Our Church School

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Termly Values

We use the 'Values for Life' programme to learn about a different value each term. We use biblical stories, non-denominational stories and real-life events to help the children think about how they can link the value to their own lives.

We have updated our Values of the Term document, using the 'Roots and Fruits' resource, to a rolling two-year programme. By having a two year programme, rather than three, we are able to revisit key values and themes more regularly. We have linked 'hope' and 'peace' in every year to tie in with Easter and Christmas as these are key themes of these Christian festivals.

Term 4 - Forgiveness and Hope

This term, our values are Forgiveness and Hope. As we reflect on what a strange year this has been, we have never been in more in need of hope for the future. By also focusing on forgiveness in the lead up to Easter, we are reminded of the forgiveness that Jesus offers us freely by dying on the cross and rising again, three days later. Rev Julie is putting together and Easter Garden in the church yard and, with the help of the children who will visit it in their classes in the run-up to Easter, they will create a spring garden, reminding us all of the hope that is to come. The children will write prayers on doves (a symbol of peace) and attach these to the word HOPE which our fantastic Site Manager, Mr Grey, has created out of wire. Look out later in the term for some photos!

This week, we read an acrostic poem all about forgiveness and reminded ourselves that true forgiveness is 'wiping the slate clean' and starting again. Jesus calls us to turn away from the things we do that are wrong and trust in Him for forgiveness and a fresh start. Our spiritual Journal task was to write a 'TSP prayer'! But instead of thinking of teaspoons, this prayer helps us focus on saying Thank you, Sorry and Please for our lives. Here is a lovely example from one of the children.


This week, Rev Julie, with the help of Ed Pascoe (Youth Worker at Frant Church), we have been looking at the meaning of Lent and how small acts of kindness can have a BIG impact. We heard about the story of a small boy who offered his small lunch (just five small loaves of bread and two fish!) to Jesus to perform a miracle with and ended up feeding 5000...with 12 baskets left over! His example of love, strength and faith in Jesus is a good reminder of our school values and how we can try and do small acts of kindness in love and strength and have faith that God can use them for BIG results. We also paused to think about the charity we are linked with, Starfish Malawi, for their day of prayer for Africa. We were humbled in thinking about how much we have to be thankful for and prayed for their safety and protection from the virus.

This week, we learnt about the story of Noah's Ark and how God sent the symbol of the rainbow as a promise that the world will never flood again. We were reminded of God's forgiveness and that when we see a rainbow, we are also reminded of the hope we have that God will always keep his promises. In our Spiritual Journals, we thought about what Rainbows mean to us - particularly over the last few months as they have been used as a reminder of our wonderful NHS and the hard work they have done to protect us and treat those who are unwell with coronavirus. The children designed their own rainbows to suit their personality and wrote about what they are hopeful for.

We have begun focusing on the Easter story in our Collective Worships this week. We looked at Palm Sunday and how the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem was such a cause of such celebration for those who had been waiting years for their Messiah. We thought about what we were hopeful for in the future and the children were really reflective in their thinking - a lot of their hopes involved no social distancing and being able to hug and play with all their friends! In our Spiritual Journal time, we wrote our hopes onto leaves and decorated them to hang on our very own Tree of Hope! We will share some of our hopes during future collective worships across the term and include them in our prayers.

Term 3 - Truthfulness

This term, our value is Truthfulness. Over the next six weeks, we will be reading a variety of bible stories that help teach us the importance of being truthful. We will learn about Jacob and Esau, Jonah and Saul of Damascas as well as reading 'Who made me?' by Shirley Tulloch and learning about Saint Lucy who lived in the Roman Empire when Jesus was alive. Truthfulness is part of our Golden Rules at St Mary's - 'We are honest and think before we act' and an important value for the children to learn more about, using Jesus as our example.

Term 2 - Generosity

This term, our value is Generosity. We will be learning about God’s generosity by reading the Parable of the Great Feast and finding out about The Widow and the Oil. We will also read ‘The Rainbow Fish’ to help show us how we can learn to be more generous and then use familiar characters in the Christmas story to link the miracle of Jesus’ birth with our value.

Thursday 19th November 2020

This week, Maple Class had a class discussion about how to be generous and created this acrostic poem of all of their ideas during their Spiritual Journal time. They linked this with the national initiatives during Anti-Bullying week Rocco explained that being generous is about sharing ‘as much as you can’ and Jessica described generosity as ‘being really, really kind’.

Remembrance Day – Wednesday 11th November 2020

On Wednesday 11th November, the whole school paused to visit the church grave yard and place crosses at a war memorial grave. The children, along with Rev Julie, went with their teachers to have a two-minute silence to  remember those who fought for peace and for the long-lasting peace we are fortunate enough to have in our country. Mr Gray also put a wreath on the memorial in the village with a message which some Year 6s wrote, in memory of the bravery and courage of the soldiers.

 

We linked Remembrance Day in with our value this term of Generosity and Willow Class thought about this during their Spiritual Journal time in school. They focused on how soldiers in WW1 and 2 showed generosity and bravery by fighting for us to be able to live in peace.

Collective Worship at St Mary’s

We have Collective Worship every day. Some days this is all together as a school and sometimes this is individually in the classes.

On Monday mornings, we meet together and focus on the termly value. This is linked to a story and there will be a biblical link to this – either using a biblical story or a particular biblical verse that ties in with the value. The Head Boy and Girl will open the worship by lighting the candle and saying the prayers. The leader of the worship, helped by the Pupil Governors, will then take the school through the worship and finish with a song. At the end, the Head Boy and Girl will then close the worship and the children will have a few moments to reflect on what they have learnt.

On Tuesday mornings, the children will meet in the hall for singing worship. Here they will learn a hymn or non-denominational song with a similar theme to the value of the term. They will also learn songs for particular Christian festivals across the year, such as Christmas and Easter, as well as other celebrations such as Harvest.

On Wednesday mornings, the whole school go up to church for worship with Reverend Julie. With the help of some Year 5 and 6 volunteers, she will lead the school through a bible story linked with the value of the term and the children will sing together.

On Thursday mornings, the children will stay in the classes and have Spiritual Journal time. There will be a question linked to Monday’s worship for the children to respond to in a variety of ways – either through class discussion or individual reflection.

On Fridays, we have Celebration Assembly as a whole school! It's a brilliant opportunity to see the whole school together and chance to share achievements and exciting news together. We celebrate those who have been on Blue or the Star during the week, as well as giving out Learner of the Week, Sports Star, British Citizen and awarding the Reading Cup and Attendance Ted to the winning class. We finish each assembly with cheering a big happy birthday to those who have celebrated birthdays in the week - it's the best way to start a Friday morning.

Prayers

We have set prayers that we say as a school community at different times during the day. In Collective Worship in the mornings, we will light the candle and say the two opening prayers to begin our collective worships. We will then close with either the Lord's Prayer or with the End of Collective Worship prayer. Before going home, each class will say the End of Day prayer to finish the day by reflecting on their day at school and thinking about their families.