, Flourish
Jesus said: ‘Love each other as I have loved you’. John 15:12
Religious Education is taught in accordance with The Wiltshire Agreed Syllabus for RE. As a Church of England School, in each year there is a focus on Christianity plus the opportunity for pupils to learn and evaluate their own views on other world religions. RE enables pupils to appreciate their own and others' beliefs and cultures, helping them to develop a clear understanding of the significance of religion in their own area as well as in the world today.
RE intends to promote religious understanding and respect, and to challenge prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping.
It is concerned with the promotion of each pupil's-self-worth, enabling them to reflect on their uniqueness as human beings, to share their feelings and emotions with others and to appreciate the importance of forming and maintaining positive relationships.
We strongly believe that the purpose of RE is about religious literacy. This means we aim for children to be able to hold a balanced and well-informed conversation about religion and belief. In order to fulfil this purpose we provide a balance of theology, philosophy and human/social sciences within our RE lessons.