Being a Church School
St. Paul's is a Church of England Controlled School and has close links with St. Peter's Church in Hextable and St. Paul's Church in Swanley Village. Vicar Johnny Douglas and his ministry team visit the school for a weekly act of worship. We also visit the Church for the major Christian Festivals and special times in our school calendar.
More information about the church can be found on the following website https://www.stph.org.uk/
What is collective worship?
Collective worship is a special time during the school day where pupils are given the space and opportunity to reflect, respond and revere. At St. Paul's, collective worship generally takes place during the school’s daily assemblies and will often include the use of music, a candle, a time of silence and a prayer to offer a focus for pupils. These assemblies may be held for as whole school or in family team groups.In church schools, worship is Christian and denominational.
At our school, this will include the use of songs, music, stories and readings familiar to those of a Christian faith, and promoting the values that Christians believe to be important. These may, and often are, values held to be important by other faiths as well and as such, the use of stories from other faiths, along with stories of a moral nature, are included as part of our assembly themes.
What is covered during RE lessons?
The school follows the Kent Agreed Syllabus supported by Rochester Diocesan materials. The agreed syllabus follows the legal requirement for religious education to reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, while taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.
At St. Paul's, pupils study Christian RE topics in every year group. In addition, pupils learn about Hinduism in Key Stage 1, Judaism in lower key stage 2, and Islam in upper key stage 2. (Please see the link below for the overview of topics taught.) Pupils are taught about the main traditions, practices and beliefs of the religions, but will also have the opportunity to relate the key concepts covered to their own experiences and explore their own beliefs and questions of meaning. Each year group has a different RE unit of work every half term.
When is RE taught?
RE is taught weekly in each class and year group for an hour a week. There are also other opportunities during the year where other religious education is taught through a more thematic approach such as Christmas and Easter.
What should I do if I want to withdraw my child from RE or collective worship?
Parents have the right to choose whether or not to withdraw their child from RE without influence from the school, although a school should ensure parents or carers are informed of this right and are aware of the educational objectives and content of the RE syllabus. In this way, parents can make an informed decision. Where parents have requested that their child is withdrawn, their right must be respected, and where RE is integrated in the curriculum, the Headteacher will need to discuss the arrangements with the parents or carers to explore how the child’s withdrawal can be best accommodated. If pupils are withdrawn from RE, schools have a duty to supervise them, though not to provide additional teaching or to incur extra cost. Pupils will usually remain on school premises.
Where a pupil has been withdrawn, the law provides for alternative arrangements to be made for RE of the kind the parent wants the pupil to receive (Section 71(3) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998).
This RE could be provided at the school in question, or the pupil could be sent to another school where suitable RE is provided if this is reasonably convenient. If neither approach is practicable, outside arrangements can be made to provide the pupil with the kind of RE that the parent wants, and the pupil may be withdrawn from school for a reasonable period of time to allow them to attend this external RE.
Outside arrangements for RE are allowed as long as the LA is satisfied that any interference with the pupil’s attendance at school resulting from the withdrawal will affect only the start or end of a school session.