This policy outlines the role of school chaplains at Armadale Academy and the purpose of their involvement as part of our school's ongoing partnership with the wider community.
Community partnership is a key element in the development of school within Curriculum for Excellence. The aim of the Chaplaincy team is to make significant contributions towards the development of all pupils as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
1. Chaplaincy for the whole school
Chaplains are concerned with care for all involved with the school community, regardless of individuals' personal faith positions. In order to be effective, chaplains need good contact and liaison with Senior Management, and Pupil Care and Support staff, and need to build positive relationships with staff, pupils and parents.
Chaplains at Armadale Academy are committed to:
- raising and maintaining their profile in order to increase their opportunity to help members of the school community when required
- being sensitive and responsive to any situations of tragedy, illness or other difficult circumstances experienced by members of the school community
- building positive relationships with pupils and staff
- developing availability within the school
- helping to develop an ethos and culture where the services of chaplains are sought out and accessed by members of the school community
2. Chaplains facilitate links between the community and the school
Armadale Academy is committed to community involvement and to developing strong values of caring and positive citizenship in all pupils. As leaders of our local faith communities, Chaplains may be able to facilitate opportunities for community service by appropriate pupils of the school. Examples might include helping with a crèche or toddlers group, assisting with a group for the elderly etc.
A Chaplain who is the leader of a faith community may well be able to locate volunteers who can help in school. Examples might include scribing for pupils with specific needs or assisting with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
3. Facilitating Religious Observance
This happens in line with Scottish Government Circular 1/2005 'Provision of Religious Observance in Scottish Schools'. Religious Observance is defined as:
'Community acts which aim to promote the spiritual development of all members of the school community and express and celebrate the shared values of the school community'.
The circular emphasizes the important and varied contributions that can be made by chaplains in many aspects of school life, including Religious Observance. The aims of Religious Observance are defined as:
'to promote the spiritual development of all members of the school community; to express and celebrate the shared values of the school community'.
It is recognized that shared values give a sense of belonging and aid positive ethos. Armadale Academy emphasizes an approach to Religious Observance that is accessible and highly relevant to pupils, and is wherever possible led by pupils themselves. Chaplains can facilitate this by working with small groups of pupils to help develop fresh ideas, by locating IT resources, by suggesting specialist speakers, and by themselves on occasion leading religious observance. Their role in training pupils to deliver 'high impact' Religious Observance experiences is particularly important, and is the sharing of good practice from other schools.
4. Involvement with the Curriculum
Chaplains can provide valuable support to both the formal and out-of-class curriculum. This can include, as appropriate:
- Visiting RME classes, as invited (for example, 'Meet the Chaplains' for S1 pupils)
- Supporting Personal Search Conferences during interdisciplinary programs
- Locating resources (especially specialist speakers & participants) to assist with various educational programs
- Assisting with school clubs (particularly the Christian drop in sessions) and, where appropriate, field trips
- Developing knowledge and continuing to keep abreast of relevant educational developments (especially Curriculum for Excellence)
To sum up, Chaplains are much-valued members of the wider school community and key helpers in the development of effective contributors, responsible citizens, successful learners and confident individuals.
- Our Chaplaincy Committee supports the various roles of our chaplains as outlined above.
Chaplaincy Committee members include:
- Our chaplains
- Members of staff
All committee members contribute their views on the further development of spiritual awareness and of community service and involvement. The committee also initiates and supports a range of appropriate related activities.
The Chaplaincy Committee has access to the Head Teacher for advice and support, and meets formally with her/him regularly to review progress and impact.