Christian Value Overview
As a church school it is important that we teach our children about Christian values and how to apply them in their lives. They underpin our teaching and learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils as confident, happy citizens. As a school we have adopted the following as our Christian Values.
Thankfulness, Trust, Forgiveness, Friendship, Love and Truthfulness.
Each half term we will learn about one of the values through lessons and worship. Our rewards tree will help us focus on practicing these values in our own lives.
Our Christian values are:
Thankfulness – Autumn Term 1
Love – Autumn Term 2
Friendship - Spring Term 1
Forgiveness - Spring Term 2
Truthfulness – Summer Term 1
Trust - Summer Term 2
Thankfulness has always been at the centre of the life and worship of God’s people. ‘Songs of thankfulness and praise...’ are at the heart of Christian worship.
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. 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).
Thankfulness is a wholehearted response. It stems from a consciousness of God’s gifts and blessings. It is a joyfulness that erupts into praise.
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.
Christian love has at its core unconditional love, love without expecting any return. God loves us as seen in the death of Jesus. The love of God in action demands our reverence the love of God enabling us to love others as we love ourselves.
The bible shows us many examples of God’s unending and unconditional love and the last supper, the story of Good Friday show us how much God loves us.
For God so loved the world he sent his only son to die for us. John 3 16
In school we show love by:
Friendship is an undisputed value in our society, with children often spending more time with their friends than with family. It is a key concept in the Christian framework, with Jesus being criticised for being ‘the friend of sinners’ and eating with those whom society rejected. Sharing a meal with someone is an explicit sign of friendship and the word ‘companion’ literally means ‘one with whom you share bread.’ Jesus tells stories of the heavenly banquet to which all are invited. The barriers between people are broken down in a loving community around God and Jesus had stern words to say to those who refused to recognise that all are included in this community of friendship.
The Bible has many sayings about friendship: ‘A friend loves at all times.’ (Proverbs 17:17)
Friends are not afraid to tell each other the truth and a friend’s loving criticism is worth more than the empty compliments of someone who does not really care for you. The friendship of David and Jonathan is very strongly emphasised in the Bible, Abraham is described as the friend of God (James 2:23) and Jesus explicitly calls his disciples not servants but friends (John 15:14 - 15).
Trust, feeling comfortable in each other’s company, being able to share joys and sorrows are all features of friendship and these are things of immense value.
True friendship enables each person to grow and ensures that the unique individuality of each person is recognised. All this echoes the value placed by God on the preciousness of each person. Hymns like ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’ point to a relationship that is at the heart of Christian believing. Knowing that God is our friend is to recover something of the acceptance and close companionship that people of all ages need and crave.
What do we do in school in response to friendship?
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.
What do we do in school to show forgiveness?
Truth is revealed in the bible and we see Jesus as the example of truth in everything. The life of Jesus shows us how God wants us to live our lives. Christians ask, “What would Jesus say?” Or, “What would Jesus do?”
As Christians we need to develop our understanding that we all face dilemma about telling the truth but coming to the realisation for ourselves that telling the truth is better than carrying the burden of a lie. In the Bible there are various stories which exemplify the importance of truth. The parable of the Sower in Luke 8.
In school we show our understanding of truthfulness by:
Trust is the very essence of faith; trust in the God who is trustworthy.
‘Trust in the Lord’ is a central theme in the Psalms. Time and time again, God is acknowledged as the source of all true security and strength. Trust is essential to human life and lies at the heart of all relationships. Trust entails vulnerability, putting yourself in others’ hands. We have to trust experts - pilots, dentists, surgeons. Yet, within our society, there often seems to be mutual distrust between people and those responsible for governing them.
Trust is central to civilised society, to living together in harmony, so it is to be valued and honoured. With wisdom and discernment, we can relearn to trust. We can begin to rebuild trust in our mistrustful society by being reliable ourselves, by not letting people down. Similarly, when we work with others, if we are willing to let go of control ourselves and trust in the abilities and integrity of others, everyone can be enriched. Jesus, after all, entrusted his ongoing work to his disciples and ultimately to us.
What do we do in school in response to trust?