Religious Life at Churchmead
Twice a week, students attend a school assembly which contains an act of Collective Worship. The SMSC theme of the week is planned for the academic year ahead. Each assembly is led by a member of staff, normally in the form of a presentation and students will lead in school prayer along with other readings. On all other days, there is worship for each Year group or House before lessons commence.
The Bible is used throughout all of our collective worships. Leaders use our thought for the week as starting point for worship.
Leaders will use their life experience and faith to create engaging worships that allow the whole school community to reflect and develop spiritually.
In addition, the following resources are used by leaders of worship:
Our Worship Committee compromising of students and staff meet once a term to review, discuss and plan the Religious Life of our school, and find ways to develop our Christian character. Various topics such as whole school worship, prayer spaces, school values, development of school prayer, charitable work and whole school projects are all part of the themes during each meeting.
Pupils have the opportunity to help develop worship at Churchmead school. Pupils can volunteer to become part of the worship committee. The committee help with leading worship and preparing the prayer for the week and helping our local parish church with services and events.
Helping during worship is not exclusive to the worship committee and all pupils are encouraged to help with collective worship during whole school worship, year worships and house group worships.
Staff Prayer meeting
Every Monday morning, the Headteacher hosts a staff prayer meeting in his office. This is a quiet time to reflect and pray for our staff, students, community and those in need.
Our new school chapel is in its final stages of completion and was recently consecrated by Bishop Alan and Father Darcy before we open the doors to all.
The Chapel represents the beating heart of the school and is a special place for smaller groups of worship. In Chapel we will pause from the rush of the hectic term: to listen, to reflect, to think, to broaden our perspectives from the inevitably inward focused and preoccupations of school life. Eyes and hearts are encouraged not only to look in, but to look out and up.
Chaplaincy in School
We are currently in the process of developing a Chaplaincy service here at Churchmead.
A Chaplain is there for all staff, students, parents, Governors and the wider community in which the school serves, regardless of an individual’s faith or belief.
The aim of a Chaplain is to:-
· Support the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of students and staff
· Offer opportunities to worship and to explore the Christian faith
· Find ways to encourage creativity, curiosity and ‘poetic imagination’ as ways to find what’s meaningful and spiritually rewarding in our lives
· Support those in established faith journeys to grow and develop their spiritual life
· Offer prayer and spiritual guidance to groups and individuals
· Support the school as a place where staff and students feel cared for and safe.
· Build a bridge between the school and church, and between the school and the wider community, including other denominations and faith communities
Through are weekly worship we introduce our students to the issues in the world we live in and encourage them always to take action against injustice through charitable works and ethical thinking. We often have guest speakers into the school to present at our collective worship on the deprivation not only around the world but also in our own communities.
Over the recent years we have supported the following projects and charities.
- Homelessness Project in Datchet
- Christian Aid
- Shoebox appeal
- Fair Trade chocolate (junior leaders)
- Red nose day
- Remembrance Day poppies
- Food Tins collection – SHOCC
- UNICEF Shoe share
- Young Minds
- Children in Need
- Arbor Day Foundation (Team Trees)
- Save The Children
- Toilet Twinning
The opportunity to support our local and wider community emphasizes and complement our core school values of courage, commitment and compassion. These have instilled in the students a generosity of spirit that has led to the raising hundreds of pounds for vital funds for a multitude of important charities. The enormous amount of money that our students have donated and many of these events were run by the students themselves.
Datchet St Mary’s Church
Churchmead has strong links with Datchet St Mary’s Church situated a stone’s throw away from the school and within the heart of the village. Fr. Darcy Chesterfield-Terry from the church is a School Governor and regular visitor to the school where he takes worship, meets with our students and assists in upholding our Christian beliefs.
Students visit St Mary’s to come together in an act of collective worship, including hymns, sermons, and opportunities to develop understanding of the Christian faith. We ensure that there is an opportunity go to church for important festivals and special occasions in the life of the school, such as Christmas Carol Services and Easter Service.
For further information on the Church, visit www.stmarysdatchet.org.uk or email Fr. Darcy at firstname.lastname@example.org
A link to the diocesan website https://www.oxford.anglican.org/schools/