Vision and Leadership
Provision: What do you do because of your Christian vision? (Actions taken):
Our Curriculum of Grace is designed with God at the centre
Impact: How do you know it is working?
Hard data demonstrates that outcomes are good. Soft data, including parental feedback and collective worship show that our children and through them, parents, have a good knowledge of how to have a relationship with God
We are developing developed a Curriculum of GRACE which ensures that God is the driving factor behind everything we do.
As a school we ensure that Christ is at the centre of everything we do. We do not practice ‘bolt-on’ Christianity. Each day starts with an act of collective worship
We take time to prioritize our ‘Big services’, harvest, Advent, Ash Wednesday and Easter and always invite parents and carers. We involve the children in the design and delivery of the service
Each class has a Christian value which is discussed thoroughly and work is completed on this value. These values are firmly rooted in bible verses which are clearly displayed. Similarly each class has a prayer corner and children are encouraged to actively prayer throughout the day. Last year during our ‘prayer spaces’ initiative we introduced the prayer hand which helps us to remember who and what to pray for.
We have an ‘Ethos team’ that represents the whole school which meets regularly and shapes prayer, and worship throughout the school. The children have a very real voice.
We are also fortunate to have God Squad which meets regularly and further explores faith
We have a faith team.
The Governors specifically appointed a TA with responsibility for RE who runs God squad and the Ethos committee.
We have a Faith advocate – school’s chaplain whose sole purpose is to bring God into the lives of our families.
Prayer – we have worked hard to develop a culture of prayer. We have tried to work with the children for them to understand that when we are still and quiet God can speak to us. We hold prayer spaces each year and involve the whole community, parents and Wellspring. We have prayer corners and prayer trees and at certain times of the year special prayer leaves. We use the prayer hands to diversify our approach to prayer. We pray at the start of meetings. We pray together as a staff when staff ask.
Wellspring – Wellspring is a priority of our school the children who attend here have Christian muscle but to develop further they need support from home. We have worked very hard to bring Christ into the families of previously non-church attenders.
In January 2019 we altered our admission arrangements to state that any children of a worshipping community would be eligible for a place in school
Fundraising is a big part of St Paul’s and we fundraise for many varied charities. We also hold coffee mornings and create shoe boxes and gather clothes for the prisoners and support the Young People at Coops. At Christmas we create bespoke hampers for parents and staff who are struggling and we also liaise with charities for food hampers for our hard pressed families. We also buy uniform, shoes, coats as required.
Vicar’s prize winner
All staff participate in the leadership of worship
We regularly discuss our Mission and vision at both Governors and staff meeting.
Staff well-being days
We prioritise sending staff on Church courses to ensure our vision remains constant eg CEPQH, aspiring to leadership in a church school, the diocese NQT course.
Headteacher attends Wellspring Visioning Day
The Christian faith can be genuinely communicated by all stakeholders.
Christ is at the centre of our school and this is clearly understood. Difficult decisions are taken but are taken in a Christ centred way. Eg During the re-structure we held a staff meeting led by the vicar’s based upon the theme ‘lament’ all staff worshipped together and cried together. Eg decisions over payment for dinner money and trips are carefully documented and discussed at FGB. Finally discussions over the support provided for children with EHCP children always revolves around our responsibility as Christian leaders. We ask ourselves – What would Jesus do?
The attendance at the services is excellent and brings families into Church who would not normally attend. This fulfils part of vision for mission. Eg. We have to issue tickets for the advent service as we have over 350 attendees.
We endeavor for the children to understand the difference between good people and Christian people and root our Christianity in the bible and prayer. We speak openly and lovingly about prayer and emphasise to the children that prayer can happen at any time and is a dialogue with God. We ask them to be still and listen. We use our ‘prayer hand’ as a guide for who and what to pray for. In connection with St James, we organized this year’s Trust Ethos Day.
The views of the children are respected, listened to and acted upon. Eg They wanted to write a drama play for Easter. The children actively shape worship within our school
We are growing and making disciples.
Despite financial hardship the Governors of our school have priortised faith and appointed a TA with specific duties centred around faith/RE. This TA always puts God first and ensures that God Squad and the Ethos Committee happen regularly and are their number one priority.
The faith advocate/school chaplain is a volunteer who works in school for 3 afternoons every week and is a real and tangible link with St. Paul’s PCC this ensures that school are always up to date on Church priorities and vice versa. Again the Faith Advocate always puts God first and has a single agenda item and isn’t trying to juggle attainment priorities. As a Faith team we can strategically plan how we can bring faith into the lives of our children and families. Together we plan worship, prayer spaces and special services for the year. The impact is we are organized and God centered in our approach
Our prayer priority helps to promote a personal relationship with God. For us prayer is central to our school and we try to model this to the children. Through prayer, God lets us know how to live our life and our visiting speakers, vicars and staff model this to the children. We encourage a personal response to prayer – hands up, hands down, holding hands etc
Our aim is to bring Christ to the families of our children in school. We want to target specifically non-church families and bring them to a relationship with God. Through Wellspring we mentor our parents and members of the community. ( Friday bible study morning) Church is a collection of people joining in faith not a building. Statistics demonstrate that we have at least 71 attendees at Wellspring which is more than Church attendance on a Sunday
Public statement about the development of worship in Wigan and our commitment to this process.
We fundraise for many good causes and the impact of this is to actively model to our children that part of being a Christian is to give to others either in time or financially.
We identify the traits which make you a good Christian and actively encourage everyone in school to emulate these traits. Every year we identify a child in year 5 who encapsulates these qualities and award them ‘The Vicar’s prize’. We the use this individual to promote being a Christian.
Quality resource which promotes Christianity and is another voice to bring Christ into the lives of our children. It is formally used to deliver Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 worship.
Distributive leadership in worship and evaluation models that all staff are Christians
In Governor’s meetings we make the link that we are doing this because it it part of our mission.
This ensures that our Christian Ethos is clearly defined.
SLT ensure that we live out the mission of our school, and are clearly visible to the community doing this.
All our decisions as a school are rooted in our Christian faith
Collective Worship and RE are the mainstays of our school
We have an organized Collective Worship timetable which ensures both variety and rigor.
RE is a priority subject, we monitor and evaluate this subject area in the same way as core subjects.
We use a variety of methods to capture learning in Re eg floor books
We share info at Governors meetings specifically about RE . The RE governor, currently Rev. Mark tables a regular comprehensive report.
RE and CW have a development plan which is closely monitored by the faith team and the Governors.
We work in partnership with the church to deliver Wellspring to bring worship opportunities to the whole family and all stakeholders. Some of our ex-pupils are now attending Wellspring and are becoming junior leaders.
Policies are reviewed on a very regular basis and since the last We work very hard to demonstrate our distinctive Christian faith
Ethos committee preparing assemblies, worship logs
Christianity in our impact statement for the curriculum
RE post holder attends regular traini
Alpha – taking God to High School delivered to our Y6 pupils – this was a conscious decision by the SLT as the majority of our pupils now transition to a non-church high school.
With the emphasis on British Values that has emerged in recent years, we revised our vision of having Christian Values linked to classes to include the linking of British Values to each class in addition to demonstrate how communities overlap and that we are all one community in Christ.
Governors have worked with school in the introduction of Prayer Spaces
RE and CW have action/development plans
We have a bible verse on the front of our SEF and SIP to reflect our true Christian character.
Worship is a quality experience which is delivered by different staff but providing a single message. We evaluate worship and tweak what isn’t working. We try very hard to engage the children and always tweet our Wednesday worship which is open to parents in an effort to entice them to attend.
We analyse the strengths and areas for improvement and then act on these in a timely fashion. We try to be open minded and use songs, plays, assemblies, worship opportunities, carol singing, advent productions, Easter productions to convey our love of God and strengthen our pupils’ knowledge of the bible.
We are held to account for standards in RE and areas which could be improved.
We have evaluated what we have done and know what we want to achieve and have a positive small step plan to achieve these outcomes.
Mission is central to the life of our school and we live this out through Wellspring. Staff model their faith openly in front of our children and families.
A very real impact of this was the way in which we wrote our Curriculum Impact Statement to reflect the distinct Christian Ethos of our School and to ensure that this was implicit in the way in which we teach all subject areas and in general the manner in which we conduct school life. Christ is at the centre of everything that we do.
RE and CW are central to our school and as such have development plans.
We are part of the LDST and have priortised this relationship above others.
We attend Diocese activities
We have very close links with St. Paul’s Church, transforming Wigan team and the hub.
We run Wellspring with the local Church and the HT and DHT sit on the steering committee and attend vision days for Wellspring.
Mr Hayes is a visiting preacher from the local Methodist church and he regularly preaches in school
CoEPQH – our deputy head teacher is attending the CoFE NPQH course rather than just a standard NPQH course.
Christian cathedral workshops are prioritized
Easter and Christmas experience at St. Paul’s Church
Rev. Mark completing lessons
We deliberately chose to be part of the LDST despite the fact that financially we would be slightly worse off because we want to be part of a Christian school initiative which puts Christ first. We wanted to clearly state our intent to support the LDST and everything that it stands for.
We actively support our Church as it travels through its journey as part of ‘transforming Wigan’ We worship in Church as a staff and have a yearly ‘staff’ service giving thanks for our stewardship as a staff member of a faith school.
We hold regular services in school for staff, the clergy provide emotional support for those suffering hardship.
This impacts hugely on the positive Christian ethos of our school. Everyone is involved and the themes of Easter are shared through various media and the Christian faith is openly celebrated. Key Stage two children make their exhibits at home which involve their parents. The Easter message is thus shared at home. The winners are then shared with the church community.
As a school we emphasise the importance of our distinct Christian nature and ensure our staff receive appropriate training.
Aspiring to leadership in a church school
New to a faith school course
All interviews for prospective staff include a faith panel to ensure that the incoming staff are aware of our Christian Mission and our expectation that they will support this.
All staff from the LDST schools came together for the Trust Inset Day.
We are fortunate enough to have very close links with our local Church and Vicar who holds regular sessions with their staff.
SMT staff are committed Christians and School is seen to prioritise faith. A deliberate choice was made to complete the Church of England NPQH. This ensures that future leaders will have a strong faith base. Thus there is active succession planning.
Teachers new to the school always complete the Staff new to a Church school for the above reasons.
We are part of the LDST so have taken the decision to come together as a group of Christian schools. We constantly visit other settings and learn from best practice. We regularly come together to celebrate Christ. Christian leadership is prioritized and at the Trust Inset day we had specific inset on Christian leadership and the importance of faith. Andy Woolf
HT meets with vicar as part of the leadership team of Wellspring
Feedback on RE, worship and our effectiveness as a church school is provided on a termly basis to the FGB
SIAMS SEF is updated once a term by RE lead/ HT/DHT – it is then circulated to school chaplain and vicar for comment.
The HT meets on a very regular basis to discuss the effectiveness and strategic direction of Wellspring coming back persistently to the vision ‘Building Community and Exploring Faith.’ Continuous feedback is taken from the attendees at Wellspring to improve the offer and make Christ relevant.
Up to date knowledge and understanding of our areas for improvement and then action plans can be established to ensure that this improvement happens.
This provides a more rounded opinion of us an effective Church School rather than one person presenting their opinion.
Visits to other places of Worship including the Jewish Museum in Manchester.
Visits from ministers of other faiths including Jewish leaders, Imams from Islam.
Visits from Korean Prayer Group – Christians but in a different context.
Posada – Posada travels from class to class – this is a South American Christian tradition which our children learn about
We have extended the curriculum and pupils have more detailed knowledge of other faiths.
Children have been exposed to different aspects of Christianity and different forms of prayer.
Integrate different faiths more closely with our Worship Calendar.
Ensure all policies are up to date and in line with LDST recommendations.