We actively promote both Christian and British values throughout the school and across all areas of the curriculum. It is our belief that both are intrinsically linked.
Our Christian Vision and Values
Using Christian values as our guide, we are continually building a creative, imaginative and joyful community where we aim that all:
- can develop their spirituality
- are valued and respected as children made in the image of God
- can flourish and live life in all its fullness
We do this through 3 key principles:
- Treating others as we would want to be treated (Matt 7:12)
- Accepting others for who they are (Rom 2:11)
- Building each other up so everyone knows that they are valued (1 Thes 5:11)
“Love one another as family, outdo one another in showing honour” Romans 12:10
Romans 12:10 sets the benchmark by which we want our school to be judged. In applying Jesus’ command to Love one another as God loves us, our school aims to be a place where love is a way of life, received as you come into the school and taken out as pupils, visitors and staff go out into the world.
This year we have worked with the children and their families to produce our new Christain Vision statement and to draw up a set of values that the children feel are most important to them. All of our acts of worship will be based on these ‘Star Values’ and watch out for our interactive displays around school. Our ‘star’ values for this year are: Hope, Thankfulness, Forgiveness, Service, Respect and Perseverance.
We then decided that we would look at how we could refresh our vision to ensure that we were clear about how best we could continue to meet the needs of the school community. Consequently, we spoke together as a staff and with the children to identify our key priorities, which we then shared with parents and asked them to rank their priorities using thoughts generated in school. Once we had established the key priorities with parents and pupils, we discussed the vision with our Governors and made some revisions to our vision so that we were all reminded of what was most important- this came back to our long-standing strap line, Love, Laugh and Learn as without the first two the latter becomes more difficult.
As a result, our 3 main aims for our school community are:
For all to develop spiritually
It is in the above setting that all members of our school community can develop their spirituality. From the first breath of the Holy Spirit in creation (Gen 2) to the ways we meet God today, spirituality is part of who we are, and can take many forms. Through collective worship, RE, prayer spaces and our core values we enable our school community to experience and hear of God in such a way that they can know their place in a spiritual journey of discovery, and know God’s place in their journey.
For all to be valued and respected
It is a core part of our vision that everyone is made in the image of God (Gen 1:27). The way we treat other people should be built on the fact that we can see Jesus in them, and our love of God must be lived out in how we love others. Value and respect are therefore a central part of the school’s ethos, all born from our place as children of God (1 John 3:1). Thus, love of others is a key gospel principle and a central part of Jesus’ teaching, which is why it needs to be at the heart of school life.
For all to be able to flourish and live life in all its fullness
To enable our school community to flourish is to enable them to reach their full potential. Throughout his ministry Jesus helped people reach their full potential, whether he showed them a new path to walk or whether he healed them and enabled them to walk again. Psalm 92 reminds us that those who walk in God’s ways will flourish, and we aim to set those in our school community off on the right paths so that they too can flourish. Living life in all its fullness is not just about celebrating achievement and the good times, but is also about being there for each other when times are hard and providing care and support during difficult periods of life. To live life to its fullest, the children also need to be able to deal with adversity and obstacles they come across in life; we use stories from the gospels as inspiration to show how Jesus dealt with problems he faced in his lifetime.
We have further developed both our indoor and outdoor prayer spaces and it is nice to see the children using these as places for reflection and to be still.
How We Promote British Values
At Boltons School we recognise and celebrate the diversity of the country we live in, but we also acknowledge tensions that arise from this. Although we do not have a multi-cultural school population we ensure that pupils are aware of the importance of other cultures and people on our daily lives and we actively promote acceptance of all others and their faiths, lifestyles and beliefs.
As a Church of England School acceptance and respect of others, and their relationships, underpins all we do and in our school we will not accept any intolerance of people of other faiths or beliefs. We encourage all of our pupils to show respect to all others, and to all of the different types of relationships that they may encounter in daily life.
We have decided that we will promote the key British values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs through regular whole school assemblies and also through other curriculum areas such as RE, History and Geography, if appropriate and relevant to the topic at the time; for example, when studying Ancient Greece the children learn about democracy and the unit on Crime and Punishment helps them to understand the rule of law.
Our assemblies are mainly teacher led and, whenever possible, staff use current issues or news items to help explain and promote a specific British value; for example the children learnt about democracy during the Brexit discussions and about democracy and individual liberty during the Suffragette commemorations. The children are given opportunities to reflect on what they have learnt and may continue discussions in class with their class teachers.