Church and Community
Strong Ties with Our Church and Community
Our school is one of four schools within the Mission Community of Netherexe Parish which is a community of eleven churches within the Diocese of Exeter - the Church of England in Devon.
The school and the local community often come together in worship and celebration of the Christian calendar, worshipping together enriches the life of the school and the church community. Religious visitors to the school include the Baptist Church in the village and the Initiative in Christian Education (ICE), the school often uses the Chapel and the Church for their assemblies. Services throughout the year are held at St Peter's Church in the village when parents and friends of the school are encouraged to join in.
The school supports the village church ‘Service with a Smile', a monthly service held on the first Sunday of each month, and the school decorates a beautiful Christmas Tree with prayers and decorations for the village's Christmas Tree Festival.
The Year 5 and 6 children at Brampford Speke, Silverton and Thorverton C of E Schools came together last week to take part in ‘Creation Sings’. This project brings together science, faith and music and enables children to start to think about the way that the ‘how’ of creation in science can be reconciled to the ‘why’ of creation in the bible. It was organised by a team from God and the Big Bang, which seeks to give children and young people the opportunity to explore how faith and science can work together to explain the biggest questions that human beings can ask.
During their two day visit the team worked with Year 5 and 6 children from the three Church Schools in the federation. Each session began with an introductory talk, getting the children ready to broaden their horizons and deepen their thinking. Then they moved around interactive workshops for the rest of the session, looking at topics like climate change, miracles and evolution. The workshops were interactive and engaging, giving children the tools they needed to develop their own opinions and then discuss and debate some big questions with their peers. Afterwards, they had the opportunity to challenge the workshop leaders with their burning questions in the area of science and faith. In the second session, children learned songs which have been written for Creation Sings on different themes in science and faith. These were a chance for the children to further their understanding and respond in awe and wonder to all that they have learnt about in the first part of the day.
At the end of the second day, all the children gathered together at St Thomas’ Church in Thorverton to share the songs that they had learned in their workshops. The celebration was led by John Jolliffe, the Executive Headteacher, and included a reflection on the creation story, led by Rev Tim Collins, the Priest-in-Charge of the Netherexe Mission Community, which includes Brampford Speke and Thorverton. Parents and friends of the schools heard a sample of questions that the children had been asking, including ‘Who or what created the creator of the universe?’, ‘Why do we exist?’ and ‘If God didn’t create the world, who did?’. The children clearly enjoyed being together again in church and sharing the songs they had learned as well as singing their final song together, “Can you see?’, which spoke of how the natural world whispers secrets of the mystery of eternity to us.
Children’s lives at school and beyond are often so busy that there is little time for them to stop and reflect on the biggest questions of life. This project gave them the opportunity to develop their own thinking about science and faith and to refine their developing values and beliefs. Gill Adnams, the Head of Silverton School, said afterwards, “The children came back to school buzzing with enthusiasm about Creation Sings. It has really ignited their thinking and challenged them to explore what they believe about science and faith.”