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Being a Church School

Brabourne CEP School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School and has close links with Brabourne Church and the Stour Downs parishes. Reverend Chris Denyer and his ministry team visit the school regularly to deliver Open the Book and to work with the pupil-led Worship and Wonder team. The whole school attend Brabourne Church for the major Christian festivals and special times in our school calendar.

As a church school we are concerned with the development of people’s mind, body and soul.  We believe that spirituality should influence all areas of education and life, therefore, we aim that all areas of the curriculum contribute to pupils’ spiritual development. Spiritual development relates to fundamental questions about the meaning and purpose of life which affect everyone, and is not dependent on a religious affiliation.

Spiritual development is not about becoming more spiritual; it is about realising or becoming more and more aware of one’s natural innate spirituality. This is sometimes a slow and gradual process, at other times there might be significant stages of realisation, which are part of the ongoing ‘developing’ process. People do not reach a finished state of spiritual development, but participate in the ongoing process of spiritual realisation.

How we provide our school community with openings for spiritual development:

WINDOWS: giving children opportunities to become aware of the world in new ways; to wonder about life’s ‘WOWs’ (things that are amazing) and ‘OWs’ (things that bring us up short). In this children are learning about fulfilling their potential.

MIRRORS: giving children opportunities to reflect on their experiences; to meditate on life’s big questions and to consider some possible answers. In this they are learning from life by exploring their own insights and perspectives and those of others.

DOORS: giving children opportunities to respond to all of this; to do something creative as a means of expressing, applying and further developing their thoughts and convictions. In this they are learning to live by putting into action what they are coming to believe and value.

In and around the school you will see and hear things for all stakeholders to embed the Christian distinctiveness of our school. These include:

  • Daily acts of collective worship. These include stories from the Bible, songs, prayers and a message about how this is relevant to all of us in our day to day life.
  • Singing. We learn a wide variety of songs in school including Christian songs. These take the form of praise.
  • Visual reminders of our values. Values and displays of our values in action around the school.
  • Whole school prayer stations. A dedicated space for prayer and reflection open to all.
  • Class reflection areas.
  • Prayers and Grace. We have created a school prayer which can be read below. The children also have the opportunity to contribute to prayers in class and worship if they would like to. Children are keen to say a prayer over lunch, or write a spontaneous prayer in collective worship.
  • Regular visits by Reverend Chris and Reverend Susan to lead Open the Book and work with the Worship and Wonder team.
  • Pupil-led Collective Worship by the Worship and Wonder team.
  • Church service for celebrations such as Harvest, Christmas, Easter and the Leaver’s service.
  • Outdoor worship connecting with the beautiful countryside around us.

Our curriculum has strands permeating it like in a stick of rock – Christian Values and opportunities for spiritual development.  We seek to provide occasions for people of all spiritual styles – word, symbol, emotion and action.  This encourages children and adults to develop an understanding of the spiritual character of themselves and others.  This is why we offer the range we do, for example opportunities for spontaneous prayer and quiet reflection, our pupil-led opportunities and strong bonds and ties with our Church and local community in Brabourne.