St Giles CE Primary School is Voluntary Aided and sits within the Diocese of Derby, and is part of the Derby Diocesan Academy Trust. We have close links to St Giles Church in Killamarsh, which practises in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. We are proudly Christian in character and base our Vision and ethos on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Gospel stories form the basis of most of our daily acts of Collective Worship, which follow the ‘Roots and Fruits’ scheme.
Vision and Values
Everybody Matters in this school - children, parents, carers and families, all staff and volunteers, governors, and anybody else connected to St Giles in our wider community. We are caring, nurturing and compassionate, seeking reconciliation and forgiveness in order to heal any disagreements, and place a particular emphasis on children and families who need the most support. In everything we do, we use the example of Jesus as our inspiration, and share stories of his ministry as a guiding light for how we want to be, and how we should live our lives.
Our Vision can be found on our home page and was developed in consultation with all stakeholders. It has been recently adapted with the help of Foundation Governors (especially Rev'd Helen Guest) to reflect our new approach to the wider curriculum. Christian values permeate the school and follow Collective Worship themes. We place a very strong focus on supporting pupils' Social and Emotional Mental Health needs, with two trained ELSAs and an Inclusion Mentor (Rhea Hollis), who runs 'The Hub', offering support to groups and those individuals who need it most.
Children are given many opportunities to drive activities and have a strong voice in school - our Squad system includes Worship, Charity, Buddy and Eco Squads, as well as our School Council and Science Ambassadors. See the 'Pupils' banner (School Council and Squads/Pastoral Support tabs) for more information about these. Our support for pupils with SEND is also central to our Vision and is led by our Senco, Rachel Binney - see the SEND section under the 'Curriculum' tab, as well as policies and curriculum information elsewhere on this website.
We have many links with other schools, especially networks through DDAT, as well as cluster schools, sports partnerships, local churches and other groups with whom we collaborate. Overall, we seek in everything we do to fulfill the Diocese of Derby's vision of 'offering our children and young people life in all of its fullness'. A link to their website can be found here.
Feeding of the Five Thousand
We have adopted this story from the Gospels to represent our school. The story centres on a young boy who puts his faith in Jesus and brings five loaves and two fishes; Jesus then give thanks to God and provides for all in abundance. Our vision of Everybody Matters is representative of this story, in how we seek to nourish the hearts and minds of all of our children, and provide rich and varied opportunities for all of them. A display depicts this with children’s artwork as you enter school via the office.
These gatherings are of central importance in school life, and we share with our children the wonder of God’s world, and their place within it as children of God. Our values are strongly Christian and we are well supported by Foundation Governors, including Reverend Canon Helen Guest, who leads Collective Worship every week on Mondays. The children are regular visitors to our church, and we also run termly evening community events called ‘Envision’, at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. These are very well attended by all stakeholders and offer an opportunity to come together, share food, be entertained, meet socially and share our Christian message and mission.
We hold Key Stage Collective Worship on Tuesdays, Singing Worship on Wednesdays and 'Picture News' worship on Thursdays. This resource links to our PSHE Curriculum (PSHE Matters), and broadens children's understanding of current affairs and helps them to think about how to be advocates for positive change to e.g. environmental or social justice issues. On Fridays, we hold Celebration Worships for Infant and Junior children, to which parents are invited.
Foundation Governors and Christian Partnerships
Foundation Governors support leaders to monitor actions to strengthen provision as a Church of England school; we also have a Worship Squad who represent pupils and are instrumental in organising Collective Worship and suggesting further improvements for us.
We raise money for local causes through our Charity Squad, and have annual Harvest appeals for our friends in Madagascar through St Giles Church, helping to provide e.g. fish farms, irrigation projects, cows and more for Father Georges. Our school community gives incredibly generously to the Killamarsh Food Bank at intervals throughout the year, including Christmas 'Gifts of Love', which are delivered by our Squad representatives who then learn about how the Food Bank operates.
We operate two Christian-themed lunchtime clubs for children, supported by volunteers from local churches including St Giles, and have areas within school for children and staff to visit for moments of quiet reflection. We have close links with the Diocesan Board of Education, who provide much support and training for staff.
We follow the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus for RE, and view this as a core subject; achievement in RE is monitored by the Full Governing Body, and Governors and leaders ensure that high priority is given to RE through funding and CPD. Our approach to RE follows the 'Statement of Entitlement' and we use this document as a guiding principle for how we organise the subject in school.
Pupils make good progress and achieve well in RE, and our assessment system adopted from the Agreed Syllabus evidences this. We achieved RE Quality Mark at Silver Level in October 2019, indicating the strong emphasis and provision for RE within school. The main resource we use within the Agreed Syllabus is 'Understanding Christianity'; two thirds of our teaching in RE is Christian-based, with other religions taught as well (Judaism in KS1, Hinduism in Y3/4 and Islam and Sikhism - incorporating Buddhism - in Y5/6). Stories from other religions are weaved across the curriculum outside of these taught units, and teachers also refer to and discuss other beliefs including atheism and humanism. As a school, we celebrate, and embrace, 'all faiths and none.' Our curriculum is also supplemented and embraced by ‘What If’ learning, which weaves Christian values across all areas and subjects.
Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools
The school last received an Anglican school inspection in January 2020 receiving a strongly ‘Good’ overall judgment (including Good judgments in Collective Worship and RE). Details can be found via the link below; in the 'Policies' tab, you will find our policies for Collective Worship and RE.
The final word must go to our children, and what Ofsted said about them during our Singing Worships which take place on Wednesdays:
“Provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is very well considered and illustrated in outstanding celebrations of their talents when singing together, as seen in very high quality practices where every child was caught up in the magic of modern hymn singing. The huge smiles of pure enjoyment were matched by carefully synchronising their actions and creating a great wall of beautiful sound.” Ofsted 2014
Come and pay us a visit – you are very welcome!
Nativity artwork from Reception to Y6 (with sound):