Vision & History
At Hampstead Parochial School, we are proud of our history and Christian ethos as Church of England primary school. Each day our school community is guided by our school vision ‘Educating for Life in all its Fullness’ and by our core Christian values.
In this section, you can read about the school’s vision, a potted history of the school and about our commitment to upholding our Christian values.
Click on any of the links on the right to take you directly to the relevant section of the website.
Hampstead Parochial Church of England Primary School can trace its roots back to 1787 when Thomas Mitchell (1751-1799) founded the school from the Sunday School of St John-at-Hampstead.
Later, in the mid-nineteenth century as Hampstead’s population rapidly grew, living conditions for the poor were becoming increasingly cramped and unsanitary and medical care was out of the reach of most of the residents. It was left to the Revd Thomas Ainger (1799 – 1863), an energetic social reformer, theological heavyweight and vicar of Hampstead Parish Church for 22 years to found the Hampstead Provident Dispensary in New End in 1846 as a ‘relief’ club for the sick poor.
A growing population meant increasing numbers of children and as a Cambridge graduate Ainger valued the gift of learning and took on the responsibility for the development of local schools, including Hampstead Parochial School.
The school remains in the red-brick buildings Ainger built and his contribution is remembered in an annual school service held at St John’s and in the giving of the Ainger Prize, awarded to pupils for their involvement in the life of the school.
At the outbreak of World War II, the school was temporarily relocated to Whipsnade but returned home in 1951.
While the buildings are Victorian, today’s incarnation of Hampstead Parochial School is a modern, forward-thinking and progressive primary school with learning at its heart.
The founders of Hampstead Parochial School sought to provide a distinctive and inclusive education for the children of Hampstead. We remain true to this vision today.
To read more about the Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead where both Thomas Mitchell and Thomas Ainger are buried, click here.
Church of England Schools
The Church of England has a long and respected history of involvement of education and the facts are a testament to that:
- Around one million children attend CofE schools
- 25% of all primary and middle schools and 6% of secondary schools are CofE
- CofE clergy dedicate a million hours a year working with children in schools
- There are 22,500 Foundation Governors in Church schools recruited, trained and supported by dioceses
- Each diocese runs a Diocesan Board of Education supporting Church schools
On 16th October 1811, Joshua Watson, a wine merchant, philanthropist and prominent member of the High Church party founded the ‘National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church in England and Wales,’ commonly referred to as the National Society.
Church of England schools are established primarily for the communities they are located in and were founded by parishes to serve the poorest children. They are inclusive and serve equally those who are of the Christian faith, those of other faiths and those with no faith.
Vision & Values
“Educating for life in all its fullness”
To enable everyone within our community to flourish and enjoy a life filled with love, meaning and purpose, underpinned by Christian values, a love of learning and an eagerness to make the world a better place together.
The Vision is based on the biblical text John 10:10: Jesus said, ‘I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness.’
The Four Foundations
Our vision is built upon four foundations which are interwoven with our six core Christian Values (forgiveness, responsibility, koinonia, friendship, compassion and respect)
- Wisdom, Knowledge, Skills (forgiveness)
- Hope and Aspiration (Responsibility)
- Community and Living well together (Koinonia, Friendship and Compassion)
- Dignity and Respect (Respect)
Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills: Forgiveness
Fostering discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and fully developing skills/talents in all areas of life. Coping wisely when things go wrong, forgiving one another when we make mistakes. Developing resilience through times of challenge
Hope and Aspiration: Responsibly
Opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them. Seeking healing, repair and renewal. Developing a wider hope and aspiration for our local community and the world at large as responsible global citizens.
Community and Living well together: Koinonia, Friendship and Compassion
Ensuring a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.
Dignity and Respect: Respect
Ensuring the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth.
Core Christian Values
Hampstead Parochial School is a Church of England Voluntary-Aided primary school that offers a distinctly Christian education in an inclusive environment where we encourage all children and young people to learn, enquire and grow.
The distinctive nature of our approach to education can be found in our explicit Christian values such as collective worship, a grounded Christian ethos and in our Religious Education.
Children and staff of all faiths and none are welcome at our school and our aims are to promote understanding and tolerance between those of different faith traditions.
‘Church schools should nourish Christians in their faith, encourage those of other faiths and challenge those of no faith’
Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury 1980 – 1991
As a community, we have identified six values that are woven into the very fabric of the school which we expect all members of the school community – students, staff, governors, parents and clergy – to model:
Koinonia may be a word you don’t instantly recognise. It is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible (first occurring in Acts 2:42) and it means ‘communion, joint participation and contribution’. It identifies the idealised state of fellowship and unity that should exist within the Christian Church.
Every day our school community comes together for collective worship. As a Church of England school, our collective worship is centred on Christianity and our core Christian values.
We encourage children to regard collective worship as a period of calm, respectful reflection: to be quiet and thoughtful, to listen carefully to the leader and to participate in prayer and singing. We create a peaceful atmosphere by using music and candles and other elements that act as a focal point for the attention of the children.
Every day, a different member of staff or clergy leads our collective worship:
Monday worship is Leadership Assembly: a member of the leadership team lead worship in line with the school vision and the value of the half term.
Tuesday Worship is Achievement Assembly: worship is where we celebrate achievement in the school from the past week. Headteacher’s special mentions are given which include a celebration of children demonstrating our core Christian values.
Wednesday worship is Singing Assembly: worship is lead by our music teacher
Thursday worship is Clergy Assembly: worship led by a member of the clergy from St. John-at-Hampstead
Friday worship is Class Assembly: once every term each class leads an act of worship and presents what they’ve learned to the rest of the school. Parents and carers are warmly welcomed.
We also celebrate the major Christian festivals throughout the year. Parents and carers are invited to join us, either at school, or at our Parish Church; St John-at-Hampstead. These include the Christmas, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, Easter and Harvest services.
We also celebrate the start and end of the school year in our Parish Church. Parents and carers are welcome to join us whenever we attend the church.
Withdrawal from Collective Worship
While Hampstead Parochial is a Church of England school, we are committed to respecting individual beliefs. We celebrate and value the cultural diversity of all the members of our school and we have a cohesive community. Although collective worship will always reflect the Christian ethos of our school, we respect and acknowledge the variety of religious observances which are represented in our school and within the wider community. We acknowledge too that there are those of no faith who chose to be part of our school community.
Upon entrance to the school, parents/ carers are made aware of the Christian basis of our teaching. It is therefore unlikely that parents/carers would wish to exercise their legal right of withdrawal. However, should such a case arise, the parents/carers concerned should consult the Head teacher.
Further information may be found in our Collective Worship Policy.