Our school was founded in 1909 as a Church of England school. Over the years it became a local authority controlled community school. It has always benefited from close links with our parish church and in 2016 Governors decided to consult on making the move back towards our roots as an Oxford Diocese Voluntary Aided School. Feedback to the consultation was 100% positive, and the school opened as ‘East Claydon C of E School’ in September 2016.
Our Church status has precipitated many changes for the school, including:
- Most of our Governors are now Foundation Governors, with a specific remit to ensure that our strategic priorities and day-to-day practice reflect our Christian vision and values.
- Although we don’t have our own parish vicar at present, we work closely with the team vicars from surrounding parishes. This includes a fortnightly collective worship run by one of the team at the school.
- We spend time at our parish church, celebrating key points in the Christian calendar as well as using it as an opportunity to enrich our learning, from the History of the grave stones to throwing home-made parachutes off the church tower!
- We welcome the team vicars and wider PCC in to school to help us really understand important aspects of Christianity and how they help us to live our lives.
- Our daily collective worship focuses on our three key values of Love, Respect and Commitment. These are extended to include a wider set of values, with a combination of stories, quiet reflection time and music to help us really live our values in everything we do.
- Our values-based education is incorporated into daily ‘team time’ for each class, where they have an opportunity to dig a bit deeper and ask the harder questions that they or others pose.
Although we are a Church of England school, we welcome children from all faiths and none. Our admissions policy does not have a criteria that places church-going families above others as we want to ensure equality of access for everyone.
The British Values of tolerance and respect and individual liberty are at the heart of our RE and PSHE lessons, so that our children gain a much broader understanding of the world beyond East Claydon and can engage in serious debate about how to make it a better place for all.