Our Religious Character
We will be registered as a school of religious designation within the Christian faith.
Currently, around one third (37%) of state-funded schools in England have a faith designation. Faith schools can either be maintained by the local authority, or operate outside of local authority control (in the case of academies and free schools). The vast majority of faith schools in England have a Christian faith designation.
This is a briefing paper produced for MPs on faith schools.
Underpinned by a Christian ethos, Hope Community School, Northfleet will:
· have an inclusive culture built on love and respect for all
· place spiritual development at the core of all we do, believing it to be fundamental to other areas of learning
· offer pastoral support through chaplaincy
· have local church partnerships and links in the area with other faiths through SACRE and local multi-faith forums
· promote Christian values through class teaching, a daily collective act of worship and reflective spaces
· include learning themes which are linked with Christian festivals
· offer opportunities for prayer; for the children to pray during Collective worship, before eating lunch, at other appropriate moments for reflection and for families to pray at regular prayer meetings
· use the Locally Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. For more information on our approach to the teaching of RE read here
The thread of Christian values and purpose for all people runs throughout the curriculum. We want to teach pupils that they have great worth and a place in the world. This will build confidence and raise aspirations to make the best of themselves and encourage them to look for the best in others who are valued equally regardless of their faith or religion.
Creationism, intelligent design and similar ideas will not be taught as valid scientific theories, we will ensure children of all faiths feel included and valued by being broad in our teaching of other faiths and religions.
We create space for children and the school community to explore their own personal beliefs and faith in a safe place where they can ask the big questions of life. This happens not only during the weekly RE lessons but in our regular collective times of worship.
Our Christian ethos is reflected in the values of the school, not in religious symbolism, uniform requirements, dietary expectations or other externals. For us, the Christian faith is best reflected in the values that shape the type of people our children grow up to be rather than what they look like.
Our school was set up for the community, the ethos is inclusive and respects personal beliefs. We recognize the diversity of the community in Northfleet and will emphasize inclusion and community cohesion. The school will be open to and work with people of all faiths and those of no faith.