Core Christian Values and Collective Worship
As a Church of England Primary School we are part of a wide network of church schools within the Durham Diocese. We also work closely with the Joint Education Team for the Diocese of Durham and Newcastle. As a church school we explore the teachings of the Christian faith through collective worship and RE lessons but are inclusive of all faiths, religions and world views. The aim of our Core Christian Values and Collective Worship is to help children experience “life in all its fullness” (John 10:10).
We work closely with Rev. Claire Gibbs from our local church – St John the Devine – but also have visitors from other local churches and denominations who come into school to lead collective worship and explore Christianity as a diverse and living faith.
Worship is a special time in school where we come together to learn about the Big Story of the Bible, our values and celebrate being part of our school and church family. We follow a sequence of collective worship each week:
- “What does this mean to me?” – our first worship of the week explores the theme or value for the week and we look at how this can be applied to real life – this worship is led by Mr Ward or Miss McCabe
- “What does the Bible say?” – our second worship of the week looks at what the Bible says about the theme or topic of the week and what this can teach us – this worship is led by Mr Waller, Rev. Claire or a member of a local church
- “How does this help our class?” – in class worship and reflection time children discuss the theme and Bible teaching of the week to see how it is relevant to their class and lives
- “How can we say thank you?” – the children in EYFS/KS1 and KS2 meet to give thanks through “prayer and praise”
- “What can we celebrate?” – each week we meet together to celebrate the achievements of children across the school through our Star of the Week and other awards
Our core Christian values are at the very heart of everything that we do in school and across the school community. These values are based upon the teachings of the Bible and Christian faith. We are very proud of how these values were chosen and developed with children, staff and governors. All stakeholders had a say in the values they felt were important to celebrate and enhance the vision of the school as well our distinctive Christian ethos.
The values of Wisdom, Love, Forgiveness and Faith have been (and continue to be) key to creating the lovely, caring learning environment we have in school.
Our core Christian values and approach to worship is different to the teaching of RE at Wynyard Church of England Primary School. You can find out more about our approach to the teaching of RE here.
Treasure wisdom, and it will make you great; hold on to it, and it will bring you honour.
Proverbs 4:8 – New Century Version (NCV)
Wisdom is about more than academic achievement – it is about making wise decisions. We explore this core value by looking at the consequences of words and actions and how we can become wiser through the choices we make. We look at the lives of different people who have demonstrated wisdom in the way they choose to live their lives and how this can influence us.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 – New Century Version (NCV)
Jesus’s greatest commandment is to show love to others, so this value forms part of our worship and school ethos. We aim to be generous and demonstrate kindness towards all members of the school community and the wider world.
Don’t judge others, and you will not be judged. Don’t accuse others of being guilty, and you will not be accused of being guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Luke 6:37 – New Century Version (NCV)
Everyone makes mistakes – it is part of being human – but sometimes our mistakes can hurt others and we need to say sorry. Sometimes mistakes made by other people hurt us. The Bible teaches that when this happens, we need to learn to forgive others. Through our Christian value of forgiveness we learn about “letting go” of sadness, upset and frustration, which also links to our work on mental health.
Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.
Hebrews 11:1 – New Century Version (NCV)
Faith is like WiFi – you can’t see it but we rely on it. We teach children about faith in all areas of life – not just in terms of Christianity or other religions. We explore what it means to have faith in God but also have faith in family, friends and ourselves. Through our value of faith, we aim to help children to:
Learn from yesterday… Live for today… Hope for tomorrow.
Bibles for Children
In 2019 all children in Years 2-6 were presented with their own copy of the Bible. This is a special translation which has been written for children and retells the Bible through a series of stories. The Bibles belong to the children and they use them in worship sessions and in RE lessons. When the children leave our school in Year 6, they are able to keep their Bibles.
We are thankful to the the Bibles for Children charity for their support in helping us provide Bibles to children in school from Year 2 each academic year. If a child joins our school between Years 2 and 6 in the future then they will also be given a Bible.
We are starting to develop partnerships with different organisations and charities to support our work based on whole school values. This academic year the children in Year 5 learnt about the important work of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in the local community. We also worked with the local food bank during our Harvest Festival.
We are proud of our RE floorbooks in school. We use these to record our explorations of our school’s Christian values in RE lessons, worships and in other sessions: