Our School Vision and Values
Our Christian vision and values are rooted at the centre of everything we do and are actively promoted amongst children, staff and governors. They help us to live out our Christian Vision. Each half term, we focus on a different Christian Value. This is done explicitly through our Collective Worship time, but also throughout our curriculum. Children have regular opportunities to reflect on each value and to develop an understanding of the Value in action. Each Friday, in our Celebration Worship, we acknowledge children who have demonstrated these values.
The Values we explore and strive to live by are:
Trust Compassion Friendship Respect Courage Forgiveness
Our School Vision; Inspiring all to Dream, Believe, Achieve
At Dewhurst St Mary CE it is our desire for all of our children to achieve. We aim for the highest standards of behaviour, education and academic successes, identifying individual needs and encouraging them to flourish.
‘Let your light shine’ Matthew 5:16
These words of Jesus are at the heart of our school’s vision. They inspire and motivate our whole school community. Jesus reminded us in Matthew’s gospel that we are lights for the world. As we seek to follow him, we can share his light with others and make a difference.
At Dewhurst St Mary we believe passionately that all children deserve the very best education. We plan creatively for a varied range of learning opportunities which ensure they have time to develop and practise many skills and deepen their knowledge in a range of settings across all areas of the curriculum.
We believe in developing the ‘whole child’. The skills of communication, resilience, team-work, creative thinking and questioning are woven into our curriculum and allow children to develop their personal, social and academic achievements to aid them in life and their future learning. We develop their confidence and encourage them to shine. We focus on character development through developing the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children to “live out” Christian values.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
We believe that every child and adult can shine and that this can be for the benefit of all. We recognise that we are all special in God’s eyes and have unique talents, which we nurture so that each of us has the opportunity to become the very best person that God intended us to be. We want to encourage our children to aspire to great things and for the light of their lives to shine and make a difference in their classrooms, throughout the school, at home and into their community
We believe that developing a sense of self-worth is of paramount importance. Jesus said: ‘I am the light of the world’ (John 8:12). As he spoke to those around him during the Sermon on the Mount, he also used these words: ‘You are the light of the world’. In addition to letting their light shine on others, we want our children to recognise the value of their own light: to be proud of their personal achievements; to value and respect themselves; and to know how loved they are both by God and by others.
Our vision is unique to our school and recognises our links with our historic roots of Robert Dewhurst. It tells everyone who we are and what makes us distinctive.
In 1640 Robert Dewhurst founded his school for boys at Churchgate, Cheshunt. He was a lawyer and purchased land and built the school there. He handed over its management to trustees in 1642, three years before his death in 1645. Twelve trustees were appointed who still support the purpose of the school which was set out in the trust deed as follows:
“The school to remain for ever for the benefit of poor children of the parish for the teaching of them there to read English, so that they may know God the better, and also to write and cast accounts so that they may be better able to be appreciated to some honest trade or mystery”
The legacy survives today in the form of the Robert Dewhurst Trustees, which administers finances to be used for educational and charitable purposes for the children in the local community.
Our school vision is to “Let your light shine” – Robert Dewhurst let his light shine and he continues to let our lights shine through the generous donations, which fund a range of learning resources in our local schools every year.
We are proud of our long historical traditions. These are reflected in many elements of contemporary school life and encourage our children to connect with the past and their local community as part of their education.
Our Spirituality Vision
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.
We teach British Values through SMSC ( spiritual, moral, social and cultural) development and through the curriculum which we do through following the Jigsaw scheme.
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith
- SMSC Policy 2021-23 (138KB)
SMSC is essential to the academic progress of pupils. It doesn’t happen in isolation- it saturates through our school and is linked to everything we do, our ethos and attitude. It is articulated by all members of the school community and is visible in day-to-day decisions and relationships.
All areas of the curriculum contribute to SMSC development. Some occurs as a result of informal, opportunistic or accidental occurances, but we do not leave it to chance. It is the foundation of our broad and balanced curriculum , enabling chilidren and the adults who work with them to florish.
- Spiritual– Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
- Moral– Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
- Social– Use a range of social skills; participate in the local community; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the ‘British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.
- Cultural– Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
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