Christian Vision and Values
The St James Christian Vision and Values:
St James is a school that serves its community with a clear vision and distinct Christian values:
Love God, Love Others, Love Ourselves
We are also part of a large family of collaborative Church schools in the Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust with a shared vision and Christian values.
‘In order that you might have life - life in all its fullness’ John 10:10
The St James Vision:
The window in St James Church that depicts St James:
When Jesus spoke the words of John 10:10 to his disciples (including James) he had a vision for them that went beyond what they could see at that time. In this verse, Jesus says he has come, ‘In order that you might have life - life in all its fullness’. It’s a reminder that it is possible for us to know a full life, in which we know the security of being in the hands of the good shepherd. People of faith will listen to him because he is like the shepherd whose sheep know his voice. The picture to the left shows a depiction of St James at St James Church in Taunton to which we have strong links.
St James Church school has been at the heart of the St James Church and Taunton community for over 200 years in the centre of this historical market town. We are a school with children from many different backgrounds, countries and faiths. This diversity and cultural capital is to be celebrated and shared.
Many people take a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain to pay respects to St James, often travelling over mountain passes and walking hundreds of miles. We want to follow in wise footsteps, our lives to be full of challenge, enjoying the assents and descents, but working towards a goal. We want to enjoy those moments when we reach a mountain top or dip our toes in the sea along the journey to celebrate our achievements, just like the St James pilgrims. To be a pilgrim is foremost a spiritual journey; it is the journey of one's spirit in union with God and all his creation.
In the Bible, St James was one of the first disciples to follow Jesus but St James made mistakes along the way often drawing inspiration and guidance from Jesus. We too look to God for guidance; we are reflective of the mistakes that we make and put right on our journey.
At St James we have a vision that all children, staff, parents and our community; LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS AND LOVE OURSELVES.
What is the core Christian vision?
We have a very straightforward Christian intent statement:
‘Love God, Love Others, Love Ourselves’
We feel that this captures our Christian Ethos and the spirit of the school most.
- As a Church school we want our community to learn from the bible and other books.
- We want children to love, respect and care about others.
- We want children to love themselves and be proud of what they have achieved.
We have linked it to 3 key texts from the bible:
What are our core values?
Our key values are as follows:
We have included our core values in our approach to managing relationships and behaviour.
We want children to exhibit the values and be given positive examples of the difference they make.
Children are rewarded with tokens for exemplifying our school values. Individuals are rewarded but each week the whole class decide to contribute there class tokens to a whole school reward. For example a whole school ice cream, a school disco, a non uniform day, a talent show, a class party, an extra hour of lunchtime (All these happened in 2022/23).
We explore these values in our daily collective worship.
We want our community to be enhanced by the values and the community worked together to further extend our vision for our values led school ethos.
Values Day July 2021
In July 2021 we held an exciting Values Day - each class explored a key value and shared their work with the rest of the school.
- Ash and Beech Classes and Love God, Love Others and Love Ourselves here
- Holly Class and the value of Trust here
- Elm Class and the value of Kindness here
- Oak class and the value of Perseverance here
- Maple Class and the value of Forgiveness here
- Poplar Class and the value of Respect here
- Pine Class think abort the importance of Aspiration here
- Sorrel Class explain the importance of Individual Liberty here
- Rowan Class explain why Tolerance is important here
- Sycamore Class explain why the Rule of Law is so important here
- Walnut Class look at Democracy and why this is such an important part of our lives here
Through the teaching of religious education we aim to promote the spiritual and moral development of the children, at the same time seeking to ensure that it promotes respect, understanding and tolerance for those who adhere to different faiths.
Religious Education in our school is in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus and reflects the teaching of the Church of England. A parent does have the right to withdraw their child from religious education if so wished.
Collective worship is based around a programme of Christian values. These are promoted to the school through displays both in class and the wider school.
Opportunities for adults and children alike to have moments of awe and wonder are cultivated where possible.
During our busy day we all need time to stop and reflect now and then.
We gather together for whole school collective worship in the hall, and every classroom has a reflection area offering time to stop and think, as does our office waiting area.
There are strong links between the school and St James, the parish church.
Reverend Fabian and members of the church community hold regular Collective Worship in school.
In addition to this the school visits the church annually as part of the Christingle Service, Easter Service and Pentecost.
We also undertake visits to different faith buildings and welcome visitors to come and help children understand Christianity as a multicultural world faith and respect the diversity and difference within other faith communities.
As part of the Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust our Choir has taken part in performances at Wells. Annually our Year 6 cohort attends a Pilgrimage day as part of their Year 6 celebrations.
Our Ethos Committee comprises of local Governing Body members, school staff and St James Church members. They meet regularly to help monitor and guide our Christian distinctiveness.