At Sleights, our school vision is:
Working together to be happy; to flourish; to succeed
through our Christian Values of perseverance, respect and trust.
During the April 2018 training day, the whole school staff and members of the governing body came together to review and redefine vision, values and aims. The session began with each member of the team involved identifying their individual reasons for working at Sleights. This provided a broad spectrum of backgrounds, motivation and recognition of all.
“they might have life, and have it abundantly” John 10:10
Unpacking the Church of England’s Vision for Education was our starting point and exploring what is mean by the deeply Christian vision, with the promise by Jesus of “life in its fullness” at its heart.
To support our discussions and review of the vision, values and aims, we also explored the four key areas of the Church of England’s vision.
- Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills
- Educating for hope and aspiration
- Educating for community and living well together
- Educating for dignity and respect
With an agreed understanding that the Bible and the national vision for Church Schools is deeply rooted in the work of Sleights, the next phase of the review process was to share the beliefs of the Headteacher and the aspirations of the school and its community
Redefining our vision
Before the review process, the school vision was to “Help each child flourish”. Using this starting point, staff discussed and agreed that the school’s work was wider than just the children. Admitting a child onto the school roll is actually admitting a whole family into the school community. This idea introduced the language of together.
An essential aspect of the vision, agreed by all staff, was that our school community should be happy. Rooted in the teachings of the Bible, the idea of flourishing within our Church School completed the new vision.
“Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God” Psalm 92:13
Our Christian Values
The need to underpin every aspect of our school’s work with Christian Values is essential. Recognising and understanding the importance of these values was equally important. With this in mind and our agreed vision now in place, we explored a wide range of different Christian Values and used a diamond nine activity to identify those that we felt were must crucial in supporting us achieve our goals. As a result of our discussions and the needs we felt our families had, perseverance, respect and trust were identified.
Why is it important to Sleights?
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me
An observation by many staff is that our children have difficulties in self-belief and working through something when it is difficult. Given that our school vision is driven by developing happy, successful and flourishing learners, instilling a culture of perseverance was recognised as a must!
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you
As a Church school, we value all God’s children. Promoting respect for yourself and others encapsulates this sense and belief of value. Knowing that our children lack belief in themselves, teaching all stakeholders to value and respect everyone equally will enable everyone to be happy, succeed and flourish.
My God is my strength in whom I trust
We believe that educating and working with the whole community is essential to ensuring happiness and success. A shared commitment to working together and trusting families and schools equally is rooted firmly in our work. With this partnership, children will benefit from a trusting relationship, focused on achieving the very best for all.
We undertook a significant body of work with children and all stakeholders to explore these values further. In our hall, we proudly display these values and key ideas around them, for example, how the children view the value as being important to them and how living these out will help them have better lives.
Our Christian Values award
In September 2018, we also introduced a new Christian Values award. The purpose of this award is to celebrate children and families living out our school values. To find out more, please read our summary document below:
What do the children say about the Christian Values award?
When you were awarded the Christian Values award, how did it make you feel?
- “If I have just achieved this, what else can I achieve?”
- “Puts you in the mind set to want to get the award”
- “Being given the award made me think of my own actions after” (The child described an incident he had with another child following the award being given. He said it made him question why he behaved in such a way when earlier he had been spotted for showing respect)
- “There’s a lot of good people in this school, so to be chosen is a confidence boost”
- “I was happy that I was spotted”
- “I was surprised that I was given the certificated, because I never get them. It was my first”
What difference does the Christian Values award have to other children and the school?
- The children referenced how the award helps them with their learning and understanding about God, Jesus and the Bible.
- One child discussed how those children for the award are then looked at and treated more positively because they can show the value in action.
- “If children are chosen it means they can be relied on”
- Differences were discussed between the Christian Values award and the previous Handwriting Certificate. One child (Y6) stated how he had never got the handwriting certificate because his writing was “so bad”, but the Christian Values award allows “everyone the chance to have a go”
Around our school, children created a range of pieces of artwork to celebrate the new vision, values and aims. We are very proud of this work and would love to show any visitors around school to see these for themselves!