We are excited to share with you our new school’s distinctive Christian vision. As a Church School we are required to have a vision that is shared with the whole school community, and which is then supported by our values.
Our new vision is ‘Growing Happy, Caring Hearts and Minds’.
The foundation of this can be found in the Bible, John 15 v 12;
‘My command is this: love each other as I have loved you’.
Our vision has been developed from the central belief of the Church of England, that education should develop a fullness of life. This is alongside the Exeter Diocese vision to pray, grow and serve with joy.
The school community were consulted and given the opportunity to identify key strengths and attributes of the school. During the Summer Term questionnaires were sent out to all parents, staff, governors and pupils. There was a positive response to this and overwhelmingly everyone prioritised the children’s happiness and wellbeing, alongside and integrated into learning and meeting full potential. This goes back to the central belief that the role of the school should be to educate the whole person, encompassing ‘physical and intellectual development, united with spiritual, moral, social and cultural’.
The Christian faith is centred around the love of God and at this school we have also developed new values that are based on the GRACE of God.
The values are Generosity, Respect, Agape, Courage and Empathy.
These form and shape the ethos of our school culture and are a core component of our Collective Worship. The vision and values have been introduced to the children and over the next few months we will be sharing more information with you.
Miss K Lee, Mrs A Warren and Mr Overton.
Strategic Lead and Leads for Collective Worship and Religious Education.
This term we are focussing on Respect.
As children develop and demonstrate their understanding of each value in school, they will be awarded a sticker showing the termly theme's emblem. You can read about some of the ways we put our school values into practice on the News & Sport page.
Each classroom has created their own GRACE 'tree' to represent the values in their reflection area.
The Big Frieze Project
Artist Emma Yarlett was commissioned to create a wall frieze to illustrate seven of the eight core concepts that are explored throughout the Understanding Christianity materials. Effectively, Understanding Christianity presents a view of the ‘big story’ of the Bible, and the frieze is an artist’s response to this idea. The Big Frieze is designed to give teachers the opportunity to make pupils aware of the wider context of each concept, unit and text studied in the Understanding Christianity materials.
More about the Big Frieze project here
Each year group at Withycombe Raleigh Church of England Primary School have created an artistic response of their own for the core Christian beliefs.
These interpretations are displayed across the hall in order, demonstrating the ‘big story’ of the Bible.
Christians believe the universe and human life are God’s good creation.
Humans are made in the image of God.
Artwork by children in Foundation.
Humans have a tendency to go their own way rather than keep their place in relation to their creator. Christians call this attitude sin, and Genesis 3 gives an account of this rebellion, popularly called ‘the Fall’. It describes a catastrophic separation between God and humans, between humans and each other, and between humans and the environment. The idea that humans are ‘fallen’ and in need of rescue (or salvation) sets out the root cause of many problems for humanity.
Artwork by children in Year 6.
People of God
The Old Testament tells the story of God’s plan to reverse the impact of the Fall to save humanity. It involves choosing a people who will model a restored relationship with God, who will attract all other people back to God.
The Bible narrative includes the ups and downs of this plan, including the message of the prophets who tried to persuade people to stick with God.
The plan appears to end in failure with the people of God exiled, and then returning, awaiting a ‘messiah’ – a rescuer.
Artwork by children in Year 5.
Christians believe Jesus’ incarnation is ‘good news’ for all people - ‘Gospel’ means ‘good news’.
His life, teaching and ministry embody what it is like to be one of the people of God, what it means to live in relationship with God. Jesus’ example and teaching emphasise loving one’s neighbour – particularly the weak and vulnerable – as part of loving God.
Artwork by children in Year 2.
The New Testament presents Jesus as the answer: the Messiah and Saviour, who will repair the effects of sin and the Fall and offer a way for humans to be at one with God again.
For Christians, Incarnation means that Jesus is God in the flesh, and that, in Jesus, God came to live among humans.
Artwork by children in Year 1.
Jesus’ death and resurrection effect the rescue (or salvation) of humans. Christians say Jesus opens the way back to God.
Through Jesus, sin is dealt with, forgiveness offered, and the relationship between God and humans is restored.
Artwork by children in Year 3.
Kingdom of God
This does not mean that no one sins any more! The idea of the ‘Kingdom of God’ reflects God’s ideal for human life in the world – a vision of life lived in the way God intended for human beings. In anticipation of a future Heavenly Kingdom, Christians seek to live this attractive life, as in God’s Kingdom on earth, following Jesus’ example, inspired and empowered by God’s Spirit.
Artwork by children in Year 5.