Dewhurst St Mary Church of England School is a Church school within the Diocese of St Albans. As a Church school, we have a Christian distinctive character and uphold shared Christian values. This gives our school a sense of community and supports us in creating a nurturing and caring environment for our pupils where everyone is able to flourish.
Our School Prayer
Bless those who help us learn, and those with whom we play,
Bless those who care for us in our school each day.
Bless me as well Lord, yet one more thing I pray,
Help me do the best I can in every single way.
Each class says a daily prayer usually at the end of the day and encourages the class to reflect using their prayer corners in the classroom.
Spirituality is about our relationship with ourselves, our family, friends, God and all of creation.We have lots of opportunities for spirituality to flourish but we need to remind ourselves of the common language to plan effectively.
“Spirituality is like a bird: If you hold it too closely, it chokes, And if you hold it too loosely, it escapes.”
Israel Salanter Lipkin
“the spirituality bird often flies away before we have a chance to acknowledge its presence.”
Spiritual Capacities include children’s ability to:
- be guided by their beliefs and values and be willing to take a stand to defend them
- be self-aware and empathise with the experience of others
- love themselves, care for themselves, believe in their potential to achieve, and find inner strength and resilience when facing challenges
- exercise imagination and creativity, appreciate beauty in the world and be alive to experiences of awe and wonder
- be intrigued by mystery and be open to an awareness of the transcendent in the whole of life
- be comfortable with stillness and silence and open to engage in reflection/meditation/prayer
- be ready to say sorry when mistakes are made, to forgive themselves and to forgive others
- be willing to take risks and to reflect, learn and grow following experiences of failure as well as success
- demonstrate curiosity and open mindedness when exploring life’s big questions
- appreciate and be thankful for what is good in life and show generosity towards others
These capacities have given us a common language.
Spiritual capacities are relevant to all pupils, of any religious tradition or none, and to all areas of the curriculum when developing Spirituality
Dewhurst St Mary offers a spiritual and moral basis for pupils development. As a Church school we reflect the nature of the Trinity. We discover who we are, why we are, and - perhaps most importantly - what we might be.
Using our personal day to day behaviour and our response to some of the big issues facing our planet We consider together the question: What would Jesus do?
If there is no such reflection, a feeling remains just a feeling.
reflection = facilitating learning and growth.
We use discussion, silence, meditation, listening to music, drawing and drama improvisation such as hot seating and freeze framing. We use these ‘ways of reflecting’ to support the development of different spiritual capacities.
We use the Windows, Mirrors, Doors model as a way to describe the journey rather than just an experience.
Our unique Christian vision and principles underpin the foundation of the life and work of our school. Every Church of England School has the Ethos Statement below as part of its statutory Instrument of Government. This is the statement from which all other documents flow, including the school’s vision statement.
- We are a School in which every child understands his or her individual goals and feels encouraged and supported in reaching and exceeding them.
- We are a Church School and we all uphold Christian values. We always embrace kindness and good behaviour.
- We are a School in which we all feel safe and valued and are given the opportunity to express our emotions appropriately.
The Church of England has a Statement of Entitlement which states what pupils are entitled to, please see the link below and select Statement of Entitlement;
We have excellent links with St Mary the virgin Church opposite our school.
We visit the church throughout the year for worship at Harvest, Christmas, Easter and at the end of the year for a leaver’s service. Father Eugene and his curate Mark come into school and regularly lead our worship. Once each year in the spring term, our students join the children from Churchfield and St Mary’s High School for a Founders Day service to celebrate and give thanks for the lives of our founders.
Children take part in collective worship in school daily and we say our school prayer and the Lords Prayer during worship.
Inside the church there are a number of memorials including one for the Dewhurst family who were founding members of the Dewhurst Schools, ( Dewhurst St Mary Primary School, Churchfield Primary School and St Mary’s CE High School).
St Mary’s CE High School continues to be supported by the Dewhurst Trust and the Trust is responsible for the appointment of Foundation Governors who are on St Mary’s Board of Governors.
The Diocesan Board of Education works to see church schools at the heart of the Diocese’s mission.
The vision for education: ‘Living God’s Love in Education: Enabling Life in all its Fullness’.
Underpinned by the National Church of England vision for education and our diocesan vision, the Board of Education will ‘Live God’s Love in Education’ through creative and innovative partnerships with local, regional and national partners. In ‘Enabling Life in all its fullness’, the Board will work alongside those providing statutory services to schools, delivering advice and support in a distinctively Christian manner which enables all to flourish.
“As a parent, I really appreciate the fact that the school educates and teaches values as well as the curriculum. It assures me that my child has the best chance of becoming a well rounded individual” quote from a Year 5 parent.
“The school values of love, hope and faith are vividly captured by the care and support our daughter enjoys” quote from a Year 4 parent.
“A quality inclusive learning environment” quote from a Year 3 parent
“The weekly newsletter is a great way to see what the school value is each week, which can be implemented at home also” quote from a Year 2 parent.
“The challenging health situation she went through was met with compassion by the school staff, and every effort has been made to ensure she continues to thrive academically and grow in self-confidence” quote from a Year 3 parent.
Taken from our parent questionnaires.