At St Luke’s we want every member of our community to thrive and grow with the knowledge, skills, and wellbeing to live full, enriched and rewarding lives in modern Britain with an understanding of others and local and wider communities. So that everyone has the opportunity to live life in all its fullness it is our responsibility to teach the children how to live.
In addition to gaining academic skills and knowledge in a broad curriculum, children will build confidence, develop self-reliance, learn to make decisions and develop the ability to articulate feelings, ideas and their developing spirituality. This is supported through our Learning Behaviours: Taking Risks, Being Inquisitive, Making Links, Resilience, Co-operating, Reflecting and our Behaviour Code: Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Polite, Be Responsible.
The Church of England has always been concerned with education and the history of Church Schools began when the National Society for the Promotion of Education was founded in 1811.
Long before the government became involved in providing education for everyone in our country, the Church of England had a vision that it wanted every parish to have a school for the education of poor children. By 1900, there were 5,700 state-funded schools and 14,000 schools funded by the Church of England. Today, approximately a quarter of all primary schools have a Church of England foundation, through which they strive to provide the highest standard of education possible, in partnership with the state.
Church Schools are therefore part of the Church's outreach to their local communities and from the earliest days, the purpose of Church Schools has been to enable children to flourish by providing a basic education and by developing their moral character. It was always intended that Church Schools should be open to all of the children of the parish.
Our school is not a ‘faith school’ in the sense of presuming that children are practising Christians or attempting to make converts of them. The ethos of the school is based on distinctive principles of Christianity and children will be invited to experience faith through collective worship and links with the Parish Church. Religious Education in Church Schools will always include teaching about other faiths and we follow the same syllabus for RE as non-Church Schools in Essex.
The Church of England's vision for education is deeply Christian, with Jesus' promise of 'life in all its fullness' at its heart. In line with the Church of England's role as the established Church, our vision is for the common good of the whole community.
Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills: enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life.
Educating for hope and aspiration: enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them.
Educating for community and living well together: a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.
Educating for dignity and respect: the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth.
The mission of the Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Education is to:
Our priorities are to resource and equip schools, colleges and parishes to:
Church schools 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 also 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 of England schools are places where questioning of belief and non-belief is encouraged as we all try to make sense of the world, the gift of life and the purpose of our own personal lives. Although we live in an increasingly secular society, the values of our country have their roots in the Christian faith. Church schools continue to celebrate this as an aspect of the heritage which enables us to be successful places of learning for children of all faiths and none.
As a pupil, parent, visitor or member of staff you should find our Church school is as good as any other good school but you should feel that the way in which the school works is different and distinctive. That distinctive difference will be rooted in Christian values that affect the way everyone behaves and in the way everyone is respected. Around the school, there will be signs and symbols which reflect the Christian heritage on which the school is built. There are also areas for reflection which contain school both prayers and activities many that the children have created themselves. Additionally, there is a much greater emphasis on links with the local parish church than would usually be the case in a non-Church school. However, none of the above should be taken as indicators that Christian beliefs are being enforced. They are ways in which we encourage an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promote Christian values through the experience that they offer all pupils.