Religious Education and Worship Religious Education is a compulsory part of the curriculum and children take part in collective worship everyday. Parents do, of course have the right to withdraw their child from R.E. and collective worship. Collective worship is wholly Christian in character and reflects the essential features within the rich tradition of Anglican prayer, worship and celebrates the events of the Christian calendar. We have very close links with St John’s Church and services are held there at least once a term, which are led by the children. These services include Harvest Festival, Christingle, Easter and a leaver’s service. These services are well attended by parents, grandparents and the wider village community. Children also make visits to the church to develop their understanding of marriage and baptisms, as well as carrying out workshops in the building. A member of the church takes a worship every Wednesday morning in school, this is sometimes the vicar, or a member of the church community, many of which are governors in our school. The Bishop of Stafford is a neighbour and comes into school to lead worship too. We also have a club in school, linked to the church. This club is run by our RE coordinator and is called “The Lighthouse Club” Other faiths are also taught within the curriculum to develop children’s understanding and respect for other faiths and beliefs.
A Welcome From Reverend Stewart
As the Vicar of St John the Baptist Church, Barlaston, it is a great privilege and joy to be so closely linked to Barlaston First School. A complete education for all children is so important and that includes the spiritual. As the leader of a Christian community this means explaining about the person of Jesus Christ and helping the children, staff and parents of the school to learn how He can and does make a difference to our lives. Often that can begin with simply retelling the great Bible stories but it also includes experiencing important values we should live by such as compassion, trust, faithfulness, peace and justice. But the church family isn’t simply here to provide another education resource. We are also here to offer pastoral support, a listening ear and prayer for the families of everyone who is part of the school.
As the ‘new Vicar’ of St John’s my aim is to build upon the already strong links we have with the school and to find ways to strengthen them. I look forward to doing that through the school visiting us at the church and for the church to be an increasingly important part of the school.
Canon Stewart Jones
Vicar, St John the Baptist, Barlaston