As a Church of England school, we aim to embody Christian values in our ethos and teaching. At the heart of our school are a set of core Christian Values. These underpin our whole ethos, curriculum and school life and aim to ensure our pupils leave St Barnabas CE Primary School as happy, secure, caring and responsible citizens. The values we promote are important within the school community and are values which will be important throughout life. In all that we do we strive to share, encourage and demonstrate positive values with our children; in order that they understand them and strive to live by them. Our school assemblies are based on these Christian Values. Each half term a value is studied in detail. The values covered include: peace, compassion, friendship, trust, forgiveness and creativity.
Our worship is a precious time for children and adults to come together, spend time in reflection, thinking about our values, ourselves and our world. We provide opportunities for children to be quiet and reflective, to consider bigger issues and their own philosophy, to grow spiritually themselves, to grow in their relationships with others and our world and to think about the intangible, whatever their faith or non-faith position.
Nationally, there has been a recent focus on British values. The government’s definition of these encompasses democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance. We encourage and teach these throughout all school life. In assemblies, PSHE lessons, RE lessons, history lessons and as explicit lessons.
St Barnabas Church
We are very proud of our links to St Barnabas Church, where we have termly services at Harvest, Christmas and Easter. During these services all pupils take part in the service, from singing hymns, acting out plays or parables to reading prayers and poetry. All our parents, family and friends are welcome to our service. Our pupils tell us how much they value and delight in these services as they are able to lead their own worship alongside our Reverend.
Open the Book
Open the Book is a worship assembly with a difference. During this assembly our pupils take to the stage and act out series of dramatised Bible stories. These stories are from the child-friendly Lion Storyteller Bible written by the internationally known children’s storyteller Bob Hartman. Our amazing team of volunteers, plan and deliver the stories with our eldest pupils becoming the main characters; they are transformed by costumes and our hall by props. Our children are overwhelmingly positive about Open the Book – many have never heard the stories before. They say that it seems as though the stories are really happening, that Open the Book is their favourite assembly each week and that they love seeing the team in school.
In times of collective worship, we are reminded of the prayer that Jesus taught us to say:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
We also light a candle as part of our assembly: we do this because a candle is a symbol of Jesus, the light of the world, and because the candle carries on burning, carrying on our prayer, even when we are not speaking. It is also a visible sign that worship has begun. At the end of our assembly, we blow out the candle to bring that act of worship to a close. During the lightning of this candle to say our school prayer:
As we light this candle, we ask you guide us through our lives. Help us to be kind to one another. We pray for all our friends, families and the members of our school and community. We ask that your light will shine brightly in us so we can pass your light on to others.