‘Be the Light’ – Matthew 5:14
As a result of the trusting relationships between all members of the school community and embedded Christian Values in every aspect of our practice, pupils grow into respectful, resilient and compassionate young people who have an understanding and respect for diversity and difference together with a motivation to help others in their community and beyond. Throughout all that we do, we encourage our children to ‘shine’ in their own special ways.
‘Stand out and shine – be the best of you’ – Edward
‘Be the best you can be’ – Isla
‘Glow and shine and guide others with you’ – Katie
‘Be strong and don’t let your flame go out even when things get tough’ – Hector
‘Be the light is about ensuring our children are nurtured so that they shine inside and out’ – Parent
Please see the links to the Diocese of Leeds and the Church of England websites and three key documents:
- Church of England Vision for Education
- The Future of Rural Church of England Schools
- Valuing All God’s Children
Worship & prayer
Collective Worship is an integral part of life in school and we recognise the importance of making sure this special part of the school day is enjoyed by all members of the school community. To ensure that Collective Worship is valued, meaningful and enriching, we focus on a Christian Value each half term as well as important events within the Christian calendar. Our collective worship committee often support in leading and evaluating collective worship. They also help with worship times; writing prayers; setting up for worship each day and in occasionally leading our worship together.
Collective worship has an emphasis on Christianity however all sessions are conducted in a manner that is sensitive to everyone. We enjoy a daily act of Collective Worship together and hope to capture the children’s interest and imagination so that they will look forward to and participate fully in Collective Worship.
We often welcome governors, parents, volunteers and members of the local community to join worship, especially in our weekly ‘Praise Assembly’ where we enjoy handing out our shine awards to recognise the achievements of the children.
We also actively study other faiths through a variety of first-hand experiences which enable our pupils to develop a good understanding of our multi-cultural society.
Our children, governors and staff have been involved in writing our definition of spirituality.
Spirituality is the heartbeat of our school. It is how we understand ourselves and our place in the world: recognising strengths, weaknesses and having confidence to challenge ourselves. We care for the local and global community and our Christian values underpin our learning and encourage children to ask ‘big questions’.
How spirituality is interwoven through the curriculum:
- Appreciate the wonders and beauty of nature
- Love of learning
- Receiving and giving of love and kindness
- Reflection time
- Exploring big questions
A time to pause and reflect is an important part of our school day. Each day children are given opportunity to pause and reflect. In our classrooms we have a reflection area where children can use and outside we have our reflection tree.
We have close links with our parish and local church, as well as with the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.
We go to Church regularly throughout the year for services celebrating Harvest, Christmas, Easter and for our Leavers Service at the end of each academic year to which parents; families and other members of our community are always welcome.
Ministers from all different churches in the area also come into school regularly to lead our Worship.
We attend a special service at St Wilfrid’s Church in Burnsall, which is led by the older children. All the children are invited to take part in the service, retelling the story of Jesus’s birth. Our family and friends come to the service and Reverend David is there too.
At Christmas time our youngest children in reception, Year 1 and Year 2 retell the nativity through drama, song and dance. All of our families are invited to join us for this special occasion.
On Ash Wednesday the Reverend visits our school and leads a special collective worship. They tell us about why Christians mark this day and invite anyone to receive a blessing and special cross mark on their forehead which is made using burnt palm trees.
We attend a special Easter service. During the service the older children retell the Easter story. We end the service by taking time to reflect on the life of Jesus and why Easter is such as special time for Christians.
Children in Year 5 go to Netherside Hall to take part in Rewind to Easter, they are joined with their Year 5 friends from the federation.
Every year we attend a remembrance service at church. During the service we recount poems and stories of people who have fought in wars and take time to think about those who have lost their lives as a result of fighting and wars.
Big Question Thinking
We incorporate elements of Philosophy for Children, known as P4C, in to our curriculum. During lessons such as RE or PSHE, the teacher and children collaborate with each other in a philosophical enquiry, to grow in understanding, not only of the material world, but also of the personal and ethical world around them. It enables children to explore their own values and to share these thoughts with their peers. They learn negotiation and tolerance and become articulate, confident individuals through active discussion.
We are also passionate about encouraging children to think about the world around them by asking questions about what they see, hear and experience. We do this by thinking of ‘big questions’; this approach allows children to acquire and embed a range of skills across the curriculum areas through one motivating topic. As with Philosophical enquiry -there are no right or wrong answers to.
What would your answer be questions such as: What is Freedom? or What does God look like? or Is everyone equal?
The questions posed really make the children (and adults) think!