Christian Values & Our Spirituality
Our agreed core principles:
Kindness, Courage & Character
In addition, we have twelve values which we explore in more depth. These are friendship; forgiveness; truthfulness; generosity; justice; respect; kindness; courage; service; thankfulness; perseverance; trust.
These principles and values are explored on a four-year cycle, which also allows time to observe the Church calendar, national and cultural events and festivals of other faiths and cultures.
To view how we explore each of our core values, click here.
The Main School Rule is ‘Everyone will act with courtesy and consideration to others at all times.‘
- We will treat others and their belongings with respect
- We will be kind to each other in every way possible
- We will have kind hands and feet. We always speak politely to everyone
- In class, we make it as easy as possible for everyone to learn and enjoy school
- We move gently and quietly around the school
- We are quiet whenever we are required to be
- We keep school clean and tidy so that it is a welcoming place of which we can be proud
- We take care of our wildlife, trees and gardens
Spirituality is very important at St Francis School. The staff are guided by this when talking with the children and each other, when planning work, teaching, when out at break times. It is central to everything we do, as we believe that children are a gift from God and we take our role in their development as people seriously.
We have an agreed definition of spirituality for our school, so that everyone can work together to develop the children’s (and the adults’) spirituality.
“Spirituality is the search for meaning and purpose in life and for values by which to live. It is the act of being fully human – by revealing ourselves, our relationships with others, with beauty and the beyond and doing so through love. It is the universal search for individual identity.”
We have developed a child-speak version of the definition, too, so that even the younger children can understand and use this big concept. This definition will be used until the children are ready to hear the main one.
“Spirituality is about me being me; who I am, how I relate to things and people, and my own values. I want to be the best me that I can be!”
We are always seeking ways in which to develop the children’s spirituality. We recognise that there are planned and unplanned opportunities to do this. We build in planned opportunities at least three times a short term, and take advantage of any unplanned opportunities as they arise.
Using the ‘windows, mirrors, doors’ approach, the children are encouraged to see the good and bad in the world (the window), reflect on this (mirror) and then make a decision/take a path (door).
In order to enable conversations to be more meaningful for the children, and the adults, we use the spiritual capacities – first developed by David Smith – in order to have a common language. These capacities link perfectly with our school values and enable us to take the children’s development even further. The capacities are a way of being able to talk about this big idea with language that is accessible to the children.
The capacities that we use are:
- to be guided by their beliefs and values and be willing to take a stand to defend them.
- to be self-aware and empathise with the experience of others in the school and wider community.
- to love themselves, care for themselves, believe in their potential to achieve, and find inner strength and resilience when facing challenges.
- to exercise imagination and creativity, appreciate beauty in the world and be alive to experiences of awe and wonder.
- to be intrigued by mystery and be open to an awareness of the transcendent in the whole of life.
- to be comfortable with stillness and silence and open to engage in reflection/meditation/prayer.
- to be ready to say sorry when mistakes are made, to forgive themselves and forgive others.
- to be willing to take risks and to reflect, learn and grow following experiences of failure as well as success.
- to demonstrate curiosity and open mindedness when exploring life’s big questions.
- to appreciate and be thankful for what is good in life like friends and family, and show generosity towards others.