Church School links
As a Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School our links with St Mary's Church in Wilby are an important part of school life and support the school's Christian ethos. This is emphasised in our School Christian Distinctiveness Survey (July 2017)which can be accessed by clicking here.
The children are involved in preparing and attending services that parents and the community are warmly invited to enjoy also. These include: Harvest, Christmas, Easter and Christingle. They also organise CWL (Collective Worship Lead) assemblies in the middle of term times which parents are invited to attend. We also try to ensure that Anglican church rituals and symbolism are reflected in our every day Collective Worship in school. Three important symbols used in our daily Collective Worship are: Candles, Signing The Peace and the use of Collective Worship Cloths which reflect the colours of the liturgical calendar.The children have created information sheets about these artefacts which are displayed in our school hall. Examples of these information sheets can be found by following the links below:
Displays in church reflect the work on the Church calendar studied in school. See below the work on the Holy Trinity that the children have expressed through their art work.
Our incumbent the Reverend David Burrell works closely with the school and each term school collective worship is held at St Mary's. These worship times are well attended by parents and members of the community are encouraged to join us also.
The school also holds special events days in the church and in school which help us to celebrate develop a better understanding of key events in the Anglican church calendar:
Remembrance: In order to honour the fallen in WW1 our special commemorative event incorporated pupils reading poetry/ prayers; singing our special remembrance song and placing crosses on the graves of the soldiers who are buried at Wilby church.
Epiphany:The children learnt all about what Epiphany means and why it is celebrated in the Anglican church. We also looked at how the French people make the galette des rois cakes. The cake celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise men in Bethlehem. We all got to try the delicious puff pastry cake which was filled with frangipane and had a small charm, the feve, hidden inside it.
We also aim to broaden our pupils understanding by learning about and supporting Christian charities across the world. In particular our chosen charity is Handinhand which works closely with a variety of organisations in Africa. It is through them that we have developed our link with Mogonjet Primary school in Kenya. As a school we have made a commitment to raise funds for the school each term. Fund-raising events are suggested, organised and run by the pupils themselves. We have also written to the pupils and are developing pen-pal links with them.
In December 17 we invited Josh from Christian Youth Ministries to talk to us about his experience working with Hope Charity in Uganda. We learnt that we have much to be thankful for!
We also strive to teach tolerance and understanding about World Faiths and this year the children produced images connected with the theme of 'Love, Life and Light' to be used in a 2018 school calendar. The images powerfully reflect their desire to unite faiths.
In December Kingfisher Class visited the Bond Street Mosque in Ipswich to find our more about the role of prayer in the Muslim faith and what they do when they worship in a mosque.
In May 2017 we were visited by Bishop Mike. The Bishop spent time with the children in their classes and taking part in Collective Worship. He also told the children lots about his current role and the history of being a Bishop. He explained the religious significance of his clothing and jewellery and even gave one lucky young man the chance to try it all on!
Our 'Experience your Church Day' - Autumn 2017 was organised by school staff, community and Church members. The children from all key stages had a wonderful time finding out about religious symbols and artefacts in the Church and how they are used in Anglican worship.
Our Discover Advent day was organised and run by a cross section of the community including, pupils staff, church members and the Reverend Burrell. The children really enjoyed the event:
"It made more sense in church-I really understand the Christmas story in a different way now' Reece Y6.
The children were involved in all sorts of hands on activities aimed towards developing a better understanding of Advent and what it means to Christians
Christingle Service-February 2017
All children made Christingles as part of the service and we spent time thinking about the meaning behind each element the candle and holder. Both parents and children said the church looked really magical as the pupils lifted up their Christingles in the darkened church to join one another in prayer. They were delighted to be able to take their christingles home as an after school treat.
The school also fosters links with St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury.
Our Y1 children enjoyed the opportunity to discover advent in Bury Cathedral in December, taking part in a wide-range of active and story-telling activities. This year (8.12.17) Y6 were visited by the education team from Bury cathedral and took part in a variety of activities and discussions designed to develop their understanding and help them to reflect on the true meaning on Advent.
Before Christmas 2016 our children took part in the Everlasting Light (EL) project. Apart from practising the brilliant EL songs the children were able to take part in a cd recording day in Ipswich and then in the final Celebration concert at the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion.
The Christian charity is raising money for Tearfund water schemes in Africa and many of our children said they felt privileged to be a part of this fantastic project.