Autumn 1 and 2 2023 Honesty
'Speak the truth in love.' Ephesians 4 v 15
At the start of the new academic year, we will be revisiting our school vision and ethos, with the aim being to reflect on our happy school family and celebrate our individual parts in it. We will explore our vision statement ,recognising that the verse in the Bible before it describes how we grow together by 'speaking the truth in love' (our focus Bible verse for the term.)
As an introduction to a more values-based approach to our ethos, we shall look at the history of Church Schools which were founded and built on the belief that, in times when children worked in the fields, in factories and mines, moral and spiritual education was as important as learning skills or a trade. We put great emphasis on encouraging the children to use positive values to help them be the very best that they can be.
We shall be looking at how honesty plays a large part in embedding loving, caring respectful relationships, exploring how important it is to tell the truth even when it's hard, being courageous yet sensitive, listening well and the concept of honesty when linked to fairness. Admitting when we are wrong, saying when we have had our fair share and valuing, trusting and respecting those who are honest are also themes to investigate.
We shall be exploring these themes through Bible stories, Aesop's fables, story books and the lives of those like George Cadbury, who created Bournville for his factory workers, and Brother Andrew, who smuggled Bibles into countries where the Christian faith was not welcome or supported.
Church Harvest Festival will be on Thursday 12th October. A whole school outdoor Remembrance Service, focusing on our Military families like last year, is also something to look forward to on Friday 10th November. Our other national events include Anti-bullying Week, exploring the theme of 'Make Some Noise' in November and this is the same week as Children in Need Day which will keep the new Charity Reps busy. We recognise the importance to Hindus of Diwali and the Festival of Light and look forward to finishing the term with Christmas.
The time and timetabling of worship has changed, so Georg the Chaplain and Rev Peter will lead Tuesday's worship at 2:45:
Monday 1300-Head's introductory Worship
Tuesday 1445- Georg/Rev Peter
Wednesday 1300-Praise Worship with Mrs Carter/Mrs Rawnson
Friday 1445- Celebration Worship
In addition, this year we will be inviting parents in to Class Celebration Worship on the penultimate Friday of each term. Children will then be able to present their work in turn to parents, starting with Y6 and their YR buddies. We will put these sessions on the school calendar/newsletter.
Summer 1 and 2 2023 Courage
'Be strong and courageous; do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. 'Joshua 1 v 9
This term we looked at Courage which is one of our core values, the first one of C for Courage and C for CHRIST acrostic. We started with revisiting our vision statement 'As each one does their part, we grow in love,' Ephesians 4 v 16, recognising that we have not spoken to the youngest children properly about where our vision came from. It was explained that all the staff and governors came together to think carefully about what we value about our school, our sense of belonging, all having a part to play, how we value collaboration and how our thoughts could be prompted by what the Bible says. Finally we looked at how we could portray it in a symbol- our tree displayed in the hall which every child and adult had a part in making. We discussed how each part of the tree represents a symbol about our school family and we looked at where Ephesians came in the Bible and how to better understand the verse.
We moved on to look at the courage to celebrate difference with prompts and scenes from The Greatest Showman and our Bourne Valley Team will continue to teach us about people in the Bible- both Old and New Testament who demonstrated courage. Our focus was also on the courage of King Charles on his Coronation. The week before half term we celebrated Pentecost with a whole school walk around the village with a shared snack and an outdoor worship. This kicked off our Science Week and linked up with the awe and wonder of God and his creation.
There were so many areas to think about with courage that we continued with this value into Summer 2 ,with stories from the New Testament from our Church team and learning about the lives of people like who showed great courage through adversity like Derek Redmond's Olympic story and Captain Tom Moore's 100 laps. We also looked again at the courage to accept positive critique in our aim to instill an 'ethic of excellence.'
Spring 2 2023 Service
'Serve one another in love.' Galatians 5v13
Worship has focused on how we can serve, with visitors from The Salvation Army and Alabare explaining how their organisations meet the needs of people who may be less fortunate than ourselves. The Bourne Valley Church Team has taught the children about people from the Bible who served like The Good Samaritan and David. Included in the schedule has been the story of Esther, celebrated like the Jewish believers do during the Festival of Purim. In the last week of term, the children were asked to reflect on the impact the value of Service has had on their lives. It was quite humbling to discover lots of the children are now setting the table, clearing the plates away, keeping their rooms tidy, washing the car and even mowing the lawn! Very impressive!
Our Worship has been further enhanced by the installation of a new hall screen and sound system which means that we have been able to hear every violin or piano note in our contemplative arrival and departure music with incredible clarity.
Spring 1 2023 Perseverance
‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4 v 13
We started this term's worship journey by looking at the perseverance of the Three Kings. Then we considered comparing Jesus as a refugee fleeing from Herod with modern day refugees from Ukraine, Syria and often in the news refugees coming across the Channel in small boats to seek asylum in England. We thought about how welcoming we would be to refugees in our school and how kind we are to families who move into our school community. Bible stories included Jeremiah and Nehemiah in the Old Testament and The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin and The Persistent Widow from the New Testament. We likened perseverance to running a long race:
‘Let us run with perseverance the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.’ Hebrews 12 v 1—2.
Thomas Edison who created the light bulb was one of our people we studied alongside Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King and various sportsmen and women who never gave up and followed their goals and dreams.
The symbol of this value is a tortoise (referring to Aesop's character in The Hare and The Tortoise) and in our reflective area we were encouraged to set goals and then encourage each other to achieve them.
Autumn 2 Thankfulness
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. 1 Thessalonians 5v16
Thankfulness is another one of our core values and one which we aim to demonstrate in every area of school. At the start of the term we considered that praise is an attitude of mind and how it positively affects both ourselves and others. We thought about what having an attitude of thankfulness looked like and we discussed the quote: 'It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.' Discussing how thankfulness is key to developing relationships made us think about the benefits of gratitude and how everyone can change the ethos in class and around school by being thankful. Rev Peter and Mrs Munro told us stories of thankful people from the Bible like Daniel who continued to thank God despite being thrown to the lions and Jonah who thanked God after the whale did not eat him! We learnt about John Newton who was a slave trader who became a Christian and wrote Amazing Grace as a way of thanking God for saving him. Mary the mother of Jesus was celebrated in the Advent period and towards Christmas everyone was thankful for the birth of Jesus.
In the midst of our term we focused on 'Reaching Out' the theme for Anti-bullying Week and this linked in well with being able to thank God for our friends and help to support them if they are in need. On Odd Socks Day we were able to be thankful for our differences.
Autumn 1 2023 Stretching our Learning
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4 v 8
The start of this new academic year we wanted to consider one of our six core values of 'Stretching our Learning', driving us all to have the very highest expectations of ourselves. We all watched Ron Berger's video of Austin's Butterfly- where a young KS1 child copied a butterfly and through helpful, kind feedback from his friends, he made five subsequent revisions of his picture until the last one was stunningly so close to the original picture it amazed us making us all think how we can improve by acting on feedback. We then went on to think about listening to guidance, the wisdom of parents and leaders and how we can be open to gaining wisdom. The Bourne Valley Team taught us stories of Samuel who listened to the voice of God and Solomon who prayed for wisdom above all else and then helped two mothers who were arguing about one baby, both believing that it belonged to each of them. In the book of Timothy, it talks of 'Fanning into flame the gift of God' which made us consider that we have all been given gifts but are we using them wisely? We looked at the wise sayings in Proverbs, the story of the pearl of great price and KS1 children read picture stories about wise animals.
It was a delight to see so many parents come along to join in celebrating our Harvest Festival at St Michael's Church. Georg Knights, our chaplain, led our worship with the children performing songs, prayers and stories. It was the first Church Service with YR who were supported by their Y6 buddies.
Summer 1 Friendship
'Encourage one another and build each other up' 1 Thessalonians 5v11
This term we have been looking at different aspects of friendship- starting off with the idea of sticking together and what it means to be loyal. We considered knights of old and explored St George and the Dragon. The Bourne Valley Team taught us about Jesus' friends, particularly Peter who denied him three times but who then became his 'rock' and the friendship in the Old Testament between David and Jonathan. We then looked into the qualities of a good friend and discussed how important encouragement is and the idea of supporting one another which helps our friendship grow. Other stories from The Bible such the paralysed man who was lowered down to meet Jesus by his friends, the loyalty of Ruth and Naomi and the mentoring of Elisha by Elijah demonstrated how important friendship was seen within Christian teaching. In class worship we considered 'recipes for a good friend', listened to some key Aesop's Fables and reflected on what we have learnt about how to develop our friendships and what we can do in the future to make them even stronger.
Spring 2 Forgiveness
This term our we have been looking in depth at the value of Forgiveness and, linking this to the Christian festival of Lent and the preparation for Easter. We have all learnt about what it means to forgive as we have been forgiven, to turn over a new leaf and to use people of the Bible like Zacchaeus and David as an inspiration for how we can change our views since God offers us forgiveness. It has been lovely to welcome back Mrs Munro and children have all ages have enjoyed her dramas like the story of The Lost Sheep.
We all enjoyed our first whole school church service for over two years, with the Easter story read clearly and acted out by Y6 with their Reception Buddies and the school community getting together to celebrate in song. ’Shine Jesus Shine’ was particularly rousing! Thank you Reverend Peter and your team for leading such a wonderful service; we all felt very welcome.
Spring 1 2022
This term we are focusing on one of our six core school values of Courage. I will be reading stories of people who have faced difficult challenges and won through, alongside traditional Bible stories of characters who have trusted in God. We will be considering the idea of 'doing the right thing, not the easy thing' and how we overcome fear. Encouraging others in facing their fears will also be a theme, reinforcing on our vision of each doing their part and hence growing together in love. The Bourne Valley Church Team will be sharing stories of bravery mainly from The Old Testament -Noah, Moses, Daniel and Esther.
Autumn 2 2021
This term’s values are kindness and compassion. In last Monday’s worship I talked about the effect upholding and demonstrating kindness has on our school community and I challenged the children to think about pledging to say or do one kind thing each day. We shall be considering the phrase ‘treating others as you would like to be treated’ and trusting that when we discuss how we can be kind at home children will be volunteering to do the clearing up after dinner and keeping their rooms tidy! Please discuss and support this concept so that the children’s understanding can grow. This value ties in with the focus for Anti-Bullying Week- ‘One Kind Word’. We are working with our Bourne Forces children on a poppy making project to link in with Remembrance. Charity Reps are visiting classes with bands, badges and poppies for children to buy when in school. We shall be holding a short 15 minute outdoor service on Thursday at 1050 with the children standing in the playground. All are welcome to attend.
Autumn 1 2021
This term our value will be Inspiration. In our worship we will be looking at inspirational people- sportsmen and women, musicians, adventurers, people who have overcome adversity or disability and those who, amid their success, have recognised the importance of their mental health. We trust the children will gain inspiration and learn that success often comes follows lots of mistakes and how importance perseverance is in achieving goals.
Summer 1 2021
This term our Christian value is Justice
This term we are looking at justice, with the symbol a set of scales. The Bible verse we have as a focus is from Isaiah 1v17:
'Learn to do right. Seek justice.'
We will be discussing fairness, empathy, how we perceive 'fair play' and what equality means. Above all, we will be considering the importance of Jesus' message of treating others as you want them to treat you. We will start the term by learning about the life of service of HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, his commitment to the Queen, the values he held dear and how he campaigned for justice. We will be hearing about the lives of people who regarded justice as an important value like John Cadbury and Mahatma Ghandi. Our Bourne Valley Team will be sharing stories form the Bible like wise King Solomon, Zacchaeus and Blind Bartimaeus. In class worship the younger children will be listening to the Aesop's Fables which focus on fairness. We hope to generate discussion about how we can contribute to our community following the idea of 'social justice' and hopefully plan some projects for the summer term.
We are thrilled that we can now hold worship together outside when the weather is good and we can finally all be together!
Spring 2 2021
This term our Christian value is Service
For this period of Lent up until Easter we are looking at what service means. Particularly during this pandemic, we have been celebrating the work of doctors, nurses and other critical workers serving in our NHS. Through studying lots of ideas around how we can use our gifts to serve and learning about people who have lived lives of service like Archbishop Janani Luwum, Florence Nightingale and Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy MC we are hoping to understand more about what service means to us. We shall be examining the work of local charities in our community like The Trussell Trust. The Salvation Army and Alabare and the Bourne Valley Team will be supporting this by retelling stories from the Bible linked with our value.
By Easter we hopefully will have had some time to consider ways in which we can serve our families, our school and our wider local community. I wonder how many of us will give up our bed for Alabare's The Big Sleep Out at Home on Friday 5th March?
Spring 1 2021
This term our Christian value is Perseverance
From the start of lockdown, Mrs Carter has been recording a weekly worship via Loom looking at different aspects of perseverance. This is posted on each class' Seesaw plan and can then be viewed by all children in class and at home.
Reverend Peter's Bourne Valley Team (associated with all the churches in the Winterbournes) take worship via Zoom on a Wednesday afternoon. Thank you to Rev Peter, Mr Head and Mrs Munro for providing thought-provoking sessions, especially as the Internet is a bit unstable at times and the props usually used have had to be adapted to Zoom!
Mrs Carter, as RE and Worship lead, has given class teachers lots of resources, links and ideas to extend the weekly focus for Class Worship, so that it can be adapted to meet the needs of every individual.
We also hope to include the Year 6 worship leaders in some way and are thinking hard about how we can facilitate this with some at school and others home-learning.