Our core values of love, forgiveness and reconciliation are rooted in the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ. This forms the foundation stone on which our school is built.
These values manifest themselves through the following principles that you are likely to see on a day to day basis at our school :
1. Love for the child and one another (Luke 10.27)
2. People matter
2. The Curriculum and character building
3. Collective worship and links with the local Anglican Church
4. The teaching of Religious Education
Love for the child and people matter
We recognise that there are few, if any, values or human qualities that are exclusively Christian but those we most closely associate with Christianity are God’s love (Luke 10:27), forgiveness and reconciliation.
It is this that drives our ethos or feel of the school. This does not develop and happen by chance. It requires clarity of shared vision to ensure that it is promoted and not undermined.
Every moment of the day, we recognise that adults are the children's role models
creating an ethos and climate where emotional warmth pervades. People
rather than process come first.
Our aim is to create a learning environment where children feel respected, cared for, listened to and safe. Not only does this immerse them into a 'loving' environment, it helps children feel at ease and in a ready state for learning
The Curriculum and Character building
Character building is an important part of our curriculum. An all-round education means we value and recognise that each child is unique and strive to develop their character and not just their intellectual or academic abilities. This is because Jesus Christ valued the human qualities of the individual.
This vision is realised by building into our curriculum opportunities for developing human qualities and character.
Our classrooms offer children many planned opportunities as part of the curriculum to develop children’s character, building resilience, determination, willingness, generosity, gratitude, appreciation, etc.
We also recognise that character building is not exclusively developed solely through curricular opportunities, but also through interactions with other human beings. This means all adults who work in our school are in the privileged position of shaping our children’s thoughts, values, virtues and attitudes by their own interactions.
Many visitors to the school often experience this aspect through the ‘feel’ or ethos of the school.
We recognise that there are few, if any, values or human qualities that are exclusively Christian but those we most closely associate with Christianity are God’s love and forgiveness.
Our ethos has its roots based on Jesus interpretation of love in its broadest sense (Luke 10:27) and forgiveness. We also recognise that reconciliation completes the circle of love, forgiveness and reflection where reflection mirrors the prayer life of Jesus.
In terms of character virtues this manifests itself in being a caring, thoughtful reflective school.
It is this that drives our ethos or feel of the school. This does not develop and happen by chance. It requires clarity of vision and effective leadership to ensure it is actively and explicitly promoted and not undermined.
Every moment of the day, adults are modelling values and virtues.
For clarity, we have used the term virtues as they specifically refer to human qualities that help children be part of a loving caring school and become principled members of society.
These virtues can be grouped into three categories.
1. Civic character virtues.
These are virtues that are necessary for responsible citizenship such as service, volunteering, understanding of different perspectives.
2. Moral character virtues.
These are character habits that enable us to be agents for good such honesty, humility, graciousness, compassion, thoughtfulness.
3. Performance character virtues.
These are behavioural skills such as determination, persistence, resilience, creativity, self-discipline.
In November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain.
We do not see the need to explicitly teach British values separately from those of love and forgiveness. We believe our core values and curriculum encourages children to value democracy the rule of law, liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
British values, as defined by national government, are taught within this context as we perceive them as being underpinned by our core values of love and forgiveness and the virtues associated with them.
Whilst we recognise the importance of developing the character of each child, we also value the importance of equipping children with the basic skills they need for life including reading, writing and mathematics.
We aspire for every child to be given the best opportunities and strive to meet and exceed the national expectations required from the national curriculum but not at the expense of being a principled member of society.
Our school's distinct Christian nature also manifests itself through our daily acts of collective worship.
Collective Worship is carefully planned and the themes explored follow the annual cycle of the Christian year. Themes explored in the autumn term are connected to God the Father and creation. This links closely with Harvest, thanksgiving and prayer.
In Spring, collective worship themes are connected with God the Son following on from the birth of Christ at Christmas and in Summer, themes are connected with God the Holy Spirit following on from the death and resurrection of Christ at Easter, the ascension and Pentecost.
During collective worship, children are invited to join in prayer, sing hymns, and listen to stories from the Bible including the New Testament.
Christian symbols will routinely be used during collective worship such as candles and the cross. Children will also hear language associated with Christian worship such as the term Father, Holy Spirit, the Good Shepherd.
Again, this is distinctly Christian.
Collective worship is not viewed as part of a school timetable because it is a statutory requirement to deliver a daily act of collective worship but because it forms an integral part of school life that binds the community together bringing with it a transformational impact.
We also have links with the local parish church and members of the clergy. They assist with the delivery of collective worship both with children and parents. Many Christian festivals are celebrated in the local parish church. This includes Harvest, Christmas and Easter.
The Teaching of Religious Education
The teaching of Religious Education is given significant importance on the timetable. We have adopted the Diocesan syllabus and supplemented this further. This will be distinctly different from a non-church school.
Religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views that offer answers to questions such as these. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances pupils’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.
Religious education encourages pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.
Religious education encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community. Religious education has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice.
Religious education actively promotes the values of truth, justice, respect for all and care of the environment. It places emphasis on:
RE also recognises the changing nature of society, including changes in religious practice and expression .