A Christ-centred school
Of course being a Christian school is central to our identity – it’s our name after all! Living for Jesus is what unites the leadership of the school (staff and trustees/governors) in our common goal of Christian education. But what does that mean?
The school exists as a nurturing place where the love of Jesus can be demonstrated in practice and children are valued as unique individuals made in the image of God. We believe in the importance of family and as a loving community it is our intention to be an extension of family as we support parents in the discipleship of their children.
We believe that our small numbers and positive staff-pupil relationships give our students the optimal environment to thrive – an environment where success is measured in terms of kindness, character, creativity and collaboration as well as academic achievement. Moral and spiritual development are built through a culture in which questioning and discussion are encouraged.
We believe we have created an environment where our students are able to grow in strength of character, assured of who they are before they face the bigger challenges of other environments. We value childhood and offer the chance for children to grow at their own pace without rushing through the process of growing up. Individuals with all their quirks and uniqueness are truly valued and accepted for who they are without the pressure to conform to a mass homogeneity.
We are not affiliated to a particular church or Christian denomination but are united in our belief that Jesus is Lord and our desire to follow Him. There is, therefore, no requirement to attend a particular church or sign up to a particular set of beliefs. In fact our ethos and values appeal to Christian families and non-Christian families alike so you will find a mixture of backgrounds amongst out students. The only requirement is that members of the school community respect the foundational beliefs of the school. Everyone is welcome and valued no matter what their background or beliefs.
Children learn from and about the Bible as part of the day to day life of the school as well as praying together and for one another. Compassion for others and loving our neighbours and ourselves are very important values for us.
The dynamic of our small school creates a unique learning experience for children, parents and teachers. The school affirms every person as different and special to God and there is an emphasis on each pupil achieving his or her potential.
We provide a Christ centred education that enables children and young people to become confident, creative, aware and responsible members of their communities. This crucial work is shared between the school, the parents and, of course, the young person themselves.
“The care, concern and commitment of the teachers towards the pupils is excellent and our child has thrived in the supportive and genuine Christian atmosphere that is evident in the relationship between teachers and pupils.” TCST parent
M Emlyn Humphries
Education is a preparation for life and school is a space where we learn. We learn through example and by being freed to pursue our passions. Character is so important, founded on biblical revelation.
It is my aim to develop sharp minds cultivated in an environment of love and respect. I love to see young people engaging with their work and the needs of the world in a purposeful and responsible way.
The school as a community
The fundamental basis of our school is that of a community where staff and parents (many of the staff are also parents) work together for and with the pupils. We view it as our collective responsibility to contribute to the running of the school and encourage everyone to feel that they can be part of the solution to any issues that arise.
Modern life often means that families live quite isolated lives and we believe that this was not God’s plan for how we should live. Whilst not replacing church, we aim to be something which is refreshingly different from what contemporary society generally offers.
Throughout the school there is an emphasis on the importance of the values of obedience, honesty, kindness, perseverance, service to each other, courtesy and consideration. We encourage everyone to make a positive contribution to school life as members of the school community.
“In less than a term we fell like part of a family. We’ve gone from a child who hated school to one that likes and looks forward to it. Thank you.” TCST parent
“We, as a family, could not have asked for a warmer welcome from staff, pupils and other parents! A truly unique school.” TCST parent
A school that gets results
Getting results means more to us than just exam results – but exam results are important to us too! It is our aim that every child in our school should feel valued and loved in the eyes of God regardless of how they perform in tests and we believe this strong foundation enables them to do their best and achieve their full potential. Time and again we have students achieve more than they were told they could elsewhere.
Our small number means that we do not often show up in league tables.
A school encouraging a love of learning
What is best for the children is at the heart of who we are. We believe education is about more than just exam or test results – of course exams are important as evidence of learning but it is learning and encouraging a love of learning that is much more important to us. We believe that children thrive when they have a connection to nature and have loving, strong relationships. Where trust exists between staff and pupils the children have the firm foundation they need to learn.
We value each child as an individual and care for them as such. Free from much of the pressure to conform that exits elsewhere, our pupils have the freedom and space to discover who they are and build their character in a nurturing environment. During these formative years they can build firm foundations which stand them in good stead as they go out into the bigger ‘societies’ after they leave us.
“When my daughter started at the Christian School we saw an immediate change from someone who had struggled to be herself to someone who is happy and looks forward to school.” TCST parent
“The children are put first and nurtured which is so important in this day and age. They are encouraged to do their best and the staff treat pupils with dignity, compassion and respect.” TCST parent
“My child has a thirst for learning again and has matured but most importantly can be himself because he feels valued and has the perfect environment and enthusiastic and dedicated teachers to blossom and learn.” TCST parent
“We continue to be pleased with the care and support staff provide for our children. We feel that at TCST the education fits the child rather than the other way around. Their enthusiasm is encouraged and they are helped by being in small classes where no-one is left behind.” TCST parent
How the school is organised
Our small size means that we can adapt to meet the needs of the children that we have in the school. We make sure that group sizes are appropriate for the ages of particular needs of the children. The children are grouped into:
- Lower Junior class (Y2 up to Y4)
- Upper Junior class (Y5 and Y6 with Y6 being taught with the lower senior class on occasions)
- Lower Senior classes (Y7 to Y9)
- Upper Senior classes (Y10 and Y11)
Throughout the school, there is an emphasis on the importance of literacy and numeracy.
The broader curriculum includes English, Mathematics, Science, Core Skills, French, Spanish, Geography, History, Drama and Media Studies, Music, Art, Technology and Crafts (including working with resistant materials, cooking, sewing and horticulture), Computer Science, Careers, Life Skills, Personal, Social, Health and Economics Education (PSHEE), Religious Studies (RS) and Physical Education (PE).
Our teachers are predominantly qualified specialists. Some are parents who are offering their expertise. We have a very versatile and talented staff and, due to our small size, some teach more than one subject. Those of us who are both parents and teachers have discovered the privilege of combining a love of a subject, a commitment to Christian Education and the chance of being fully involved in the education of our children.
Development and School Improvement Planning
Development planning is a key part of how we run the school.
The process involves the publication of a development plan for each school year which is reviewed each term as the year progresses.
In the Spring term we also have an Envisioning Day where parents, teachers and trustees gather for the day to look at the vision for the school.
To honour God for all He has done here and to ask Him to guide us and give us wisdom in all we do at the school
To continually improve our premises in small ways by decorating, reallocating teaching areas, improving facilities and equipment, increasing storage and access to facilities.
- To prayerfully work towards extending the size of the school and access by increasing staffing and teaching space.
- To continually work as a staff to improve our teaching skills and to encourage and support each other in this
- To continually work towards implementing processes and ways of working which enable us to care for and nurture each child with their individual needs and ways of learning, to enable them to fulfil their potential
To continue to place great importance on listening to and working with parents.
Independent Schools’ Standards
To ensure overall effectiveness through the quality and standards of the education being provided.
To improve with respect to external evaluations of the school in the key areas
Pupils have the opportunity to sit GCSEs with AQA.
Our success at the Mathematics Challenges, a National and International competition is something of which we are very proud.
Pupils had the opportunity to sit GCSEs with AQA as well as Functional Skills in mathematics and English.
This is the first year that pupils had the opportunity to sit their Foundation Certificate of Secondary Education (FCSE) in French. All pupils sitting the examination achieved a merit.
We had 6 pupils in Y11 this year who all sat GCSE examinations in the summer. 100% achieved a grade 4 or above in English. 67% achieved a level 6 or above in mathematics. 83% achieved a grade 5 or above in all their science examinations, with 60% of all the science results being a level 7 and above.
49% of all results were levels 7, 8 or 9.
Every pupil has secured their place in Key Stage 5 education either at a sixth form or in an apprenticeship position.
Statistics provided by DfE
We do not appear on government league tables as we have too few pupils and need to protect the privacy of the individuals.
Support the School Financially
The school has to plan for the future. We need to make provision for the teaching. This includes making sure that the premises are comfortable, safe and secure and we have teaching staff. Utilities, staff costs and materials are fixed costs and are managed appropriately. These costs are covered by fees. Other costs are not.
The model we work to is explained to every parent when they join the school. As head teacher this is usually the last time I speak directly to parents about finance. We all need reminding of this spoken agreement so that the school can continue to prosper.
The school prospers through the free will giving of the school community. We work to meet the needs of the wider community and the education we provide is a unique and essential part of the schooling in our area. If you think about your own experience of the school and the families whose needs are served by the school, you will see that God has provided us to serve in this area in a special way. As families of the school we aren’t just clients we are providers of a service.
Each of us supports the ethos of the school by the school offering significant fee discounts to families and we have always done so. The ethos is also supported through volunteering and a wage structure that enables teachers to send their children to the school. We have always benefited from teaching staff whose only stake in the school is that they work here and believe in what we are doing. The calibre and dedication of our staff is a blessing. We need more than the fee and volunteering however and we should not depend on paying our staff less.
Parents have always had to step up to their responsibility and give in proportion to their income beyond the basic fee. Maintaining the school is the responsibility of the parents and a vital part of the giving, not depending on events or one off initiatives. The giving we hope for is free, regular and joyful.
Past beneficiaries of the school who remember the faithfulness of others, could you underwrite the continuing work of the school? Small regular giving can make a significant difference to our finances. This is true because the community of the school, past and present is now big enough to make your collective effort effective. One off gifts and bequests are fantastic. Your generosity is significant to our income.
Please share this letter as widely as you are able. We love it when people attend our events and make contact with the school and realise that people who have not necessarily benefited from the school want to support us.
We appreciate people organising and attending special events. But, we need the security of your continuing financial support for the general work of the school.
Contact the office for a standing order form and gift aid declaration or explore the online ways of making donations.