Woodchurch CE 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 in our explicit Christian values such as collective worship, a grounded Christian ethos and in our Religious Education lessons.
Children and staff of all faiths and none are welcome at our school and our aims are to promote understanding and tolerance between those of different faith traditions.
‘Church schools should nourish Christians in their faith, encourage those of other faiths and challenge those of no faith’
Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury 1980 – 1991
As a community, we have identified six values that are woven into the very fabric of the school which we expect all members of the school community – children, staff, governors and clergy – to model:
Koinonia may be a word you don’t instantly recognise. It is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible (first occurring in Acts 2:42) and it means ‘joint participation and contribution’. It identifies the idealised state of unity that should exist within the Christian Church.
The Christian Value we are particularly focusing on this term is Koinonia.
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’ (Matthew18)
The Christian Value we are particularly focusing on this term is Compassion.
The lord is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made (Psalm 145: 8-9)
We teach children that their attitudes and actions must reflect kindness and compassion. Compassion is much stronger than sympathy; if you have compassion you step into someone’s shoes, share their experiences and sufferings and want to support them or act on their behalf. It is not just feeling sorry for someone but actually doing something about making their life or situation better.
Compassion is about ‘standing in someone else’s shoes’ when they are having a hard time. In other words, trying to understand how they might be feeling and doing our best to try to help. Talk together about:
- how we can show compassion and kindness to one another at home
- recognising when friends at school need us to listen and act with compassion
- stories in the news demonstrating how strangers show compassion in times of natural disasters
- how nations show compassion to other nations at times of disaster or need by sending money or volunteers to help
We will be linking Compassion to ‘The Parable of the Good Samaritan’ (Luke 10:25-37)
Have a look at one of our fantastic Good Samaritan Home Learning Challenge submissions below all about Compassion.
Proverb 17:17 ‘A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.’
The Christian Value we are particularly focusing on this term is Friendship. True friendship enables each person to grow and ensures that the unique individuality of each person is recognised. The special relationship we have with certain people; a friend loves and cares for you at all times. Christians believe that God’s friendship towards us will last forever. Friendship is a partnership of shared experiences, talents, interests and enthusiasms. In school we will be thinking about how we can be friends to others and how do we receive another’s friendship, including God’s friendship.
We will be linking Friendship to the story of ‘Jesus heals a paralysed man’ (Luke 5)
Ephesians 4:32 : ‘Be compassionate and kind to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’
The Christian Value we are particularly focusing on this term is Forgiveness. Forgiveness is fundamental to the character of God. Throughout the Bible, God is described as slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin (Numbers 14:18). Jesus was uncompromising in his command to forgive. Forgive, he said, ‘seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:21), meaning forgive and keep on forgiving without limit. Forgiveness was at the heart of everything he did and is at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer. When Jesus declared a person’s sins to be forgiven, it often aroused the anger of those who were less willing to forgive than he was and yet a prayer for the forgiveness of his persecutors was on Jesus’ lips as he died. Christian preaching has always put forgiveness at the centre.
We forgive because we are forgiven. Forgiveness cannot be given or received unless it is asked for, and the asking must be genuine and from the heart. Too often ‘sorry’ is said very easily, implying: ‘All I need to do is say I’m sorry and everything will be OK’. Real repentance demands that we take what we have done wrong with the utmost seriousness and have a deep desire not to do it again.
We will be linking Forgiveness to ‘Jesus and Zacchaeus the Tax Collector’ (Luke 19: 2 -10)
The Christian Value we are particularly focusing on this term is Thankfulness.
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you? Anon
The Christian Value we are particularly focusing on this term is Thankfulness. We will be looking at why being thankful is important and discussing what the children are thankful for in their lives.
Thankfulness has always been at the centre of the life and worship of Christians. ‘Songs of thankfulness and praise…’ are at the heart of Christian worship. Jesus gave thanks to God (Matthew 11.25) and although the word ‘thankfulness’ is not common in the Gospels, recognition of his dependence on the Father infuses the whole life of Jesus. Thankfulness is a wholehearted response. It stems from a consciousness of God’s gifts and blessings. It is a joyfulness that erupts into praise. Paul frequently encourages us to ‘be thankful’ (Colossians 3:15), to ‘give thanks in all circumstances’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and says that our lives should ‘overflow with thankfulness’ (Colossians 2:7).
For Christians the greatest of all acts of worship is simply called ‘thanksgiving’ or Eucharist.
What do we do in school in response to thankfulness?
· We show our appreciation for pupil’s achievements through giving certificates and stickers to them.
· We know that having food, clothes and lovely things is a blessing and not a right.
· We show our thankfulness through our support to charities that help others who are not as fortunate as ourselves.
· We give thanks to God through our hymns and our prayers, this is genuine and not simply saying the words.
· We learn to be thankful for the skills of others and the ways in which they enrich our lives.
· We give thanks to people in our community who visit and help us. We write letters of thanks.
· We say thank you to each other and know that saying thank you is important and polite.
Something for children to think about:
· How can we express our appreciation and thankfulness in the life of the school?
· How can we demonstrate that we see the good things of life as a blessing and gift?
· How can we be thankful for more than just material possessions?
We will be linking Thankfulness to the story of ‘The man who came back’. (Luke 17)
The Christian Value we are particularly focusing on this term is Endurance.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100:5)
Last, but not least of our Christian values, is the importance of enduring and not giving up.
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).
All of the bible stories linked to our Christian Values are taken from ‘The Lion Storyteller Bible’ by Bob Hartman who visited our school and led an Act of Worship and storytelling sessions.
You can find out more about Christian Values by following the link to the National Society website at http://www.christianvalues4schools.co.uk.