Our Church School
We are incredibly proud to be a Church of England School and we are committed to the Christian values that, as a school, we both promote and live our lives by. We are inspired by the School’s vision, which is based on Matthew 7:12, which says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” which encourages a sense of community where we all, staff and children, have responsibility for the wellbeing of each other. We believe that our Christian values underpin our daily school life and can be seen in the writing of our policies through to how we help children deal with the challenges of friendship.
The school has selected twelve values which are rooted within the Christian faith and, each half term, one of these values is focused on and explored in greater depth, both in classrooms, as homework and as part of Collective Worship.
In our hall there is a special display. It is a cross made of the names of everyone at Culworth. It reminds us that we ask God to be with us in all we do. We celebrate that everyone is different and we want everyone to know that they are special and they are valued.
St Mary's is our local church which adjoins the school. We come here to enjoy and partake in services such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter. We also gather here at the end of the Summer Term for the leaver's service - an important milestone in the lives of our amazing young people.
St Mary's also acts as a precious resource when studying Christianity as part of the R.E. curriculum.
All children, regardless of faith or non-faith, are welcomed to our acts of worship and are encouraged to reflect on all they hear and experience. We provide a secure space for children to nurture their own spirituality. (Please follow the menu choices at the top right of this page to learn more about what we mean by "Spirituality" and how we support children to develop their own sense of this.)
Our acts of Collective Worship are held daily and reflect our Christian status as a Church School. It draws its content from our values whilst also following the pattern of the Liturgical Calendar, mirroring the Christian Year. The children are regularly invited to share what they think and will often ask questions to support this process. Children are encouraged to share prayers they have written and to be involved in the structure of our worship. There is a feeling of "family" as we all gather together across the age range of the school.
We are very grateful to Reverend Karen who joins us on a Monday to lead our Collective Worship and also to Open the Book - a Christian organisation who specialise in bringing Bible stories to life through drama in which the children take part. These people, along with the whole school family, support the children to develop their own sense of Spirituality beyond school as unique people in the wider community.
What is the impact of our worship on our children?
"It gives me quiet time and a moment to reflect" Harry Year 6
"It helped me to be braver following a bible story and discussion about bravery" Nami year 6
"I realise I don't have to be religious to reflect and pray"
"It helps me to think about my day and think what I could do differently" Avie year 4
Easter Service 2023
Our Trip to Coventry Cathedral 2022
The whole school spent a day exploring this amazing place of worship, thinking about the idea of peace and reconciliation as we compared the old ruins from the blitz with the modern new cathedral. We also explored and extended our knowledge and thoughts on advent - following the path of Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
Coventry Cathedral Visit 2022
Whole school trip to Coventry Cathedral
Religious Education at Culworth Academy
Religious Education is a core academic subject at Culworth and is taught as part of the regular weekly timetable across the school, from reception to Year 6. This is augmented with off-site visits, designated R.E. days and visiting speakers. Where the area of study fits well with the term’s topic, links are made and the learning is contextually deepened.
We draw our curriculum from the Peterborough Diocese Syllabus for Education and, with them, our aim is “to enable pupils to hold balanced and informed conversations about religion and belief”. The syllabus contains units that provide an in-depth focus on aspects of a range of faiths, both Abrahamic and Dharmic, as well as thematic units which draw on multi-faith and non-faith content. Big questions are used and addressed and children are encouraged to ask their own. Over time, knowledge and concepts are repeated and developed to maximize the potential for the learning to become embedded.
Christianity Units account for 50% of our curriculum and we use the highly regarded “Understanding Christianity” as our resource. This resource aims to “support pupils in developing their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to their understanding of the world and their own experience within it”. It provides the children with a visual representation of the overarching story of the bible and focuses on the concepts of Christianity found within the story. Where possible, all references to or from the Christian faith, whether that be in R.E. lessons, Collective Worship or the outworking of the school’s Christian ethos, are supported by the framework that this approach provides.Our approach to R.E. teaching recognises the range of interpretations and practices within each faith/non-faith group and children are taught to respect each other’s developing views and opinions. Our curriculum is matched by teachers to the needs of all children in their class so that it can be accessed by all. We encourage children to form a respectful attitude towards all world faiths and non-faiths in their own search for the meaning of existence whilst encouraging them to reflect over time in order to develop their own sense of spirituality.
Culworth School belongs to Peterborough Diocese
There are 103 Church of England schools and academies in the Peterborough Diocese. Three of these are secondary schools, in Northampton, Kettering and Peterborough, and one hundred are primary schools. Church primary schools can be found throughout the whole Diocese, serving rural, urban and suburban communities.
No two Church of England schools are the same, but they all share a Christian ethos, provide Christian worship and make Religious Education a key priority. Peter Cantley, Director of Education, provides the strategic leadership overseeing the diocesan church schools team who provide ongoing support to all of our schools. They help to ensure that the Christian vision and values of the school are embedded in all aspects of school life. Where a gold standard SLA is in place, a team of diocesan schools consultants work with the church schools team bringing considerable experience of working in education in Church of England schools at headteacher level.
We recently took some Year 6 children to Peterborough Cathedral for a special service that took place for all schools in the Diocese.
Parent's right to withdraw
At Culworth Academy we aim to make our Collective Worship and Religious Education accessible to all children and indeed our R.E. lessons are often precious times of open discussion and exploration with all views given time and value. Collective Worship, though Christian in flavour, are often times of sharing and celebration and an opportunity for the whole school to gather together as family. However, parents do have the right to withdraw their child either completely or partially from both Collective Worship and R.E. lessons.