Bourn is a Church of England School
Bourn is a Church of England school, and we are part of the Diocese of Ely. Church schools and academies serve the needs of all faiths and none and are open to children and parents from across the community regardless of background, perspective, religion or culture. They are not faith schools, but community schools. They are however part of the Church's mission to educate children in an environment that reflects our Christian values in the communities served. Church schools and academies are very popular with parents of all faiths and none. At Bourn, we have children and families from many different religions and all are welcomed with open arms.
Church schools in Cambridgeshire are overseen, monitored and inspected via the Diocese of Ely. All Church school have a vision and values rooted in Christian theology, and ours were developed in conjunction with the local Church and Foundation governors as well as with staff, children and parents.
Further information about the Diocese of Ely can be found here https://www.elydiocese.org/schools
Links With St Helens and St Mary's Church, Bourn
As a Church of England school, there are strong and meaningful connections with the church, particularly our parish church of Bourn, St Helena and St Mary’s. The Church has long sought to support and nurture children in the love of God and the many Church Schools around the country are a sign of this.
Bourn Church at sunset– photo by Papworth Team Churches
The school pupils, staff and support staff are prayed for regularly in Bourn church and a number of the pupils and their families worship regularly in this church and in the churches of St Andrew in Caxton, All Saints and St Andrew in Kingston and St Mary the Virgin in Longstowe, as well as elsewhere.
The vicar of these parishes, Revd. Stephen Day leads an assembly in the school weekly, often exploring a Bible story with the children in an interactive way.
When major festivals are celebrated throughout the Church Year, such as Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter, the whole school visits the church for services in which the children participate in word, action and song.
Throughout the year there are other occasions when children visit the church, for instance to learn about the church building in RE or local history.
At the end of the academic year, the churches within the catchment villages present each Year 6 child leaving the school with a beautiful gift of an olive-wood holding cross. These links are continued out of school with monthly children’s services in Bourn, the Christingle at Longstowe to which all children are invited.
The Church supports the school with its values of hope, courage, justice, forgiveness and friendship, with the prayer that each child will find a place to flourish with their God-given potential and that he will give them life in all its fullness.
Other Links with the Church and Diocese
The school regularly takes part in Bishop Stephen's Lent Challenge, which in 2021 was focused on 'Hope and a Future'. Each child decorated a butterfly, and wrote on it their hopes for the future. These butterflies were added to our whole school rainbow of hands display, which symbolised both hope and re-connection when we all returned to school in September 2020.
The talented musicians of the school sometimes work in partnership with the church in events around the local community, such as Christmas carol singing for older members of the community and orchestral performances in the Church Summer Fete. The children take part in events at places of worship like Ely Cathedral and Kings College Chapel. One such festival at Ely was “Songs of God and Science” where the school wrote a song called “God’s Masterplan” (both lyrics and music) to perform in the cathedral. Children from the Choir also participated in the 'Even You Song' project, an immersive artwork project in collaboration with the Wysing Arts Centre and the London Ariana Choir, performed at All Saints and St Andrew, Kingston and at St James' Church, Piccadilly.
The Church also contributes to the good governance of the school through the provision of up to three Foundation Governors.
Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) Report 2019
The inspection in 2019 highlighted many strengths of the school:
- The Christian theology underpinning the vision is clearly and confidently articulated by governors and staff. A strong sense of purpose drives policy and practice, promoting a positive, aspirational culture.
- Consistent reinforcement within and beyond the classroom has ensured that pupils have an excellent understanding of what the values mean and how they are important and relevant to them, their community and the wider world.
- Strategic decisions are firmly focused on ‘life in all its fullness’ and the values of hope, justice, friendship, courage and forgiveness are woven through all policies and practice.
- Pupils flourish at Bourn. The clear message that ‘everyone is capable of great things’ shines through. Staff consistently use the values vocabulary; hope, so that pupils always feel that they can achieve more, and courage, which motivates them to persevere.
- Teamwork and partnerships exemplify the vision, celebrating different strengths in creating a glorious whole.
The full SIAMS report can be found here.