“Life in all its fullness”
At St Mary’s and St Peter’s Church of England Primary School we aim to provide a vision which is deeply Christian, whilst at the same time serving the common good within our community. We take the words of Jesus in John 10.10 promising ‘life in all its fullness’ seriously and believe that all within our community should be able to flourish and achieve their full potential.
Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
We aim to foster confidence, delight and discipline in seeking wisdom, knowledge, truth, understanding, know-how, and the skills needed to shape life well. We nurture academic habits and skills, high standards, intellectual curiosity, emotional intelligence and creativity across the whole range of school subjects, including areas such as music, drama and the arts, information and other technologies, sustainable development, sport, and what one needs to understand and practise in order to be a good person, citizen, parent, employee, team or group member, or leader. We recognise the wide variety of teaching and learning styles necessary for children to flourish.
Hope and Aspiration
In the drama of ongoing life, how we learn to approach the future is crucial. We aim to open up horizons of hope and aspiration, and guide pupils into ways of fulfilling them. We aim also to cope wisely when things go wrong. Bad experiences and behaviour, wrongdoing and evil need not have the last word. There are resources for healing, repair and renewal; repentance, forgiveness, truth and reconciliation are possible; and meaning, trust, generosity, compassion, resilience and hope are more fundamental than meaninglessness, suspicion, selfishness, hardheartedness and despair.
Community and Living Well Together
We are only persons with each other: our humanity is ‘co-humanity’, inextricably involved with others, utterly relational, both in our humanity and our shared life on a finite planet. If those others are of ultimate worth then we are each called to responsibility towards them and to contribute responsibly to our communities. So we have a core focus on relationships and commitments, participation in communities and institutions, courageous advocacy and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.
Dignity and Respect
Human dignity, the ultimate worth of each person, is central to our educational philosophy. The basic principle of respect for the value of each person involves continual discernment, deliberation and action and where the understanding and practices it requires are learned. This includes vigilant safeguarding. We see all learners and potential learners and their parents and carers as of equal value. We believe in the equal worth of all those within and outside our school community, including:
- those with and without special educational needs and disabilities,
- whatever their ethnicity, culture, national origin or national status,
- whatever their gender and gender identity and sexual identity,
- whatever their religious or non-religious affiliation or faith background.
Compassion is stronger than simply ‘Feeling Sorry’ for someone. It involves putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and requires an act of imagination and humility to share in the lives of others.
St. Paul says ‘clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience‘ (Colossians 3.12).
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times’ (Matthew 26:28)
‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’ (Matthew 26:28)
Jesus taught his followers that if they wished to enter the Kingdom of Heaven they must be like children.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’ (Matthew 5:19)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid’ (John 14:27)
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.
‘You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness’ – Jesus criticising the religious leaders (Matthew 23:23)
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. (Luke 17:15-16)
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.
‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.’
‘A friend loves at all times.’
‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.’
Jesus’ words at the Last Supper (John 15:13-14)
‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ (Exodus 3:5)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; and Trust also in me’ (John 14:1)
Endurance is the 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 takes hold.
Hope is coupled with faith as one of the most enduring gifts of the spirit (1 Corinthians 13:13).
…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 24-26)
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom to many. (Mark 10:45)
But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on a donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. (Luke 10:33-34)
Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.