Christian values underpin the school’s endeavour to be a caring community, within which each individual matters. We aim to serve the community by providing an education of the highest quality within the contest of Christian belief and practice, and to encourage an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promote Christian values through the experiences we offer. A belief in the value of each person as an individual is essential, and through our inclusivity we believe that children of all abilities can and do flourish at Archbishop Holgate’s.
“Schools are rooted in their local communities, listening carefully to and reflecting the traditions and concerns of those communities. But more than that, Church schools stand for values within the Christian tradition which parents perceive to belong to our heritage as a nation and the ethical standards and moral norms which go back to the teaching of Christ.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury
Recognising its historic foundation, the school hopes to preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Church at parish and diocesan level. The school aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith, and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers to all its students. Our commitment to ‘Values, Care and Achievement’ underpins all that we do. The school’s Christian values of Trust, Forgiveness, Compassion and Justice are complemented by pastoral care that values each student as an individual and helps maximise their achievement by making the most of their individual gifts and talents.
The move from Voluntary Aided status in April 2011 to a Church of England Academy signals a deepening of the school’s commitment to an ethos in which Christian values are lived into being. Our Christian foundation will continue to remain at the centre of all we do and give the school an extra dimension and a distinctiveness which makes us different from a community school. Our Church status does not provide a context for evangelising; but those committed to the Christian path will find many ways in which their faith can find expression through the corporate values of the school.
The Christian ethos of the school is supported by regular collective worship. All Assemblies have a clear Christian focus and are complemented by a fortnightly Chapel Assembly which is always based around a Christian Value and through tutor time where students explore ‘Thought for the Day’ each and every morning. Indeed during the 2010/11 academic year the school community collectively decided that the Christian Values of trust, forgiveness, compassion and justice were the ones that most closely represented the work we do as a school. Archbishop Holgate’s is also committed to the concept of service and to support those less fortunate than themselves, with charity work and volunteering a priority throughout main school and Sixth Form. The commitment to the Christian way of life is at the heart of our caring community, within which each individual matters and where our own personal conduct should model the values and integrity that underpin the entire school community.
Our links with the Church of England include an annual invitation to hold our Carol Service in York Minster; a deepening relationship with our ‘home’ parish of Heslington; and developing links with other parishes and churches within the area we serve. Archbishop Holgate’s is not, however, an exclusively Church of England institution. The school is committed to exploring ways in which these and other links with the Church of England can be deepened, and ways in which our links with other denominations and faiths can also be further developed. Members of the school community – both students and staff – come to Archbishop Holgate’s from a wide variety of denominations, beliefs and faiths, and are gladly accepted, in the expectation that they will feel at ease in such a setting.