Cheddon Fitzpaine, being a church school, has a strong Christian distinctiveness providing a unique additional benefit to the school community.
Distinctively Christian values form the basis of the school’s behaviour and reward procedures and are displayed prominently in the school. Children are taught about the Christian background to these values through class sessions and whole school collective worship
Children behave well and have good relationships between all members of the school community. Responses to OFSTED Parent View questionnaires show over 94% satisfaction with the behaviour of the children at school.
‘Pupils are confident that teachers and other staff are always there for them if needed and told the inspector, ‘Our teachers are special and they do anything for us.’ OFSTED 2015
‘The school’s clear commitment to equal opportunity and to tackling any form of discrimination is demonstrated by the good achievement of all groups of pupils.’ OFSTED 2015
Each classroom has a space set aside for reflection. The children’s prayers and thoughts are displayed and there is an age appropriate Bible and box of their own prayers available for them to use.
Children are taught about the Holy Trinity, and it’s importance in the Christian Faith.
Collective worship is based around a programme of Christian values. These are promoted to the school through displays both in class and the wider school. Opportunities for adults and children alike to have moments of awe and wonder are cultivated.
Collective worship is an important part of the school day. The school community gather together to engage in worship. This may be listening to or watching a Bible story, considering a Christian value or learning about the lives of others.There is time to reflect, sing and pray. Collective worship is planned and led regularly by our Head teacher, other staff, children and visitors.
Rev. Mary is a regular visitor who comes and leds worship. She practically engages the children in discussion which reflects our core values of respect, trust and perserverance.
Rev Matt and Mig join us for active and inspiring stories, dramas, songs and dances which link to our collective worship themes.
Kevin Davenport joins us for collective worship to share stories from the bible. He also gives us regular updates about the school he supports in South Africa and how they are using the donations we send over for them.
Children have the opportunity to respond to what they hear and experience during Collective Worship by recording them in a Collective Worship book. Everyone is able to write prayers which can be used in times of Collective Worship.
Religious Education is an important part of the school curriculum. The Somerset Awareness, Mystery and Values syllabus is followed and lessons are planned and delivered by a class teachers. A multidisciplinary approach is used to teach RE enabling all children to learn and express their thoughts in a variety of ways. The children research using the world wide web and specialist books that are selected to support each unit of study. Film clips of religious stories and practices are widely used alongside, role play, art, poetry, listening to religious music, Godly play and a range of ways of recording learning.
Visits to a variety of faith buildings and visitors from different faiths and denominations enable the children’s understanding of world faiths and respect the diversity and difference within faith communities.
We use the Church of England's resource ‘Understanding Christianity’ for the teaching of Christianity. This is an exciting new resource which helps children to put the Christian teaching into context.
Making sense of the text – what does the Bible say?
Understanding the impact – how does this impact on how Christians live?
Making connections – how do you feel about these ideas and values?
The story of the Bible, the ‘big picture’, is divided into eight areas, four in the Old Testament…..God, Creation, Fall, People of God, and four in the New Testament…. Incarnation, Gospel, Salvation and Kingdom of God.
Each time the children study a topic in Christianity it is put into the context of one of these key areas.
Making Connections - an example of our learning
Class 4 demonstrated how they have made connections within their RE unit by completing this oracy based activity. Children collaboratively remixed, rehearsed and performed a modern version of Hark the Herald Angel Sing.
Religious Education: Experience Days
Children work with the headteacher and RE subject lead, to plan, prepare and deliver experience days for the whole school. These children plan all the activities for each class to complete, gather resources that each class will need and lead whole school assemblies.
We have also invited visitors to lead some of our RE experience days. Rev Tracey has supported the children to lead, plan and resource collective worship and seasonal experience days, which the whole school enjoy.
The children also plan for adults during the day. They invite Rev Tracey, Rev Mary and Rev Matt in to bring the experience days to life. It is something the whole school enjoys and looks forward to throughout the year.
We celebrate whole school collaborative days where everyone takes part in activities in their house groups. The first RE Experience Day is on the theme of creation. The activities include crafts, acting, ordering and retelling the story, talking about gifts that we can give and thoughts, prayers and wishes for others at Christmas. Then children link key aspects into the 'Big Picture' using our Understanding Chrisitianity resource.
There are strong links between the school and St Mary’s, the parish church. The whole school regularly visited the church to celebrate key events in the Chrisitian calender, including harvest, Christmas and Easter. Interactive methods are used to encourage the children to think about the significance of the events leading up to these occassions.
We celebrate Harvest at Cheddon, by collecting food for local charities. These include Open Door (a homeless charity in Taunton) and Taunton Food bank. Parents are invited to our Harvest festival, held at school and led by the Headteacher and a member of the local church. It is always a well supported event in donations and parents attending. Together we share the Harvest and loaf and are thankful to God for all we have.
After being unable to visit the church due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were able to hold our Easter Celebration there this year. It was lovely to see the church full of children and singing their hearts outs. It was also very special for our parents to join us as some have not been to a school church service before.
Charities we support
The school actively supports local and international charities. The school council have voted to support many different charities. Our most recent are Open Door, St Giles Animal Hospital, Love Musgrove and St Margaret's Hospice.
Please see our School Council Page to see all the wonderful events that have been organised to raise money.
We also have links with Hillwood Primary School in Cape Town and the township in Lavender Hill. We have collected and sent items that are desperately need by the children over there.
This includes football boots, trainers, swimming items, and books for the new library they are setting up. We love getting updates from Kevin Davenport to see our donations being put to great use.
The school has regular involvement in the local community. We take part in the annual Cheddon Flower Show, use the Village Hall for plays and special events and visit both the church and village as part of several curriculum areas of learning.
We also have strong links with Hestercombe Gardens who have donated an art prize cup to the school.
St Mary’s Church PCC and the local Mary Joslin Trust provided the school with a new class set of Good News Bibles for Key Stage 2 children to use during their RE lessons.
The church also present every Year 6 leaver with their own copy of the Good News Bible in the leavers’ service at the end of each year.
The school community actively support school life
Many of the parents are involved with the ‘Friends of Cheddon’. They actively support the school by arranging several social and fundraising events each year. These include school discos and talent shows for the children and family events such as barn dances, fairs, bingo and quiz evenings. They provide many of the ‘extras’ that the children enjoy around the school. Recently the school has benefitted from having major improvements made to the large playground area, extra sports equipment and money towards school trips donated by the ‘Friends of Cheddon’.
A grandparent has knitted lots of Bible characters and animals to use during Godly play lessons and for our displays. The nativity set looks amazing!
Each member of the school community is represented by a blue bead, looked after by George, our school bear.
Parents, other family members and people from the community help by assisting on school trips, listening to children read in school and providing other valuable classroom support.
Parents look after the school garden and made up many of the willing volunteers who tidied up the school grounds, painted fences and sorted out the area for the forest school.