Our school is open to everyone, irrespective of religious background. However, we are a school founded and supported by the Church of England and that does have an impact in the way the school is resourced and operates.
Our children benefit from all the resources, support and advice available from Hertfordshire County Council and elsewhere. In addition, as a Church of England school, we are able to call on the strong support of the schools team of the Diocese of St Albans, who offer us curriculum services as well as assistance with improving our buildings and premises.
The parochial church councils of St Peter, Great Berkhamsted; Holy Trinity, Potten End; and St Michael and All Angels, Sunnyside, play an active part in the life of the school: they each appoint governors and members of their ministry teams share in the life of our school and lead acts of worship. We use St Peter’s Church in Berkhamsted to celebrate major festivals during the school year.
As a Church of England school, it is our aim to practise and uphold Christian values in all aspects of our work, with every individual being valued and respected in an atmosphere of mutual respect. We are keen to make the children aware of others who are less fortunate than themselves or come from different backgrounds, so we encourage them to take part in charitable activities. They embrace this enthusiastically.
All publicly funded schools in England are expected by law to provide a daily act of collective worship for all their pupils – regardless of whether or not they are a church school. In Church of England schools this daily act of worship must reflect the beliefs, traditions, values and practices of the Church of England.
Our daily act of worship plays a central role in our life and work. It offers important opportunities to strengthen our sense of community, belonging and inclusiveness and to reinforce the respect and care we have for each other. Our weekly themes provide an opportunity for everyone to reflect and share their thoughts and ideas with their friends, whilst our prayer calendar provides a focus for each day of the month.
Each day, we meet as a whole school, upper/lower key stage, year group or individual class. Worship is led by the headteacher, other teachers, local clergy or youth workers, pupils and visitors. In addition, we close our school day with a Dismissal Prayer.
Through our worship we make a significant contribution to the religious, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of those present. Every effort is made to ensure that the content of the worship is appropriate to the ages and family backgrounds of our children, which is achieved through their active role in the planning, delivery and evaluation.
Additional opportunities are available for whose want to explore their faith. This includes our weekly celebration of the Eucharist, which is held every Thursday lunchtime during term time. Everyone is welcome and, as we operate an ‘open table’ policy, may participate fully if they wish.
Religious Education is taught to all pupils as part of the basic curriculum, as required by law. Priority is given to teaching about Christianity, but also provides opportunities for the study of other major world religions.
Our Dismissal Prayer (during Ordinary Time)
at the end of this school day,
we thank you for all the blessings we have received.
Forgive us where we have failed others, ourselves and you.
Guide and protect us during the rest of this day,
and inspire us to make good choices when we return;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect for Thomas Coram (our school prayer)
you gave our patron, Thomas Coram,
a determination to help others and give children better life chances.
We ask that you would also:
guide us to love others as you love them,
and give us courage to make a difference in our own communities.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.