Core Christian Values
We believe in growing together within a Christian community to unlock potential through a curriculum where pupils thrive and develop character.
As a church school, our ethos of ‘growing together’ is underpinned by the parable of the mustard seed. Through nurturing and care, we believe that from the day our children arrive at our school, they grow spiritually to be the very best versions of themselves. We, in partnership with their families and St Andrew’s Church, will enable them to grow into strong, mindful young people with an inner confidence, who have an interest to support others and the world around them.
Jesus told them the parable (Mark 4:30-32):
‘The kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree so that birds come and make their nests in its branches.’
When we reviewed our school values in 2019 we involved all stakeholders and distilled our core Christian values to: Courage, Compassion and Trust. Alongside our three core Christian values, we learn from many other values. We firmly believe that if our children left St Andrew’s with a strong sense of these three core values, we would have reflective, spiritual and respectful young people moving on to secondary school.
They are the cornerstones to all that we do; our Christian values are both implicit and explicit at St Andrew’s and guide policy and practice in every facet of the school life, from class time to lunchtime to home-time. At our school everyone is valued and cared about. Our school is a place that will actively grow hopefulness and ambition.
‘We love because he first loved us.’ ( 1 John 4:19)
Compassion through love is the foundation that all our Christian ethos is built upon – it lies at the root of all other values and is Love in action. It means how we show respect, goodwill, affection, kindness and concern for one another. This translates in how we promote an ethos of care and concern which embraces all members of the school community and beyond – it is at the heart of what we do. We recognise that God the Father is Love; built on a knowledge that God loves each and every one of us, and that love lives in the heart of every person. When we show His Love, God lives in us.
‘Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’ (Joshua 1:9).
At its root, resilience is recognition that life is sometimes difficult and painful, and that it is important not to give up in the face of adversity, but to have courage. In today’s busy and competitive society, we recognise the importance of building courage and resilience in our children to carry on when things get tough; courage to take calculated risks in their learning and to know that mistakes can help us learn in a deeper way.
Courage also enables children to have strategies to call upon when things are difficult on an emotional/social level in their lives. Resilience and perseverance are only possible where there is hope and that hope is based on the enduring nature of God’s love and faithfulness. This will help in our work of building confidence, independence and self-esteem in children through courage. Jesus had the courage to give his life for us; therefore, we must have the courage to stand up for others and what we believe in, courage to be ourselves and value difference.
‘My God is my strength in whom I trust.’ (Psalm 18:2)
Knowing God is with us and can always be trusted is a fundamental belief of the Christian faith. At St Andrew’s, we pride ourselves in building relationships between all members of the community. Through these relationships, children develop trust for adults in our school and trust for each other in our class crews and Tree Houses. Through our behaviour policy built on reconciliation and forgiveness, children learn to disagree well. Even when weathering the storm, we trust that things can be repaired. Trust is intrinsically linked to our other core values of courage and compassion – trusting one another to be ourselves and stand up for what we believe and loving one another, knowing who to turn to in times of need.
As a Church of England school, our worship reflects some of the rich traditions of Anglican prayer and worship. We follow the church calendar and celebrate major festivals of Christmas, Easter, Harvest and the Saints Day of St Andrew’s with our church family. When planning worship, we revisit key aspects of Christianity so that with pupils’ growing maturity they broaden and deepen their spiritual experience and understanding.
Collective worship is an integral part of the life in our school community. It gives expression to and the opportunity to reflect on our Christian and community values and experiences. In our Christian values curriculum ‘Roots and Shoots,’ we teach the twelve values of generosity, compassion, courage, forgiveness, friendship, respect, thankfulness, trust, perseverance, justice, service and truthfulness. Children learn about key teachings and individuals from the Bible and Christian tradition. They are given opportunities to reflect on their own spirituality, thoughts and experiences through moments of silence and stillness, wonder and awe. They are also given the chance to respond in various way, through creativity, action or discussion to explore the themes further in their own lives.
Each term we have a different Christian Value focus. In Tree Houses during the term, we consider this value and what it might mean in a practical sense in classes and in our wider school community. Our school council plans activities and projects, often linked to our Christian values, and the pupils who are ‘values partners’ also develop further ideas for collective worship and the ethos of the school.
At St Andrew’s, collective worship happens daily in a number of ways. Children are often encouraged to contribute. We come together as a whole school and in Key Stage groups and classes. There is always time to reflect and pray; to be still and have time to think. Music is listened to or we sing together. We light a candle to begin every worship and repeat the words “God is light”. Children take an active part in our collective worship, either by writing and sharing prayers on Fridays, acting out Bible stories or contributing through music and song.
Monday assembly – we focus on the value of the term, or our key PSHE theme, sharing stories, and considering big questions.
Tuesday assembly – we worship and celebrate through song, or we further our reflection as a class crew. This is a time when ‘Prayer Bear’ is shared by all classes from EYFS to Year 4, with an opportunity to think about the value of the term at home and put it into a ‘diary’ to share with the class the following week.
Wednesday church assembly – this is led by our church leaders and is an opportunity to develop the theme of the week a little further or in a different way or using a different stimulus.
Thursday – we gather in our community Tree Houses to share discussion and activities around our Christian values and whole school issues.
Friday – we have a celebration assembly to offer congratulations to children who have achieved over and above in their efforts in work or behavior this week. Every week, a different class prepares a prayer. These are collected into a school prayer book.
Our School Prayer
This is our school,
Let peace dwell here,
Let the rooms be full of contentment,
Let love abide here,
Love of one another,
Love of mankind,
Love of life itself.
Let us remember,
that as many hands build a house
So many hearts build a school.
Our Termly Values Newsletter
An additional parent newsletter is shared each term with all families with biblical stories and quotes, ideas for action and discussion at home and books or music that link to the value.
This term’s values newsletter: