our Christian Ethos and Values
The Prestbury St Mary's Federation vision is to deliver an outstanding learning experience for all 4 to 11 year old pupils through a Federation that is effectively and ambitiously led, and underpinned by our Core Christian Values.
Our Church School distinctiveness and worship
We are proud of our Church School distinctiveness, and are closely linked with St Mary's Church in the village, and the church community. Our schools welcome children from all faiths, and those of none. Our pupils have opportunities to:
- explore what it means to have a Christian faith, to explore the faith of others and those of no faith
- critically discuss issues of faith, belief and God
- learn within an education of excellence rooted in Christian values
We worship together every day. Once a week we are joined by our Open the Book team, and also a member of St Mary's clergy. On some days our services are led by staff, on other days by the children. On Friday, we all come together for a Good News Service to celebrate the week's events and to worship.
Each act of worship is based around the term’s Christian value. Sometimes we share Bible stories, stories from other faiths or other stories that help us to explore the value further. We also sing songs and hymns, many of which were learnt during our recent ISingPop event. We have the opportunity for reflection and quiet thought as well as guided prayer. Our prayer is very important to us. It was written by a pupil from the school and encompasses our beliefs and values. We ensure our worship and prayer life is deeply engaging and provides children the opportunity to be closer to God.
Our Christian Values
We seek to promote our shared values throughout school life so that the children come to make behavioural choices based on Christian values. These values inform the school’s vision, aims and ethos, the design of curriculum, all policies, the planning for spiritual and moral development as well as the school’s management and governance. Every opportunity is taken to celebrate the demonstration of these values in children’s behaviour, both in school and also during events outside school and in the local community. A child is awarded a ‘value pebble’ if they demonstrate any of our core values of Respect, Love, Honesty, Forgiveness, Perseverance and Responsibility. Pebbles are placed in our Values Vase and when it is full, we all celebrate with a special treat or event. We weave our values into all aspects of school life and share them in our daily language; they are important to staff, children and stakeholders.
Part of the Church community
Our schools have a very strong relationship with the local clergy and the worshipping community.
We visit St Mary's regularly to celebrate key events including Christmas, Easter and Harvest, and to enhance our RE work. We work closely with Fr Nick and his team, exploring ways in which we can develop and enrich our relationship. Many of our school families regularly attend Church, especially the Sunday morning Celebrate! service.
We ensure Religious Education and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are very strong features of the school as they help children understand the faith of others and the importance of listening and reflection as key parts of the faith journey.
Each classroom has a dedicated area for worship and reflection and the children have the opportunity to explore the Christian Values during a dedicated teaching session.
Our RE Curriculum has been carefully designed to teach about a range of faiths including Christianity. RE is taught in every year group and we have special RE books that move from year to year.
We are currently designing our spiritual areas, spaces for children to use for quiet reflection in school. As a Church school we strive to promote spiritual wellbeing. We ensure children are able to develop a sense of identity, self-worth and personal meaning and purpose. We understand that spiritual growth begins first and foremost with believing and following Jesus Christ. We do this through our faith. We ensure that our spirituality grows and matures through prayer, through learning about the Word of God, through sharing our blessings with others and through our collective worship.
To achieve our vision, rooted in Ecclesiastes 4:9 we recognise the importance of working as a ‘TEAM’ across the Federation where all stakeholders work together to ‘Try their best and Enjoy all aspects of school life in order to Achieve More and fulfil their potential.’ Our ‘TEAM’ motto underpins every aspect of school life and is key to ensuring high levels of motivation, creativity, enthusiasm and excitement in learning:
TRY - we strive to do our best and persevere especially when faced with a challenge
ENJOY - we enjoy learning and have a positive attitude to our work and each other through showing respect, love, honesty and forgiveness
ACHIEVE - by working hard we make progress and achieve the goals that we set for ourselves taking responsibility for our learning and achievement
MORE - we are ambitious, creative and are always looking for ways to improve making sure that everything we do is underpinned by our Core Christian Values
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15.13