School cross and what it means
The first thing to notice is that the school mission 'learn to love, love to learn' and cross and the Busbridge Church logo and cross are the same style. This symbolises the relationship between the school and church.
A year after Busbridge Church was founded (1867) the Ramsdens (patrons and founders of the church), Rev Tringham (the first Rector of Busbridge) and several notable church members began work on the school. Busbridge Church of England Voluntary Aided Junior School (known as BJS) is on the same site today.
The school land and buildings are held in a special Rector and Churchwarden Trust and church trustees (called a PCC) and this is an important distinction compared to many other schools. The Trust ensures that the school provides excellent education with a Christian foundation and that teaching is in accordance with 'the belief and understanding of the Church of England'. The Trust also ensures that the school is not subject to adverse development. The majority of the school Governors are appointed by the church and the Rector holds an ex-officio on the Governing Body and a spiritual and pastoral role for children, staff and parents.
We are pleased that the school received a ‘good’ rating at the latest Ofsted inspection. The report is available here. The school received an 'Outstanding' rating for its Religious, Moral and Spiritual inspection SIAMS inspection in 2014 (Statutory Inspection Anglican and Methodist Schools). The SIAMS report is available here.
Youth Team and Clergy involvement
The church has four youth staff. They conduct weekly acts of worship, provide support for RE and PSHE and take part in school visits and lessons. Church members and staff support school events, such as
Clergy and the youth team lead regular acts of worship in the school and church and offer short Christian talk at key times in the year for both children and parents. Some examples include:
- Offering a moving and reflective Annual Ash Wednedsay 'Ashing' assembly for children and staff, in the school hall
- Class visits to the church to study the world famous pieces Arts & Crafts pieces
- Church provision of bouncy castles and 'Splat the Rat' at Summer Fetes
- Financial support for the school, including provision of subsidised housing for the school caretaker, fundraising for building projects and an annual donation to the school governors; totalling over £100,000 in the past few years
- Three minute relevant and pithy 'thoughts for Christmas' to close annual Christmas productions in the school hall
- Carol, Easter, Harvest, Year Three 'Fresh Start' and Year Six 'Leaving Well' church services
Church in a school
Busbridge Church has until recently used the school hall on Sundays for one of its congregations. This is currently under review.