Sowing the Seeds for a Flourishing Future
Englefield CE Primary is a happy, warm and friendly place for children to grow and learn. Our SIAMS inspector (2023) noticed that 'There is a deep feeling of togetherness and love at Englefield'.
We follow Christian values to enable all members of our community to flourish, regardless of their background or starting point. The aim of Church schools has always been to provide an education that enables 'life in all its fullness'. SIAMS (2023) again noted that 'Englefield’s vision encompasses everything the school stands for, empowering everyone to succeed. This is making a difference to the lives of all pupils and adults'.
Englefield C of E (Voluntary Aided) Primary School was originally built in 1863 for the children of workers on the Englefield Estate; it became a church school in the 1950s; as a Church of England school, Englefield is for children of all faiths and none. The school expanded in the late 1960s to take in the children from the neighbouring parishes of Tidmarsh and Sulham.
As a Church School, our Christian vision and values influence all that we do. Our values are used as themes for our collective worship cycle; they are incorporated by staff throughout the curriculum and are used by both staff and pupils when resolving situations or overcoming difficulties. These values support the school community to work to achieve our vision of nurture and nourish individuals so they can grow and flourish in all areas, including their relationships.
We make use of therapeutic practices to ensure all our pupils are cared for in a safe and mutually respectful environment. We focus on the use of forgiveness and reconciliation to support pupils' in maintaining and developing positive relationships and in learning to disagree well.
The Governors and staff work closely with the Oxford Diocese Board of Education to ensure we provide a rich and stimulating curriculum alongside invitational, inspirational and inclusive collective worship.
We have a thriving local church, St Mark's, with which we have very close links; Reverend Julia Myles regularly visits us to lead acts of worship and to work with children and staff. We have regular services at the church and many of our pupils enjoy singing at some of the church's own services. We also have regular visits from Reverend Mark Hopkins from St James the Less, Pangbourne.
We are proud to be a Church school and believe that this enables us to produce the caring, nurturing, stimulating and forward-thinking environment which gives our pupils such a positive start on their educational journey.
Collective worship is the unique heartbeat of a Church school and is offered as part of a wider opportunity for pupils and adults to encounter faith by engaging in conversations about God, both as individuals and together. Worship is an integral part of life at Englefield and is a time when we want all pupils and staff to flourish and to understand that they are special in God's eyes. According to SIAMS (2023), 'Collective worship lies at the heart of each day and is a joyous expression of the Christian vision. This ensures that all are nourished spiritually'.
We meet together in daily assemblies to praise God and give thanks. Our aim is for our acts or worship to be inclusive, invitational and inspiring. They are usually based around one of our values: Love of God, Love of Others, Love of Myself, Love of God's World or Love of Life.
Within our acts of worship, children have opportunities to reflect upon our vision and values, listen to Biblical texts or those concerned with a moral issue and reflect on what they have heard. Pupils are able to discuss key events in the world and consider how these may fit into God's plan, express their views, ask questions, join in with prayers and develop their own spirituality. When possible, pupils lead our acts of worship, supported by our Worship Group.
Children develop their understanding of prayer throughout their time at our school; there are prayer areas in each classroom and prayers are said at different times of the day, including a grace at lunchtime which helps to instil a sense of gratitude for all that we have.
When faced with a dilemma, we encourage the children to consider ‘What would Jesus do?’
Our local clergy from St Mark’s Church in Englefield and St James the Less in Pangbourne regularly lead worship in school and we use St Mark's for our end-of-term services and major Christian festivals. We also have links with St Laurence in Tidmarsh and St Nicholas’ in Sulham.