Blue Coat CE VA Primary School, Symn Lane, Wotton-under-edge,
Gloucestershire GL12 7BD

01453 525 020

Christian Distinctiveness

We're very proud to be a Church Voluntary Aided school as this means that we are guided by the words of God the Father, the teachings of his Son (Jesus) and the presence of the Holy Spirit.  However, we recognise that Spirituality is not exclusive to a given faith.

'Future readiness’ for our pupils is built on the foundation of God’s love. Therefore, we aspire to live life in all its fullness (John 10:10) and to enable others to do the same. (Matthew 22:37 – 39)

We want to develop every child spiritually such that they: reflect; appreciate their relationships and the world around; explore their inner thoughts and beliefs; work out what is sacred to them; and respect and understand that others might think and believe differently.

RE Intent, Implementation and Impact statements

Blue Coat RE Policy

Each month the Blue Coat School contributes a 'news' article to the 'Together in Wotton' church magazine - recent copies of which may be viewed below:

Spirituality

We recognise that there is much more to life and learning than a succession of objectives to be learnt.  Children experience the wonder of life first hand and for the first time each and every day.  For some this is the wonder of God's creation and for others this is the majesty of nature.  Our aim is to give children the opportunity to experience the incredible and reflect on what it means to them. 

Our spiritual journey does not simply sit inside Collective Worship.  It is where we develop our understanding of our interpretation of God.  To some this is a Christian God, whilst to others this could be Allah or even a scientific understanding of the Universe.  But we all celebrate the wonder of creation in every situation we find ourselves in.  It could be through the emotional connection of music, through prayer, through discovering the natural world (and bugs!) in Forest School or even through the beauty of patterns within Mathematics.  In other words, our spiritual journey is enhanced at every step of our time in school. 

Our children are able to explore their own spiritual journey.  They express their feelings clearly and are able to understand what makes them connect to something greater than themselves.  The natural beauty of Wotton provides a perfect backdrop to enhancing this connection.

Curriculum

We deliver a broad and balanced school curriculum that provides children with the opportunity to experience a range of subjects and events.  With spirituality being an exporation of God's creation, we believe that this allows children to witness different aspects of the wonder and beauty of their interpretation of God.  From Forest School to Science, our children's spiritual journey is enriched.  We ensure that values are a common theme that run through their learning.  These values encourage us to make decisions about our actions and the consequences, building on our vision steeped in the belief that children should be personally empowered. 

 

Pedagogy

It is not just what we teach, but the way we teach that provides children with a spiritual journey.  We aim to teach children in such a way as to spark curiosity, intrigue and wonder.  This is partly because our teaching and our leadership is values based.  It is also because personal empowerment forms such a fundamental basis as to how we want our children to develop, that we are always trying to teach in a way that asks children to wrestle with problems rather than being passive recipients of information.  This means that they are encouraged reflect on what they are experiencing and interpret what it means to them.

 

Spiritual Moments

There are certain moments that stay with you.  These moments can be carefully planned, such as: taking children to a Cathedral or a Mosque; Collective Worship; hiking to the Tyndale Monument; going on a residentail with friends for the first time; inspirational "entry points" to the curriculum and much, much more.  We also teach in a way that helps our children to be equipped to reflect independently on spiritual moments that occur spontaneously.  These moments do not complement our curriculum, they form an integral part of it. 

 

Impact

Measuring the impact of spirituality is no easy task!  It is an abstract concept that manifests itself in different ways with different people. However, when SIAMS visited our school as part of their inspection schedule, they provided us with a few examples of what other people see in our children. 

 Key findings (SIAMS Inspection Report 2019)

  • There is a positive impact of the vision and core values on academic progress and personal development. However, members of the school community do not readily articulate the Bible roots or explicitly Christian origins of the vision. This affects the outcome of this denominational inspection.
  • An aspirational culture enables resilience in learning. Adults and pupils are reflective learners, enthusiastic to succeed, now and into the future.
  •  Staff are talented, keen to learn as well as teach, and to support each other. They are key to the success of the school. Specialist support for those pupils who are more vulnerable or who have special educational needs/disabilities is effective.
  •  Pupils are enthusiastic about religious education and enjoy the many opportunities to learn through creating artwork in the subject. The subject is exceptionally well-led.
  • The focus on outdoor play and learning enriches the lives of pupils, allowing them to develop life-enhancing skills which are integral to ‘Future Readiness’.