Christian ethos and values


Mission Statement

As a Church of England School, we seek to provide an excellent education within a Christian environment to fulfil individual potential and to prepare pupils for life and service in a rapidly changing world.

Our school motto is ‘Ora et Labora’‘pray and work’. That sums up our school well. While we are a large school of 1700 students and over 200 members of staff, this phrase is individual, and we hope that here every member of the school community will be able to work well and successfully, but also develop their own faith and walk in life. It is this commitment to hard work and to the Christian life that sits at the heart of what we do.

Our school has been praying and working for over 150 years, having been founded by Canon James Slade in 1855. That was why it was set up; that is why it continues today: to provide an opportunity for pupils to spend their formative teenage years growing in a community that takes God seriously, and unashamedly teaches and practises Christian values.

We find these values summed up for us in Paul’s letter to the Galatians 5: 22-23:

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.’

We hope to foster these attributes in all of our young people, as we help them to think through their own faith and approach to God, their consideration and tolerance of other people, their helpfulness, and their own understanding of themselves.

To get an idea of how our Christian ethos and values work in the day to day life of the school, please use the links on the right in this section.


Church Services and School Worship


The worship of God is central to the life of Canon Slade School as a Christian community.

Church Services

To commemorate the opening of the school on 13 July 1855, our Founder’s Commemoration Service is held each Summer Term in Bolton Parish Church, adjacent to the site of the original school buildings. There are two other major public acts of worship: the Carol Services in December at The Victoria Hall, Bolton, and in the Spring Term a Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving in our Chapel.

School Worship

Taking time each day to be quiet, to reflect, to pray together, to listen to Christian music or to sing a hymn together – these are important things for pupils and staff alike. We organise these in the following ways:

  • Various assembly areas are used each morning during term for a short act of collective worship. Every year group has one assembly in the Chapel each week led by the Headteacher or a member of the senior leadership team and a weekly assembly in the Hall led by the Head of Year. The rest of the morning assembly time is spent with form tutors who also have the responsibility for leading a brief act of collective worship and reflection on each of these days. Notes for these ‘Thoughts for the Day’ are prepared each week by the Chaplain
  • Communion Services are held at least once a term for each Year group in the Chapel.
  • Each day one form shares in a celebration of Holy Communion in our side chapel.
  • There is a Communion Service every Thursday lunchtime which is open to all students and staff who wish to attend.


 Religious education

Excellent provision of Religious Education is essential for any Church School and we give this a high priority in our curriculum throughout the school.

The educational aims of the Religious Studies Department are:

  • to encourage pupils to reflect on human experience and the purpose of life in order to help them in their own personal search for a faith by which to live;
  • to enable pupils to come to understand better what religion is, its place and significance in human life and to help them to realise what it means to make a religious commitment;
  • to identify and commend the positive contribution which religion can make towards respect for other people’s different viewpoints and towards developing caring attitudes.

In this church school the syllabus takes particular account of the unique status and contribution of Christianity in and to our society, as well as having regard to the multi-faith nature of the community in which we live. All students will study for a full GCSE in Religious Studies at the end of Year 11, and results over many years have been excellent.

The work of our school is informed throughout by our commitment to God, with the school community contributing to the spiritual and moral growth of pupils as well as to their intellectual and physical development.

We are grateful that all parents and carers of children attending Canon Slade School are fully supportive of its Christian ethos. Our acts of worship form a daily part of our life together in school, affording time for reflection, thanksgiving and spiritual growth. Similarly, the teaching of Religious Studies to all our pupils is considered to be a central and crucial part of the rounded education we offer.

Since parents and carers choose to send their children to this Christian School we hope that they would not wish to withdraw them from Religious Studies or acts of Christian worship, as permitted under Section 25 of the 1944 Education Act. Therefore no specific arrangements exist in our school for such withdrawal. However, it is the right of any family to ask the school to consider this.