Life as a Church School

What it means to be a Church School

As a Church school, Christian values and beliefs are at the heart of our vision and provide the foundation for everything we do.  Our vision reflects the Church of England`s Vision for Education to enhance young lives through the development of wisdom, hope, community and dignity.

Through our strong Christian ethos and positive relationships, we `know, nurture and inspire` our students to become the best version of themselves, the people that God created them to beWhilst we share the same drive for academic rigour and excellence as every other school, this takes place within the wider framework of our living faith which also prioritises the personal and spiritual development of our young people 

We believe that school is a place where students can encounter God and develop the wisdom, knowledge and skills that will enable them to flourish, fulfil their potential and live `life in all its fullness` (John 10: 10)By exploring and engaging with Christian virtues our students develop the personal qualities they need to make a difference in their wider communities through their compassion, wise action, respect and sense of responsibility.  

Best Version of Ourselves

The curriculum and wider life of Bishops' is driven by a set of principles that, together, articulate the vision we have for our students.

Our curriculum principles are:

  • Wisdom, knowledge and skills 
  • Dignity and respect 
  • Hope and aspiration 

By nurturing these qualities in our students throughout their journey at Bishops’, we believe that they become the kind of people who not only succeed on their academic journey but also on their personal and spiritual journeyssecure in their own beliefs and values and capable of making a positive impact in the world. The commitment we give to this work resulted in our school being designated as `Outstanding` for Personal Development during our most recent Ofsted inspection 

“Pupils learn about the importance of respecting the differences that exist between
them and their peers. They show respect for each other and their teachers.” Ofsted 2019

Welcome from our Chaplain

Reverend North, our school chaplain, is responsible for leading our collective worship and prayer spaces. He is also available to provide spiritual guidance and support for all members of our community, including staff, pupils and parents. You can contact Rev. North on pnorth@bishopschester.co.uk

Collective Worship

Alongside their learning journey, we believe that our students are also on a spiritual journey to know themselves and to be known by God. 

Collective worship at Bishops aims not only to nourish and encourage those with an active Christian faith but also to stimulate, encourage and support all of our students on their personal spiritual journey. Worship is invitational and provides all students with opportunities to experience God through prayer or, alternatively, to benefit from regular periods of stillness and reflection. 

Daily acts of worship at Bishops are varied and creative, involving music, biblical readings, storiesperiods of silence and also services for Eucharist. Year group assemblies, which are led by our Chaplain, Year Leaders, visiting speakers from local churches or by students themselves, provide spaces in which students can reflect upon the relevance of Jesus` teachings in today`s world as well as upon their own behaviour, values and attitudes. Worship also takes place during Form Time using resources for reflection such as `Quality Time` to help nurture our student’s spiritual, emotional and moral development. To see examples of these, please use the links below.

During Lockdown, Reverend North has organised for visiting speakers to provide spiritual reflections via video link for our students. To see examples of our ‘Soul Sessions’ follow the links below.

Soul Session – Advent Peace

Soul Session – I am a Work in Progress

Quality Time Resources – Lean on me

Quality Time Resources – Mental Health KS3

Bishops’ Assemblies Calendar

RE at Bishops'

Religious Education at Bishops` provides a vibrant, relevant and inspiring curriculum for students of all ages across all key stages. Our team of dedicated and talented RE specialists work extremely hard to ensure that lessons are challenging and engaging and that they provide regular opportunities for students to develop not only academically but also personally and spiritually. RE is a popular subject at Bishops`; it has a high priority within the school, is very well-resourced and is delivered in a dedicated suite of colourful classrooms.

Find out more about RE at Bishops’

Prayer Space and Peace Garden

At Bishops’, we are proud to be able to offer bespoke spaces for students and staff to use for prayer, reflection and stillness. 

During normal conditions, the Prayer Space provides interactive prayer stations for students and staff to engage with prayer and meditation creatively and also serves as a space for our Christian Union and Bible Study Group to meet. The Sanctuary and the Peace Garden also provide spaces where pupils can relax, reflect and experience stillness within the business of the school day. 

Character Development and Social Advocacy

We pride ourselves not only on the very positive relationships within our school community but also on the close relationship and service that we give to our wider community. 

The links that we actively nurture with groups and people beyond our school gates are an important way in which we fulfil our vision of developing wise and responsible learners with the skills they need to become positive members of society. 

We want our students to understand that education can and should be transformative, promoting the worth and dignity of every human being for the common good. There are many opportunities for students to volunteer their time and skills to serve others in their community, putting into practice their values of lovecompassion and hope in creative ways. This sense of stewardship and responsibility extends beyond our local community through the exciting work that we do with churches and schools in Uganda and Nepal. 

 We also enjoy very close links with a number of local churches who support us with the planning and delivery of our programme of collective worship. Our partnership with Chester Diocese is strong and a highlight of our calendar is our annual carol service that we hold each Christmas in Chester Cathedral. To support our students to develop respect and tolerance for all faiths, we also nurture healthy links with other faith communities. The visits and visitors that students experience through RE provide rich opportunities for them to encounter and engage in dialogue with different worldviews and communities.  

Dignity, Diversity and Respect

The dignity of our students and our staff is rooted in Christian teaching. We are all loved by God as unique individuals created `in his image` and God intends for each of us to flourish and live life `in all its fullness`. These beliefs underpin our policies and practices as well as our ethos, resulting in the overwhelming majority of our students behaving well and enjoying exceptionally positive relationships with each other and their teachers. Daily life at Bishops’ is characterised by the care, consideration and respect that results from following Jesus` Second Great commandment to `love your neighbour as you love yourself`. When conflicts arise, as they inevitably do, we deal with them in a way that affirms the dignity and respect of all members of the community; students are provided with opportunities to seek forgiveness, second chances are given, and attempts are always made to restore harmonious relationships. Students at Bishops’ feel listened to and supported to flourish within an environment of care, encouragement and hope.

Our culture of dignity and respect

At Bishops’, we encourage our students not only to tolerate and respect difference and diversity but to actively embrace and celebrate it. The diversity of our own student body is a genuine source of strength that our school community rejoices in. The culture of dignity and respect that we nurture and encourage enables all of our community to feel safe, protected and valued as the people that God created us to be. Our open and tolerant ethos also successfully prevents the kinds of prejudicial behaviour that might be found elsewhere. When instances of such behaviour and language, or indeed bullying of any kind, occur these are immediately challenged and dealt with swiftly through our highly effective pastoral and behaviour systems.