At Coberley Church of England Primary School our Christian Distinctiveness is evident from the moment a visitor enters the school. The school’s core Christian values and current chosen value are displayed for visitors, children, staff and parents. All our stakeholders are invited to contribute and share their thoughts and observations of seeing and hearing these values in action. The hall area has a dedicated display that informs everyone of how and when we worship as a school. There is a beautiful cross designed by a pupil, carved by a local carpenter and presented to the school from our Church ensuring all visitors are aware of the school’s distinctly Christian ethos. There is also a community prayer box, open for all children, to write prayers or simple reflections for our school community.
The school has particularly strong links with the Rev Pooley and our Parish Church, St. Giles’ and the wider community. Visitors are welcomed to join our worship and these have included, The Bishop of Tewkesbury, iSing Pop, Representatives from numerous charities including the Air Ambulance and the Royal British Legion, teachers from Ghana and Uganda and missionaries from the USA in addition to our parents and Governors. Pupils play a large role in planning, delivering and monitoring all aspects of our worship, Christian ethos and environment.
To keep Christian distinctiveness and worship at the heart of our school, the head and Rev Pooley meet regularly and play an active role in the monitoring and assessment of the school as a church school. They also review and are reported back to from all other stakeholders and ensure the school takes into account and acts on the views of all of its community.
Parents are regularly welcomed into the School, perhaps spending time in their child’s class or helping with a special project, such as, our beautiful butterfly garden. Special services are held both at school and St. Giles’. Our harvest festival raised money towards the Open the Door projects in Cheltenham. There are services throughout the year including harvest, a carol concert, an Easter service and a celebration for our Year 6 school leavers. Through the year we follow the Christian Calendar with special services like lent, advent and Saints Days. Children also spend time experiencing working for others. The children enjoyed singing at Cheltenham’s old people’s home. Governors are encouraged to spend time in the school, taking part for example in “Learning Walks” which link into the School’s Improvement Plan.
The Christian connection is evident everywhere, the school has an area for quiet reflection which has been created by the staff, children and parents. The children are able to talk about their special area and feel a strong sense of ownership to it. There is a dedicated box used by the whole school for prayers and reflection requests. The children’s prayers are valued and included as part of our worship times. Our values are promoted and celebrated all around the school and displays give examples of how these values showing examples of how they can be incorporated into our school and everyday lives.
The children are always ready to talk about our school and its values and the staff, governors and parents work in partnership to ensure every child is nurtured in a caring Christian environment. Our Friday celebration worship builds upon this commitment and ensures children know that they are special and highly valued.
There is an overwhelming sense of a Christian presence permeating every aspect of our school’s life and making this school a special place. This results in a school family that demonstrates God’s love through their words and actions.