What is a Church of England School?

Before the government became involved with providing education for everyone in England- there were church schools and other charitable schools. The majority of church schools were built in the 1800’s.

There were two requirements, the first to teach Christianity through “Religious Instruction” and the second to hold a regular act of worship.

When the state became involved with providing mass education, church schools became integrated into the education provided by the state. All these schools are known as maintained schools – they are funded by the state. All maintained schools including the Church school have to teach Religious Education and hold a daily act of worship. So church schools work on the same basis as community schools.

The purpose of a Church of England school is to offer a spiritual dimension to the lives of young people, within the traditions of the Church of England, in an increasingly secular world.

25% of primary schools in England have a Church foundation.

What is being added by being a Church of England school?

Church school have Christian beliefs and values at their heart. This means that every child and adult associated with the school is not just important because they are members of the school but because they are seen as unique individuals within God’s creation.

Church schools recognise that as well as academic and emotional intelligence human beings also have spiritual intelligence. The spiritual aspects of life will be recognised, and nurtured alongside the academic and emotional needs of all.

Church schools are places where challenge through questioning is encouraged as through this we can make sense of the world, the gift of life and the purpose of our own personal lives.

The purpose of a Church of England school is to offer a spiritual dimension to the lives of young people, within the traditions of the Church of England, in an increasingly secular world.

What differences should you notice ?

As a pupil, parent, visitor or member of staff you should find that your church school is as good as any other good school but you should feel that the way the school works is different and distinctive. That distinctive difference will be rooted in Christian values that affect the way everyone is respected.

What else?

Church schools are encouraged to:

  • ensure that the school is led by a headteacher who is committed, with the help of staff, to establish and maintain the Christian character of the school in its day to day activities and in the curriculum
  • engage meaningfully in a real act of Christian worship every day
  • offer a school life that incorporates the values of the Christian faith
  • ensure that religious education is given at least 5% of school time and that the character and quality of religious education are a particular concern of the headteacher and the governing body
  • observe the major Christian festivals and in schools which other faiths are present ensure that those faiths are able and encouraged to mark their major festivals with integrity
  • maintain and develop an active and affirming relationship with a parish church

Collective Worship

What is Collective Worship?

Collective Worship is another name for assemblies.  Assemblies are a time when the whole school or just a class can come together to reflect on their religious and spiritual beliefs.  At St Paul’s are assemblies are mainly based around Christianity as we are a Church of England primary school.  However, we do have assemblies based around other religions.

Why is Collective Worship Important?

SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education) believes that Collective Worship can make a significant contribution to the ethos of the school by reinforcing and reflecting the beliefs and values which bind the school community together. It can inspire, uplift, celebrate and give a sense of purpose and direction.

Manchester Diocese

St Paul’s Is a Church of England Primary School which is within the Diocese of Manchester.

The Manchester Diocesan Board of Education educates children from 12 Local Authorities, one of which is Bury.

To find out more out the Diocese and what the Education Board do, please click on the following links.


Praying is an important and essential aspect of being a Christian.  It is our time to talk to God, to ask for his help, to ask for his forgiveness or  to say thank you.  There are no rules, it is up to you what you say.

Watch this clip below which explains prayer in a little more detail.

This is the version of the Lord’s Prayer that we say at school

These are the prayers we say before we go home at night.