Quick Links

The Belfry CE VA Primary School, Overstrand

Google Services

Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Search

Google Search


A Church School

Belfry CE VA Primary - a church school

The Belfry is a church school in so many ways. We have been around since 1830 and our original building was constructed from the bricks of the bell tower, from the Overstrand church which collapsed as cliffs eroded - hence the name, The Belfry. Our 200 year anniversary is coming soon!


Our school was founded by two cousins, Anna Gurney and Sarah Buxton, whose families are still part of Overstrand and surrounding areas.


As a Church of England Voluntary Aided school, we are connected to the families who set up the school, and have close links with the Diocese of Norwich. The Diocese help us financially to ensure our buildings remain in the best condition possible for education. We are also inspected by SIAMS, who check that we are living out our Christian values and that standards in RE teaching remain high. Our Governing Body is federated meaning the governors oversee two church schools and is structured to incorporate a majority of Foundation Governors (representing Christian values in education).


It is important to understand that we are an inclusive school - some of our children and their families are Christians, some follow other faiths, and some are not religious. We aim to fulfil a Christian vision of education, not a vision of Christian education; that is, we educate children according to Christian principles and values, but do not teach them that they must be Christians. All children are welcome at The Belfry and we often hear from parents that they chose The Belfry because they came here themselves, or they went to a local church school and prefer a similar environment for their own child. 


Our local church is St Martin's of Overstrand, now rebuilt - and further inland! We regularly visit the church for services at different times of the year, to which all families are invited. 


St Martin's church is part of the Poppyland benefice, and the local incumbent - the Rev. Sian Reading - supports the Belfry school as part of their pastoral and community support among the seven parishes they oversee. This ranges from leading collective worship to sharing guiding thoughts with school staff.