“Life in all its fullness”
Our vision guides us in all that we hope to be, enabling every part of our community to grow and develop. This means growing in body, mind and spirit in order to flourish and experience the joy and hope of, ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10.10).
As God’s theology inspired us in creating this vision (John 10:10), this vision inspires every member of our community to make effective choices in fulfilling their potential.
St. Michael’s C of E Primary School is a Church of England primary school that offers a distinctly Christian education in an inclusive environment where we encourage all children and young people to learn, enquire and grow.
The distinctive nature of our approach to education can be found is embedded in everything that we do. Our particular Christian values are explicitly taught in collective worship and referred to throughout the school day.
Children and staff of all faiths and none are welcome at our school and our aim is to promote understanding and tolerance between those of different faith traditions.
As a community, we have identified seven values that are woven into the very fabric of the school which we expect all members of the school community – children, staff, local advisory board and clergy – to model:
We believe these values are empowering our pupils to develop their spirituality and guiding them in personal development as effective learners and good citizens. Children have regular opportunities to reflect on each Value and to develop an understanding of the Value in action. Each Friday, in our Celebration Assembly, we acknowledge and reward those children who have demonstrated these values.
The Christian Values we are particularly focusing on in this term is Koinonia, Creation and Hope.
But God has combined the members of the body ….so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it (1 Corinthians 12:24-26)
In Christian teaching, Koinonia describes how Christians come together as a family. The members of our school family are interdependent: all are needed and valued and each person is important to the whole. We are working together to ensure all feel included and valued.
Through Christ we all share fellowship with one another as one big family. Koinonia comes from the Greek word meaning community or fellowship. This shows the special relationship we have with each other where as a community we look after each other, where we are welcomed and accepted, no matter who we are. Together we can grow in our relationship with one another and with God. We come together with Christ at the centre of our school.
We will be linking Koinonia to ‘The Parable of the Good Shepherd’ (Matthew 18)
Family Ideas: Koinonia
Theological Background: Koinonia
Belief in God as creator is not merely a belief about how everything began; it is the perspective from which we are to view all life including our own.
It means that we place the highest value on this earth and see life as God’s gift.
Pre-technological societies lived in close dependence on the earth. The daily struggle for food and shelter, at the mercy of natural forces and the changing seasons, led to a profound respect for the environment.
With technological mastery has come a different attitude: one that sees the earth as there to be plundered and exploited. Now we are reaping the whirlwind: with climate change, crises over access to water and food, destruction of habitat and the rapid extinction of species. It is not clear whether the earth can still renew itself or whether the damage has gone too far. It is also not clear that there is the will to stop, to restore this ‘blue planet’, our only fragile home.
In Genesis, God gives humans certain rights over his creation. With these rights, come responsibilities. We are stewards. A steward manages an estate on the owner’s behalf. We have been given the earth to look after by God and to hold it in trust for future generations. If the earth is to sustain our children and succeeding generations, this clearly places limits on how we treat the earth. There have always been elements in the Christian tradition to remind us of our responsibilities and priorities. The Law of Moses made provision for a year’s ‘Sabbath rest’ for the land every seven years and Francis of Assisi addressed the sun, moon, earth, wind and water as his mother, sisters and brothers.
We will be reflecting on the wonders of creation and continuing to remind us of the dependence on the earth for our survival, and lead us to thank God as the ultimate source of all the earth’s riches.
Family Ideas: Creation
Theological Background: –
The beginning of John’s Gospel says ‘The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.’ Throughout his life Jesus gave hope to others and the resurrection of Jesus shows us that evil can never ultimately triumph over love.
Hope is an attitude of mind that we develop through faith in God and each other. This helps is to keep going even when things get hard and when we face new challenges. Together we can turn hope into reality.
We will be linking Hope to “When God Saved A Family” (Genesis 6:5-9:17; Matthew 24:37-38; Luke 17:26-27)
Family Ideas: –Hope
The Christian Values we are particularly focusing on in this term is Hope, Service and Wisdom.
Words relating to ‘servant’ and ‘service’ are central in Christian theology. Some of the most important prophecies in Isaiah speak of the coming of the ‘Servant of the Lord’ and his role as a ‘suffering servant.’ That is why Jesus said that he ‘came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper. This turned upside down the normal relationship between master and disciple, leader and follower. In many ways, this astonishing action symbolizes the essence of the Incarnation: God stooping to share the human condition. Jesus is very clear about the meaning of his action: ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have
set you an example that you should do as I have done.’
The parable of the Good Samaritan shows we should serve those in need whoever they are. Such service is not offered to gain some advantage for ourselves. ‘Going the extra mile’ involves sacrifice, putting ourselves out for someone else’s benefit. Serving God means serving others. It also means that we cannot serve other masters as well – such as money. However, the Christian message is equally clear that service is not all about restrictions. It is precisely in a life of service that we become most truly free.
Theological Background: Service
Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. (Corinthians 1:24-25)
Wisdom is not just about how clever someone is; it is about how we use our knowledge to make the right choices and decisions. God wants us to use our wisdom to that we can consider the consequences of our actions. What difference will we make to others? How can we use wisdom to affect our thoughts, words and actions and an awareness of the true value of things.
One of the bible stories we will use for this value is The wise and foolish builders (Matthew 7: 24-27).
Family Ideas: Wisdom
The Christian Values we are particularly focusing on in this term is Endurance and Justice.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:5)
The word can be used for standing firm in the face of hardship, persecution or scorn, but we hope this is not our situation in our school. We use it more in the context of ‘keeping going, and not giving up’ as endurance is the special gift that we have when life is difficult or painful that helps us not to give up.
The Bible assures us that God’s love, mercy, faithfulness and righteousness endure forever (e.g. Psalm 118: 136). Emphasis upon endurance is common in the New Testament, where it is linked with patience and suffering.
St Paul is certain that endurance is honed by suffering, is character building, and is characterised by love (Romans 5: 3–4; I Corinthians 4: 12–13). It is linked with self-control, godliness (2 Peter 1: 6) and steadfastness. At its root, endurance is a recognition that life is sometimes difficult and painful, and that it is important not to give up in the face of adversity.
Jesus endured rejection, abuse and the cross, and his followers are warned that they may well have to share that pain as persecution took hold. Discipleship is depicted as ‘taking up the cross daily’ and following in Jesus’ footsteps (Luke 9: 23).
Endurance and perseverance are only possible where there is hope, and that hope is based on the enduring nature of God’s love and faithfulness. Even Jesus, for all his strength and ability to endure, looked to his disciples to help and sustain him by watching and praying with him (Matthew 26).
We will be linking Endurance to the story of ‘The Parable of the Sower’ (Matthew 13, 1–9 & 18–23).
Family Ideas: Endurance
Theological Background: Endurance
“Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.” (Psalm 106:3)
When thinking about ‘justice’, some people think first about giving wrongdoers the punishment they deserve. ‘Justice’ evokes ideas of ‘just deserts’, ’the punishment fitting the crime’, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’.
However, that would be a one-sided picture of justice. Justice also means giving all people – particularly the poor and oppressed – what it is right and fair for them to have: life, health, freedom and dignity. It is about acting out of a concern for what is right and seeing right prevail. It is about social justice, especially for those who suffer most and are least able to protect themselves.
In Exodus, the people are instructed to deal with everyone fairly and never to show partiality to one group above another (Exodus 23:2,6).The Bible emphasises that ‘The righteous care about justice for the poor’ (Proverbs 29:7).Isaiah says: ‘Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow’ (Isaiah 1:17). Justice is the ‘plumb line’ by which society is measured (Isaiah 29:17). According to Amos, its presence in society should be constant and abundant: ‘Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!’ (Amos 5:24)
Throughout the Bible, it is emphasised that justice is immensely important to God. It is fundamental to God’s character. ‘For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.’ (Psalm 11:7)
Justice is not about a culture which encourages everyone to insist on their own rights at the expense of others. It is about a community that knows that everyone’s well-being is bound up with that of everyone else.
A commitment to justice leads to fierce opposition to injustice in whatever form it may be found. Justice is a pre-requisite of peace: without justice there can be no peace.
We will be linking Justice to the story of Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:41-52).
Family Ideas: Justice
Theological Background: Justice
Values in Action
We think about the value through stories from the Bible and around the world. Some of these stories are from long ago and some of them are much more recent. We hear about people living out this value in their lives today. We come together with other classes to show the value in a practical context. We keep up-to-date with current events to highlight the relevance of each value.
We think about how we can use the value today to make a difference in the world. We know that small differences can make the world a better place and we always try to live out the Christian values in our actions towards others.
For more information, please view the Christian Values for Schools website.
Our children are enthused to demonstrate these values in all elements of their lives. Read our Christian Values for Parents to help us raise awareness of these values in everyday life. We would love to hear from you on the occasions your child (ren) shows these values.