Being a Church of England School
The Church of England (‘Anglican Church’) has had a commitment to education since its development 500 years ago as a single ‘umbrella’ Church in which people of widely differing views and backgrounds throughout England could belong together in harmony.
Living at this time of equal diversity and complexity, the Church of England offers a vision for education today in which children and young people may experience ‘life in all its fullness’ (Gospel of John, 10.10) through • acquiring wisdom, knowledge and skills with delight and passion, in order to participate fruitfully in the world; • receiving guidance to live in pursuit of their hopes and aspirations, recognising their God-given potential and preciousness; • learning to live well together in a flourishing community; • developing the habit of treating themselves and each other with the dignity and respect that are central to all good education; this follows from the central Christian belief that all are made ‘in God’s image and likeness’ (Genesis 1.26). Through academic rigour and a regular experience of Religious Education and Christian worship, pupils in Anglican Schools develop a religious literacy that is crucial in a world in which religion plays such an important role. They learn to ask the big questions about their own identity and purpose, encouraged to explore the claims of faith, using the Bible, Tradition and human Reason which together form the ‘three-legged stool’ on which Anglicanism has always rested. This insistence on using reason has made the Church of England a highly-valued partner in education and helps to explain why it is such an important player in the provision of education in schools and colleges throughout the nation. St Andrew’s School was founded in this tradition in 1862 as part of the work of St Andrew’s Parish. Now supported by the Local Authority and part of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark’s family of schools, St Andrew’s continues to offer this Anglican vision to those of all faiths and none, confident that all people can find within these values a firm foundation for a good education and a set of principles in which all can find common ground.