Schools in the Parish of Cowley

There are many schools in the Parish of Cowley but our church community has a special relationship with three of them. The young people who study at these schools, and their teaching staff and governors, contribute much to the life of the parish. Some of our church members serve as school governors, teach in the schools, visit through the 'Open the Book' scheme or help in other ways. Our clergy also take school assemblies and welcome children and teachers to our church buildings on special occasions.

Church Cowley St James Primary School

Church Cowley St James Primary School, which originally stood next to St. James Church, is now in Bartholomew Road.

The school is a voluntary controlled (VC) Church of England School which has been serving its community for over 170 years. As the community has grown, so has the school. The school is currently oversubscribed, admitting pupils, from a wide variety of backgrounds and from the ages of 3 to 11, with two classes of 30 children in each year group. They have high expectations for their pupils, with personal development and academic progress valued equally.

You can visit the school website here.

St. Francis Primary School

St. Francis School is in Horspath Rd., Cowley.

St Francis is a Church of England School catering for 300 pupils aged 3-11 in East Oxford. The school is a happy and exciting place to learn where diversity is celebrated and efforts and individual strengths are recognised.  The school is rightly proud of its inclusive approach and works hard to provide a nurturing environment in which all children feel safe and motivated to reach their potential, whatever their starting point. Their aim is for all pupils to leave the school as confident, independent yet co-operative learners, ready for the next phase of their education.

You can find the school website here.

St. Christopher's Primary School

St. Christopher's Primary School is in Temple Road, Cowley

St Christopher’s is a Church of England Primary School situated in the heart of Temple Cowley in Oxford. The school has expanded over the past few years and now has over 420 children on roll, taught in modern classrooms surrounded by a large field and the new Forest School site. The school serves a multicultural community by providing a creative and exciting curriculum that incorporates cultural and religious diversity; within the context of Christian belief and practice. They provide the children with stimulating learning experiences that will help them make progress and reach their full academic potential. The school became an Academy on February 1st 2014, with the Diocese of Oxford as its sponsor, as part of the ODST multi-academy trust. The school motto is “Learning & Growing Together” which sums up their aim to ensure every single child leaves the school with the confidence and ambition to achieve their dreams.

You can find the school website here

Open the Book


Open the Book’ began in Bedford in 1999 as a project to tell children the story of the Bible. It quickly spread, and in 2008 became a national organisation, based in Gloucester. The Parish of Cowley adopted the project in 2013 as a simple way of taking the stories of the Bible to the children of our community at their schools.

A team of volunteers currently visits all 3 Parish schools on alternate weeks : St Christopher’s School on Mondays at 9.00; Church Cowley St. James School on Tuesdays  at 10:00; St Francis School on Thursdays at 10:00

If you are interested in volunteering please contact one of the parish ministry team or Lesley Williams 

So what is ‘Open the Book’?
Open the Book is designed for children aged 5-11 years and aims to tell the story of the Bible in 30 sessions, beginning in Genesis and ending with the Ascension. It is most suited for use in assembly/collective worship and is led by trained storytellers from local churches. The stories are told using simple props and a child-friendly version of the text of the Bible.