Our Anglican Church
St Matthew’s is one of many Voluntary Aided Anglican schools within the Southwark Diocese and is one of five Anglican schools in the Local Authority. The school was established in the mid 1900s, when free state education was not available in England to the general public. The mission of the school was to provide a Christian education for local Anglican children and also to serve the local poor. The school continues to provide an education which is underpinned by Christian values.
The school is very well supported by the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education, who give advice about the curriculum, staffing, admissions and premises. The grounds and the school building belong to the Church. As a Voluntary Aided school we have a certain amount of autonomy such as deciding on our Admissions Policy and our Religious Education curriculum. However the school community has a responsibility to maintain the fabric of the building, which is why parents are asked for a voluntary contribution each year.
All children, irrespective of faith position, are encouraged to view Southwark Cathedral as THEIR Cathedral. Our Year 6 children are made to feel very special at the Leavers’ Service which is held every July at Southwark Cathedral and which celebrates the children’s primary years and their transition to the next phase of their education.
Local Anglican Churches
The congregations of many of our local Anglican churches are represented in the school and there is a particularly strong link with St Matthew's Church.
The Vicar of St Matthew’s is a welcome presence in the school and a good friend to pupils and staff, providing support, guidance and more formal input in classroom work as well as assemblies. The children and staff attend the church for important celebrations such as Harvest Festival, the Carol service and the Leavers' Mass. We are especially proud that children of all faiths happily attend these services. Anglican children in Year Two and above are invited to participate in preparation for their First Communion at Easter and there is a very intimate Easter Eucharist celebrated in school.
The relationship between church and school is one of mutual support and learning which enriches both communities. Many members of the congregation volunteer at the school - hearing the children read and providing a perspective for the children on topics such as child evacuation in WW2. Members of the Wimbledon Team ministry, and especially St Matthew's Church and Emmanuel Church make up a significant proportion of the School Governing Body.