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Our Christian Values

Mrs Brough leads our Christian Values. 
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As a Church of England School, our Christian Values underpin all that we do. Each half term we focus on a particular value. We then display this value in all of our classrooms using images and quotes, from the Bible and elsewhere, to help the children fully understand what they mean and how they link to their own lives. We have a launch collective worship session for each value to bring it into sharp focus for the half term. These are often led by visitors from St Matthews Church in Eye. 

 

Our values are the foundations of our behaviour policy, and we use them to talk to the children about their actions, to help them understand consequences. This then helps them to make changes and choices to ensure they are following our values within school and in their own lives at home.

 

Our Calendar of Christian Values

Autumn 1: Community and Thankfulness
Autumn 2: Peace

Spring 1: Compassion

Spring 2: Forgiveness

Summer 1: Service

Sumer 2: Justice

 
We celebrate each value with a special award ceremony every half term. One child from each class is nominated by their peers to receive the award for the focus value. Their parents are invited to attend, and the whole school community gathers to celebrate the great achievements of the half term.
 

 

 

Community- We are stronger together

The first two weeks of every year is always about 'Community'- building a new community in our new classes!

 

This Christian Value comes from a Greek word 'Koinonia' which means ‘that which is in common. Other translations might include ‘union’,  ‘partnership’, or  ‘being yoked together’.  

 

A yoke is a shaped piece of wood that goes across the shoulders, often linking two animals.  By combining their strength, it helps work to be done and eases the burdens to be carried.  So, in our school and classrooms, by working together we can make things easier, work better and achieve greater results!

 

Koinonia is based on fellowship with Jesus.  Through him, Christians share the relationship that Jesus has with God.  In John 17, Jesus prays that all his followers may be ‘perfectly one’ as he and the Father are one. Through him, Christians become sons and daughters of God and therefore brothers and sisters of each other.  They are all members of the same family. We think of our school community as a family. We spend lots of time together; we have fun; we play games; we share experiences; just like a real family does.


A central element of being a family is interdependence: all are needed and valued and each person is important to the whole.  This is our Habit of Mind: Thinking Interdependently! The same message is found in Paul’s image of the Christian community as the body of Christ.  Each member of the body shares the joys and sufferings of the others and each depends upon every else.

 

How can we demonstrate our value of Community?

 

Acts 4:32   All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.  

  • Share things nicely!
  • Take turns with equipment.
  • Take turns with toys.
  • Share your ideas in class!

 

1 Corinthians 12:12-13   The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body …

 

  • Work well in your co-op group.
  • Think about your strengths and how you could help others.
  • Be an expert!
  • Take on your group roles with a happy heart.
  • Give your full attention and effort in group activities, challenges and projects. 

 

1 Corinthians 12:24-26 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.

 

  • Celebrate the successes of others in your class.
  • When you mark minute maths or Rock Stars, say something encouraging to your partner like "Well done!" or "That's a fab score!"
  • Look out for one-another. 
  • Help those who are in need.
  • Help those who are hurt, physically or emotionally.
  • Help the community- don't drop litter!
  • Support charities in school.
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Thankfulness- We appreciate all that we have

Our value for the first half of the autumn term is Thankfulness- this links well with the time of year. Harvest is a festival we celebrate annually at St Matthew’s Church where we give thanks for the food God has provided for us. We take the opportunity to collect donations for our local food bank as we recognise that some families in Peterborough are not always as fortunate as us.

 

Thankfulness has always been at the centre of the life and worship of God’s people.  Under the Law of Moses, there were ‘thanks offerings’. Thankfulness is directed towards God who gives and sustains life.  Seeing the world as God’s creation underpins the way we approach everything in life, seeing it as a gift and not as a right.

 

Thankfulness is important.  Luke tells the story of the ten lepers who were healed and is probably challenging his readers to examine themselves when he tells of the amazement of Jesus that only one, a Samaritan, came back to thank him. (Luke 17:11-19).

 

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’ - eucharistia in Greek - thanksgiving for the death and resurrection of God’s Son and the way of forgiveness that is opened up. 

 

How can we demonstrate our value of thankfulness?

2 Chronicles 5:13 The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD.  Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang:  ‘He is good; his love endures forever.’

  • Sing with all your heart in collective worship
  • Say grace before meals
  • Say ‘thank you’ as often as you can
  • Be happy with what you have; try not to want more or take more than you need.
  • Take care of the things you are given, including the world!

 

Luke 17:15-16 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan.

  • Thank people you don’t know- someone who holds a door for you or who lets you go in front of them
  • Say thank you even if you are grumpy or if you have fallen out with someone.
  • Write thank you notes to family and friends when you are given something.
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Here is the success criteria for the thankfulness value award which was written in collective worship.

Here is the Thankfulness Prayer which the children wrote in Collective Worship.

18/10/19 Our Thankfulness Award winners, nominated by their peers using their own success criteria!

18/10/19 Our Thankfulness Award winners, nominated by their peers using their own success criteria! 1

Peace- We are gentle.

For the second half term of Autumn, we focus on ‘Peace’ as this is the time of year when ‘Peace on Earth’ is a message heard around the world as we head towards Christmas.

 

The Hebrew term for peace, ‘shalom’, has a deep and complex meaning, encompassing much more than simply the absence of hostility or war. Shalom includes ideas of healing and health, wholeness and well-being.  It means harmony, stability and security within a community.  It refers to relationships based on truth and righteousness, where people flourish because they are nurtured.

 

During this term, we take part in the Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child campaign. Classes work collaboratively to pack shoeboxes for children in need around the world. The shoeboxes include small toys but also soap, brushes and clothing such as socks. We use this as an opportunity to promote peace by nurturing the health and wellbeing of those less fortunate than ourselves.

 

The Biblical picture of the age to come is one of Shalom.  ‘Swords will be beaten into ploughshares’ … ‘the wolf shall live with the lamb… no-one shall hurt or destroy…’ (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-9).  Traditional enemies will live together contentedly and the people will be governed with wisdom, understanding and justice.

 

In Jesus’ message, peace is an almost tangible element. It is his gift to his disciples.  Paul describes God as the God of peace; the Christian message is called the ’gospel of peace’ and peace is one of the ‘fruits of the Spirit’.  

Peter, quoting the Psalms, says we must ‘seek peace and pursue it’ (1 Peter 3:11).  Jesus blesses those who are ‘peacemakers’ and calls them ‘sons of God’.

 

How can we demonstrate our value of Peace?

 

Psalm 34:14  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

  • Follow our school Christian Values
  • Stay on Green
  • Follow rules at home
  • Make good choices with behaviour
  • Make amends if you make a mistake with your behaviour

 

Matthew 5:19  ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’

  • Help those who are in trouble
  • Ask teachers to help if there is a problem
  • Find an ABC rep to help if you think someone is being bullied
  • If there is a disagreement, try to help by finding a solution calmly

 

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

  • Give help to those who need it
  • Do work for charity
  • Donate money to charity
  • Donate toys or books to hospitals or doctors’ surgeries
  • Treat others as you would want to be treated
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Compassion- We are Kind

The Spring Term begins with ‘Compassion’.

 

‘Compassion’ and ‘sympathy’ have much in common and both are stronger in meaning than simply ‘feeling sorry for’ someone.   The words have their roots in the idea of ‘suffering with’ someone, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and experiencing what they experience.  This leads to a desire to act, to do something. 

 

It is not about ‘doing good’ from a position of strength or ‘remembering those less fortunate than ourselves’.   Compassion requires an act of imagination and humility to share in the lives of others.  Notice the qualities that Paul links together.  He says ‘clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ (Colossians 3:12)

 

Jesus showed compassion towards the ‘harassed and helpless’ crowds (Matthew 9.36) and his works of healing were always prompted by compassion for people’s suffering.  He wept at the death of Lazarus and was moved to act.

 

Christians have always had to wrestle with the problem of how a loving God could allow there to be evil and suffering in the world.   There is no simple answer to this but we make the first step towards understanding when we grasp the idea that God the Father is not passively observing the suffering of the world from the outside.  God fully identified with human suffering in the life and death of Jesus and continues to work to transform the sufferings of the world through the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

How can we demonstrate our value of compassion?

 

Psalm 145: 8-9  The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger in rich in love.   The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

  • Do acts of kindness for anyone- your friends, family, strangers
  • Random acts of kindness challenge!
  • Charity donation or work
  • Be kind to everyone even if they are not your friend or you don’t get along very well

 

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4   Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

  • Follow the example of Jesus
  • Treat others as we would wish to be treated

 

1 Peter 3:8  Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

  • Put yourself in others’ shoes and think about how they might be feeling
  • Talk to people about how they are feeling if they want to
  • Pray for those who need it.
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Forgiveness- Sometimes, we all need a fresh start.

As the second part of Spring Term coincides with Lent and Easter, we now turn to ‘Forgiveness’ which is at the heart of the Passion story.

 

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).  In other words, 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.  Paul says: ‘Be compassionate and kind to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’  (Ephesians 4:32)

 

The parable of the Unjust Steward tells of a servant who was forgiven his large debt only to be condemned because he refused to forgive a small debt owed to him.   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.

 

How can we demonstrate our value of forgiveness?

 

Matthew 6:14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Matthew 18:21-22  Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?’  Jesus answered, ‘I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times (or seventy times seven times).’

Colossians 3:13   Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

  • Forgive someone if they say or do something you don’t like.
  • Try not to hold grudges.
  • Help others to forgive if they are finding it hard.
  • Give everyone a fresh start as you would like for yourself
  • Forgive yourself if you make a mistake and offer an apology
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Service- Here, we put each other first

The first half of the Summer Term focusses on ‘Service’.

 

Words relating to ‘servant’ and ‘service’ are central in Christian theology.  Some of the most important prophecies in Isaiah speak of the coming of the ‘Servant of the Lord’ and his role as a ‘suffering servant.’  That is why Jesus said that he ‘came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

 

Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.  This turned upside down the normal relationship between master and disciple, leader and follower.  In many ways, this astonishing action symbolizes the essence of the Incarnation: God stooping to share the human condition.  Jesus is very clear about the meaning of his action: ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done.’ 

 

The parable of the Good Samaritan shows we should serve those in need whoever they are.  Such service is not offered to gain some advantage for ourselves.  ‘Going the extra mile’ involves sacrifice, putting ourselves out for someone else’s benefit.

 

Serving God means serving others.  It also means that we cannot serve other masters as well - such as money.  However, the Christian message is equally clear that service is not all about restrictions.  It is precisely in a life of service that we become most truly free.

 

How can we demonstrate our value of Service?

 

Galatians 5:13-14    You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.  The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself”.

 

  • Think of others before yourself
  • Let someone go in the line before you.
  • Hold doors open and let people go first.
  • Pass the glue to someone before you use it.
  • Let someone play with a toy you wanted.

 

 

Luke 10:33-34   But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.  Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.

  • Help people even if they are not your friend.
  • Put rubbish in the bin rather than on the floor- put the world first
  • Recycle as much as you can- put the world first
  • Donate some of your pocket money to charity
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Justice- We want what is right and fair

The final value of the school year is ‘Justice’.

 

When thinking about ‘justice’, some people think first about giving wrongdoers the punishment they deserve.  ‘Justice’ evokes ideas of ‘just deserts’, ’the punishment fitting the crime’, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’.  However, justice also means giving all people - particularly the poor and oppressed - what it is right and fair for them to have: life, health, freedom and dignity.  It is about acting out of a concern for what is right and seeing right prevail.  It is about social justice, especially for those who suffer most and are least able to protect themselves.

 

In Exodus, the people are instructed to deal with everyone fairly and never to show partiality to one group above another (Exodus 23:2,6).

 

The Bible emphasises that ‘The righteous care about justice for the poor’ (Proverbs 29:7). Isaiah says: ‘Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow’ (Isaiah 1:17).   Justice is the ‘plumb line’ by which society is measured (Isaiah 29:17).

 

Throughout the Bible, it is emphasised that justice is immensely important to God.  It is fundamental to God’s character.  ‘For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.’ (Psalm 11:7)

 

Justice is not about a culture which encourages everyone to insist on their own rights at the expense of others.  It is about a community that knows that everyone’s well-being is bound up with that of everyone else.

 

A commitment to justice leads to fierce opposition to injustice in whatever form it may be found.  Justice is a pre-requisite of peace: without justice there can be no peace.

 

How can we show our value of Justice?

 

Deuteronomy 16:20   Follow justice and justice alone.

Proverbs 29:7  The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

Amos 5:24   But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.

 

  • Make sure people have what they need to be successful in lessons.
  • Help those who need it.
  • Pray for those less fortunate than us.
  • Do charity work,
  • Make donations to charities who help disadvantaged people around the world.
  • Be understanding if someone has something different to you.
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