Church and Community Links

Church Links

We have a close link with St Andrew's Church, Church Lane, Melksham. Click here to visit St Andrews Church website

Rev Alison Sowton is the vicar at ST Andrew's who is heavily involved in the life of the school. She is a governor, leads worship regularly and takes part in many other in school activities routinely.

Revd Josh Parmar is the pastor at Melksham Baptist Church in Melksham and regularly leads Worship in school.

Josh also runs our weekly Bible Explorers in school.

They are both well known and loved by the children and their families.

Children visit church regularly to lead special services which are attended by other pupils, families and members of the community. Children also visit the church to learn more about the church as a special building and place of worship.

Meet Our Vicar and Children and Families Work Coordinator

  • My name is Rev Alison Sowton and I am the Team vicar at St Andrew’s Church in Melksham, within the Melksham Team Ministry. I have lived in Melksham and served the Lord in this role for 6 years. Before this I served my curacy in South Oxhey, Watford. Since starting I have been privileged to work with the children and staff at Forest & Sandridge School. The school is linked with the parish church of St Andrews and we have a strong partnership. Myself and Hannah Tarring spend a lot of time in school leading worship, being part of the governing body (including the ethos committee which includes some of our children) and leading other special activities such as Thy Kingdom Come and Bible Explorers. The school’s vision and aims tie in so well with the Church of England vision for Education ‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full’. The school has at its heart the desire to meet the needs of every individual who walks through the door and help them to flourish as God’s children. What a joy to be a part of that! I also love Messy Church when over 100 people across the generations com from our community to gather and learn about the Gospels, share food together and find a place of welcome. Please feel free to come along and join us! You are warmly welcome to come along to services at St Andrew’s on Sunday mornings at 10.00am or to come and have a look around. I would love to hear from you. Please see for further details. I look forward to meeting you.
  • My name is Rev Joshua Parmar and I am the Minister at Melksham Baptist Church in Melksham. I have lived in Melksham and served in this church for 3 years. Previous to this, I was serving in a Church in Cardiff for nearly 9 years. Since moving here, I have had the privilege of working with the Staff and Children of Forest & Sandridge School. I love coming into school to lead assemblies and find it an incredible joy to work within the school governing body as a Foundation phase governor and also I chair the Vision & Ethos committee within that too. I am looking forward to running Bible Explorers and help them explore some big questions together. You are very welcome to come along to services at Melksham Baptist Church on Sunday mornings at 10:30am followed by some refreshments. May God bless you and I look forward to meeting you.

Community Links

We pride ourselves in maintaining a positive reputation within our local area and this is largely due to our involvement within our community. We are proud of our reputation which means that we are consistently oversubscribed. Our school lies in the heart of our community, at the centre of the large housing estate whose residents we serve. As well as letting out our facilities to the church and other local groups for community events, we advertise our own events widely and welcome members of the community along to our summer fete and Christmas celebrations.

These are some of the key ways we get involved in our community:

  • Co-op– our local Co-op is incredibly supportive through fundraising events, donations and hosting trips. They have funded outdoor play equipment and support the school regularly through donations for cookery projects and PTA events. They use our car park for their own fetes and special events and promote them regularly in our newsletters. We are very grateful for their support. (photos of a co-op trip attached)
  • Brookside- Brookside is one of our local care homes. Groups of children visit regularly to share stories, have meals, sing and play games with the residents. Our children gain a great deal from these experiences and we know they are highly valued by the residents as well.
  • Library- We have worked alongside our local library to aim for all children in school to have their own library cards. Groups of children frequently visit the library and their parents meet them towards the end of the session to provide times for the children to explore the library and share books with their families. Library staff come into school to advertise special events such as the Summer Reading Challenge which many children enjoy taking part in.
  • Fundraising- As a school we actively raise funds throughout each year for those who are less fortunate. This includes national charities such as Children in Need and Red Nose Day as well as charities selected by the children. Children are given the opportunity regularly to fund raise for charities close to their hearts which supports them in demonstrating our Christian values and standing up for those who need support. Each class selects their own charity each year during Lent and spends time raising money in different ways to give something back to others in need during this period of reflection.
  • Sporting events- We take part in a wide variety of sporting events during each year in our local community. These include the West Wilts dance festival, gymnastics competitions, football tournaments, swimming gala, Quad Kids athletics event and cross country. We are proud that our children are always great sports men and women and great ambassadors for our school. (Quad Kids 2019 celebrating their results photo attached)
  • Britain in Bloom- We received a highly commended award in the recent Britain in Bloom competition which we are very proud of. This is part of our Eco-Schools work. We also were awarded with the prestigious Green Flag award in 2018 for our eco-work which is led by our children. (See photos below of children working hard to prepare for our Britain in Bloom assessment)
  • Keep Britain Tidy Campaign- As part of our eco-schools work, we take part in the keep Britain Tidy campaign each year. This enables us to do good deeds to help others in our community as well as taking care of our wildlife. The children enjoy tidying up our local area and local residents are always very grateful. (see our gallery below)