The area covered by the Benefice is currently home to four primary schools (Cheddon Fitzpaine, Kingston St. Mary, Nerrols and West Monkton), one large secondary school (Heathfield Community School) and one independent school (Taunton School’s International Middle School).
With links to most of these, we work in partnership with the schools to help bring the Religious Education part of the curriculum to life and allowing pupils the opportunity to recognise and nuture the spiritual aspects of life alongside the rest of their education.
What this looks like is different for each school but, in the past, has included hosting visits to our churches; allowing children the chance to learn about faith as they explore the historic buildings. Members of the team also lead times of collective worship in schools as well as forming part of school Ethos Committees, which are focussed on finding ways to live out a school’s values and preserving the Christian distinctiveness of the church schools as well as promoting community cohension. In addition, members of the team have drawn upon their experience to lead class workshops, principally around faith and festivals.
One major way in which we are beginning to engage with schools (currently only with West Monkton Primary) is in partnership with TLG (Transforming Lives for Good), a national education-focussed charity, who aim to provide a hope and a future for struggling children through working through local churches.
Having put a team through the necessary training, we are now able to offer year-long Early Intervention mentoring and coaching to children in the school who have been identified as needing a bit more one-to-one support socially, emotionally and behaviourally.