St Nicolas’ Infant School was established in 1852 by the Church of England to provide free education for the children of the parish and the school’s relationship with the Church is still very close. Father Neil visits every week for Collective Worship as well as to provide pastoral support and to share in the leading of the school as part of the governing body.
The Church welcomes the school community with open arms and we see each other as very much "Two sides of the same coin" in how we work and support each other to "Live life in all its fullness" (John 10:10). The entrance to the church building is filled with the presence of the school, with displays, stained glass windows, children's work and photos of our lives together, which creates a warm welcome that reflects the joyful relationship between the two St Nicolas sites - school and Church.
We hold joint services at St Nicolas’ Church to celebrate Harvest, Christmas, Easter and at the end of the school year for our Leavers’ Service. These services are highlights of the school calendar and are always well attended by the whole school community as we come together to share special occasions and festivals as we learn, reflect, sing and pray. We also benefit from the close links that St Nicolas Church and United Reformed Church across the road from the school have established with the involvement of the URC minister in our collective worship and at school events.
As a Church school, our Vision and Values are based on Biblical principles and each Value is linked to a Bible verse and illustrated with a parable. We hold regular ‘Pause Days’ every year to celebrate Harvest, Black History Month and Dignity, Remembrance Day, Advent, Easter, UN Anti-Racism Day and Pentecost and take part in the Guildford Cathedral display of nativity figures. The Church often links both their monthly family services and Messy Church sessions to the school’s Values and Pause Days.
We have daily collective worship in school, which has a Christian character, but is open and respectful of all faiths and worldviews. We have prayers in collective worship and in class, sometimes led by an adult and sometimes by the children themselves as well as a Prayer Space where children can create their own prayers. Prayer is always invitational, without any compulsion to take part unless the child chooses to. Religious Education is considered a core subject in a Church school and is taught using the guidance of the Diocese of Guildford, but is open and respectful of all faiths and worldviews.
We have established close links with several charities, which we support throughout the year, enabling children to understand the work of the charities and feel empowered to make a difference in the world themselves.
We are supported by the work of Guildford Diocese, which provides many services and gives us opportunities to take part in local events.