Our school was founded in 1812, when the Nation School opened a school for boys and girls on the common. The Fabian’s Way site was opened in 1957 by St. Peter’s Church and we are very proud of our church school origins. We continue to benefit from a sound relationship with St. Peter’s Church and the Diocese of Chichester and our strong Christian character defines the ethos of our school.
The Church of England’s vision for education (2016) is deeply Christian, with Jesus’ promise of ‘life in all its fullness’ at its heart. In line with the Church of England’s role as the established Church, their vision is for the common good of the whole community.
- Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills: enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life.
- Educating for hope and aspiration: enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them.
- Educating for community and living well together: a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.
- Educating for dignity and respect: the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth.
As a Church of England Voluntary Aided School, we offer an education that is distinctively Christian. Although each church school isunique, all church schools will share core values based on the Gospel values. Church schools are therefore places where loving God and loving our neighbours, is lived out in the daily life of the school. Therefore “Recognising its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Church at parish and diocesan level. St. Peter’s School aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers all of its pupils”.
Links with St. Peter’s Church, Henfield
St. Peter’s Church is a short walk away from our school and our pupils and families enjoy visiting on a number of occasions throughout the year. Times when we visit St. Peter’s Church include:
- Harvest festival
- Christmas (Christingle, Carol Service, Art in Advent)
- Y6 Leavers’ service
- RE lessons
In addition, Reverent Paul Doick (Vicar of St. Peter’s) or Reverend Heather Wilkins (Curate of St. Peter’s) lead our weekly clergy assemblies.
We are also linked with the other churches in Henfiels, which are:
Our daily worship (assembly) times are a special time when we can join together as a school community to worship. Every day has a slightly different focus but all provide us with a chance to sing, learn about the Christian value of the week, reflect and pray. We have regular planning sessions with the clergy at St. Peter’s Church to map out our worship themes for the whole term. Monday’s assemblies are led by Mrs Maurice (our Headteacher) and they focus on our value of the week, a topical event or special festival from a different religion. The clergy for St. Peter’s church lead worship on a Tuesday and Miss Foster (our deputy Headteacher) leads our Wednesday assembly which links to the Jigsaw (PSHE) theme that our pupils are learning about in their class PSHE lesson. Thursday’s assembly is singing practice and on Fridays we have celebration assembly where we enjoy finding out what the different classes have been learning about.
Our Prayer Labyrinth
Watch this video to see how our Prayer Labyrinth was created.
We also have an outside Storytelling besides our labyrinth.
The Labyrinth is a very old way of praying while you walk. You follow the pattern of the path, walking between the lines. Praying the labyrinth is a way to get closer to Jesus.
Praying this labyrinth can be a sort of pilgrimage, a way to walk to a space where you feel close to God. You can think of it as taking a walk with God or with Jesus.
While you walk, you might think about what Jesus wants you to do, how he wants you to live. While you are walking in, you can think of what you need to leave behind. What things in your life keep you from being close to God?
When you reach the center, you might just sit or stand and rest for a few minutes. Listen and feel for God’s presence within you. What do you want to say to Jesus?
Then, you simply follow the path back out. On the way out you might think about what Jesus wants you to do in your life. Is God calling you to help a certain person or be kinder in a special way?
As part of our Christianity teaching units in RE, all our pupils have the opportunity to explore and gain a deeper understanding of bible stories through Godly Play.
Godly Play creates the space to wonder and reflect. Find out more here https://www.godlyplay.uk/about-us/
“Godly play is relaxing and it helps you to think. It helps us to understanding things better.”
“You can really get into the story.”
“I like it because the objects make the story real and you get to know the story really well. It’s not just reading a story.”
“I like doing the art work. The story showed us you should always try to listen to God. We should listen and try to be brave.”
Links with the Diocese
We have strong links with the Diocese of Chichester Education Department who support us in a number of ways to ensure that our values and ethos enable our school community to flourish academically and spiritually. We have a a dedicated School Improvement Adviser and we benefit greatly from the CPD and support offered by the education team.
Watch this video to see St. Peter’s feature in the diocese’s Growing Partership initiative, which promotes links between school and their parish church.
The diocese Year 6 Leavers' Service at Lancing College is always a poignant and memorable event!