Religious Education/Worship in our School
'Learning God's Way'
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. John 15:5
Our Vision: St Mary’s is a special place with a unique sense of family and community, where we live according to Jesus’ teachings. Christian values are at the heart of everything we do. Everyone is included. We care for the whole child and the extended school family spiritually, mentally and physically.
As a Church of England School, we follow a program of study titled 'Understanding Christianity' and the Herefordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. We believe that Religious Education is as important as every other area of the curriculum. It enables children to learn about and to learn from faiths. It prepares them for life by offering them religious literacy.
At the Foundation and Key Stage 1 the children are taught Christianity and Judaism. When they enter Key Stage 2, they are introduced to other faiths such as Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam, as well as Christianity. Each class is taught Religious Education on a weekly basis with the time increasing as they enter Key Stage 2. Classes use members of the local community such as our Vicar, as well as visits to a Hindu Mandir and a Sikh Gurdwara to further enrich and enhance the teaching of this subject.
Also as a Church School, we recognize that Worship is an important, valued and special part of everyday school life. We hold Whole School Acts of Worship and all classes hold a 'Prayer Worship' that is open to friends and family each half term.Children pray regularly throughout the day (morning, lunch and end of day). They are also given regular opportunities to write their own prayers and share them with others.
St. Mary's Church is our local Church, and Revd. Rana James, who is the Vicar of St. Mary's Church, is also the School's Chaplain. Together with our dedicated staff, Rana guides and steers the Spiritual Life of all pupils at St Marys. Her responsibilities include advising on collective worships, held regularly at the school and weekly school assemblies. As the school’s link with our local church, Rana encourages pupils to interact and get involved with external events and activities, helping pupils to develop social and community responsibility.
Our school chaplain plays a vital part in ensuring that our pupils make positive contributions to their lives, our school and their community.
Padre Martyn also ministers to the school when possible.
Members of a team from two of the local churches , St Mary's Credenhill & St Michael and All Angels, Mansel Lacy come into School each Tuesday morning to conduct an Act of Worship. This involves presenting Bible stories to the whole school. The stories have been re-written in such a way that a number of voices are used portraying the different characters in the story.
Some of the children volunteer to play the parts of the characters. Each child that volunteers is given a sticker which says 'I helped with Open the Book'
The children know each of the team by name and are keen to volunteer to take part, given the opportunity.
Open the Book operates widely across the Country with teams from local Churches. It is very much appreciated by children & those staff who are present.
Our most recent Church Inspection[2014’] resulted in a Good Grade and the Inspector made the following comments about our school:
“Good quality relationships between staff and pupils lead to excellent pastoral care and foster a practical understanding of Christian values amongst pupils."
"A vibrant happy and positive atmosphere pervades the school which promotes good learning."