Ethos and Values
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 the vision for our school well. While we are a large school of over 1750 students and over 200 members of staff, this phrase is both corporate and individual. We aim to equip and encourage every member of the school community to work well and successfully, based on the foundation of a prayerful faith. It is this commitment to the Christian life and to working hard 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, and 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 the Christian faith, and encourages students and staff to grow in their understanding and out-working of that faith in everyday life.
The characteristics of a life centred on God are described 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 follow this link to see the latest SIAMS Inspection Report - Canon Slade High School SIAMS Report November 2017].
Church services and school worship
The worship of God is central to the life of Canon Slade School as a Christian community.
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.
We hold our Carol Services in December each year, normally at The Victoria Hall, Bolton, and they are usually open to members of the wider Canon Slade community to attend – parents and carers, and alumni.
Taking time each day to be quiet, to reflect on God’s Word, to pray together, to listen to Christian music or to sing a hymn together – these are important for pupils and staff alike. We organise these in the following ways:
- The Chapel is used daily during term for collective worship. Every year group has one worship assembly in the Chapel each week led by the Chaplain, Headteacher or a member of the senior leadership team, and a weekly assembly organised by the Head of Year.
- The rest of the form time is spent with form tutors who have the responsibility for leading a brief act of collective worship and reflection each day, and a focussed time of reflection and discussion each week resourced by the school Chaplain.
- Holy Communion Services are held twice a year for each form in turn in the Side Chapel.
- There is a Chapel Service every Friday lunchtime which is open to all Sixth-Form students, staff and Year 11 students who wish to attend.
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.