Our Vision and Values
Our vision encompasses our origins as a school set up by the Church to meet the needs of the poor in 1844. Our school was founded in God’s love and will always remain in God’s love. Our focus on meeting the needs of all who come into contact with the school is the reason why we are welcoming and inclusive of every member of our community thus fostering a sense of belonging. This sense of belonging bonds us together as a family and allows us to value and love everyone, bringing us together for the good of all. We are committed to invest in developing everyone’s love of learning in order to facilitate achievement according to each individual’s need. We want our values and our gifts and talents to act as a light to others, a beacon shining Jesus’ love, helping us to transform our world through our compassion and active citizenship.
Our vision and associated values are theologically centred on the Bible verse Matthew 5 : 14 - 16:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Context of the Passage:
Jesus’ words come during the sermon on the mount telling us what our role is on Earth. God wants to make the world more pure, He wants us to live a life of abundance and goodness. In previous passages, Jesus says He is the light of the world, that He came to show the world how much God loves everyone – not just the few, not just the rich, not just the religious, but everyone. Jesus came to show us what He and God were prepared to do in order to have a relationship with us so He can bless us. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross showed His love for us but also his forgiveness for all the wrong things we have done, are doing and will do in our lifetimes. His death is Him handing over the role of bringing light to the world to us. That light is the knowledge of God’s love and His forgiveness.
Rationale for the Passage:
“You are the light of the world.”
We need to have a strong set of values and principles that goes beyond the mere teaching of the curriculum, but is about the full development of the whole person – adult and child. These values and principles are the foundation of everything we do and are why we are successful in fostering an environment that is loving, caring, forgiving and compassionate to all.
God wants us to be effective in how we spread His light, love and forgiveness to the world. Therefore, we cannot keep our values and principles to ourselves. Towns were built on hills for ease of defence. When a town is on higher ground, it is visible to all, especially in the darkness when the lights are on. Similarly, a lamp must be placed above so that the light can shine out further than if it was placed on the ground. Jesus uses these analogies to tell us that it might be tempting to hide our light – our goodness, values, gifts and deeds – for ourselves but we have a responsibility to be visible, to share our knowledge and love for the benefit of others.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds “
God asks us to radiate our love and values much further than those we know or are familiar with. When others see the goodness and love in us, it has an effect on them. We want to be a community where we share all we have with others in order to make a real difference in the world. We acknowledge that we are growing future citizens and our responsibility goes further than the teaching of Maths and English. God challenges us to act on these words – expressing our love and forgiveness for others in our deeds. Our values are an outward expression of the love and forgiveness God has shown us.
“and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Finally, we are called to accept and acknowledge that we do these things not for own recompense, but for God; that our light is a reflection of His love so that others too will come to know His love. This is what makes our school distinctively Christian: we want to be a visible, loving presence in the world, one that inspires people to do good because they have experienced our goodness. We shine Jesus’ light so we can spread His love and make a difference in this world and enable everyone to live a full life.
From our vision and our biblical underpinning, we have developed the values we wish to instill in all those who belong to our community, as an outward expression of the vision for the school:
Compassion – Jesus came for those who needed him most, we will show compassion for all, putting ourselves in other’s shoes in order to make our community an inclusive and welcoming home.
Hope – we know life brings ups and downs, but we will persevere with resilience and ambition, safe in the knowledge that God’s love and presence never fails us.
Forgiveness – we understand and show forgiveness to all who wrong us, as nothing should get in the way of our relationships with others.
Thankfulness – we are grateful for all we have knowing that others may not be so fortunate, but also enabling us to be happy with what we do have.
Love – love enables all of the above and is the clearest expression of why we do what we do.