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:
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:
The values tree above represents the values being the roots of all our work as a school. The image also shows the school as the tree which support the growth of the fruit (our children).
We explore these values in our daily collective worship. Our Ethos Committee think about how they should shape the school and plan our collective worship around them.
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. We are also very lucky to welcome members of the church community who run Explorers Club weekly.
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.