Voluntary (Aided) School
Through God's love and strength all flourish
Our value for term 5 is an important one for us all. This term we will be looking at 'community' - our big question for this term is:
'If elephants ruled the world, what changes would you see?'
Our Christian Vision Statement
Our Christian vision guides our journey to provide a rich, well-rounded education enabling all to become the very best that God intended. We treat adults and pupils with love and dignity in a space where Christian values are developed and everyone can flourish.
We are proud to be a Church (Aided) School. We see our values of community, friendship, joy, forgiveness, perseverance and creation at the heart of everything we do. Worship revolves around a termly value and the children are taught how these values can be interpreted and used in our everyday lives. Our local Church is St Nicholas in Ash and we have strong links with the Church. Reverend David Moulden leads weekly worship and we visit the Church throughout the year as well as for special services such as; Harvest, Carol Service, Easter Service and our year 6 leavers. Our children attend the SNICS group on alternate Wednesdays and enjoy this link with the Church. Our RE governor, appointed by the Archdeacon, is Bill Vennart.
A brief history of the Church
St Nicholas at Ash was probably built around 1190 AD on the site of an early Saxon building. It was altered in the 14th century, and the central tower was added in the 15th century. The highly visible tower and steeple were once used as navigation aids. They now house a ring of 10 bells. There is a collection of medieval monumental effigies inside, and amongst the brasses there is one to Jane Kerriel (c 1455) which reveals a unique horse-shoe head-dress.
Friendship - A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17)
Community - Brothers dwell in unity (Psalm 133)
Perseverance - Be joyful in hope (Romans 12)
Forgiveness - Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3)
Joy - Shout to God with cries of joy (Psalm 47)
Creation - Do not neglect the gift you have (Timothy 4)
Biblical basis for values:
Central to Christian theology is that everyone is loved unconditionally by God. We want our school to be a community where every person knows they are and valued by God. Our vision is that adults and pupils flourish and live an abundant life. We will provide the opportunity for the development and sharing of gifts and abilities, whilst recognising that these gifts and abilities are gifts from God.
Forgiveness : The Prodigal Son - Luke 15
In the Lord’s Prayer we ask God to forgive us our sins or trespasses as we forgive those who sin against us. What a thing to ask! We are saying we wish God to treat us in the same way we treat other people! For this reason we must endeavour to love our neighbour. Forgiveness is the means by which damaged relationships are restored. It is an act of the will, motivated by love. Children and adults in school are helped to acknowledge that we all make mistakes and we all need forgiveness from God and each other (2 Corinthians 2).
Perseverance : The lost sheep - Luke 15
Although God’s message refers to humans standing firm in the face of hardship, persecution or scorn, it is important to note the constant assurance in the Bible that God’s love, mercy, faithfulness and righteousness endure forever (e. g. Psalm 118, 136). At its root, endurance is 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. We are urged to live our lives as best we can following Jesus’ example.
Friendship : David and Jonathan - 1 Samuel 18
Friendship is an undisputed Value in our society, with children often spending more time with their friends than with family. It is a key concept in the Christian framework, with Jesus being criticised for being ˜the friend of sinners’ and eating with those whom society rejected. The barriers between people are broken down in a loving community around God, and Jesus had stern words to say to those who refused to recognise that all are included in this community of friendship. Friends are not afraid to tell each other the truth and a friend’s loving criticism is worth more than the empty compliments of someone who does not really care for you. The friendship of David and Jonathan is very strongly emphasised in the Bible, Abraham is described as the friend of God (James 2:23) and Jesus explicitly calls his disciples not servants but friends (John 15:14 – 15). True friendship enables each person to grow and ensures that the unique individuality of each person is recognised. All this echoes the Value placed by God on the preciousness of each person.
Joy : Jesus’ birth - Luke 2
We want our curriculum to foster a joy of learning and a motivation for a wholehearted love of God. Jesus’s birth is a key story in the bible because Jesus is the true source of our happiness. The wise men only knew so much about who Jesus was and why He came to earth, but yet the Bible says that they were overcome with joy ‘When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him (Matthew 2:10)
Creation : The story of creation - Genesis 1
In the beginning when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate, and then God created the world to flourish and bring forth abundant life . When God looked at everything he had made, he was pleased. Our school will foster creativity, imagination, exploration and discovery – within the curriculum and beyond. We will make sure that we understand the importance of looking after our planet - humankind has a responsibility under God as custodians of the earth (Genesis 1)
Community : The 12 Disciples - Mark 6
Our school will provide the opportunity for people to gather together for fellowship and learning. The desire to belong is an important part of human nature. Working together is essential. The eye cannot say the hand ‘I don’t need you’ and the head cannot say to the feet ‘I don’t need you’ (Corinthians 12:21) - they are all part of the same body and are needed for it to function. This is how it is with society - we all need to live and work together and ‘look out’ for each other’s needs. In the story of the Good Samaritan it is the Samaritan who tended for the man who had been set upon by thieves - he understood the need for community and who his neighbour is. We must strive to build a loving, caring and respectful community. (Luke 10, 25-37)
Our School Prayer
In December 2018, each class devised a line for our school prayer, linking each to our school values. We say this prayer to finish our school day and in our Governing Board meetings. Our school prayer is:
Thank you for the creation of all the wonderful things you have made
May friends soften the road when it is bumpy and make you smile on rainy days
Please help us to persevere even at times when it feels tricky or impossible
May joy be spread around our school
Help us to forgive when our feelings are hurt by others
Remember community brings us all together
Our House Teams
To link in with our Christian values and ethos, the school council have recently developed four new house teams. They are:
St Catherine of Alexandria - purple (patron Saint of creativity/craftsmen/educators)
St John the Apostle - green (patron Saint of frienship, love and loyalty)
St Thomas Beckett - blue (local Saint that links us with Canterbury Cathedral)
St Nicholas - red (name of our local Church and patron Saint of children)
Children are awarded house points for displaying any of our school Christian values.
What is Messy Church?
More information for term 4 coming soon!