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Norbury C of E Primary School

NorburyC of E Primary School

Laughter and Learning in a
Caring Christian School

Vision & Values

childrens values.pdf

Our Vision Statement - Laughter and Learning in a Caring Christian School

 We are a nurturing, inclusive, learning community that celebrates the life-giving message of Jesus Christ.  We are committed to developing a school where laughter and learning are the natural outcomes of the way we treat each other.  We recognise, develop and appreciate everyone's gifts so that they may let their light shine! (Matthew 5:16).

Theological Rationale

 At the heart of our theological understanding of how we treat each other at Norbury Primary is the affirmation that God loves each one of us to bits, and wants the best for all his creation.  We work hard to create an environment that encourages children to experience life in all its fullness- a place of joy and delight, respect and curiosity.

The Glory of God is a human fully alive. (Iraneus)

The way in which the children, staff and governors have found to sum up this attitude to school life is in our vision 'Laughter and Learning'.

In creating this theological rationale, we worked with children, parents, staff and governors through surveys, discussions and creative pupil voice exercises.

Although laughter us not a conventional 'spiritual value' identified by schools, it sums up very neatly the attitude to learning at Norbury.  Since laughter is such a natural expression of the human spirit and such an important element in school life, there would be something wrong if it could not be heard in our school: laughter which indicates delight and joy.  Laughter at Norbury School is simply an expression of the community's delight in being 'fully human'. 

The subject of laughter surfaces often in the Bible, including references found in various Psalms and Proverbs, David's laughter as he dances before the ark entering Jerusalem (1 Chr. 15:29), the laughter shared between Isaac and his wife Rebekah (Gen. 26:8), and Sarah's laugh following her giving birth to Isaac (Gen. 21:6).

Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me." (Gen. 21:6)

Martin Luther King stated: If you're not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there.

When we take Scripture in the fullness of the tradition, humour rises to the top:  God delights to see his people laughing - for example, Psalm 126:2 and Luke 6:21: the laughter mentioned there is laughter from sheer happiness.  In the broad biblical landscape of faith, laughter becomes a primary characteristic of the eschatological kingdom, ushered in by Christ's resurrection.

From this basic understanding of laughter as being central to the healthy development and growth of the human spirit, and the basis of our hope in God's Kingdom here on earth, there proceeds the second strand of our vision statement: learning.  From discussion with our school community and stakeholders, we understand the importance of learning in a Christian school to mean:

  • Learning for wisdom, knowledge and skills:enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life.
  • Learning for hope and aspiration: enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them.
  • Learning for community and living well together: a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.
  • Learning for dignity and respect: the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth.

We firmly believe that our approach to education in Norbury Primary successfully combines the two elements of our vision statement:  without both elements being held as equally valuable and worthy then we would be failing in our responsibility to help children grow into human beings fully alive to the glory of God: Laughter and Learning.

 

Our Curriculum Drivers

 

Our curriculum is driven by the following areas of intent, specific to the requirements of our school and its context.

Standards:

We want all children, including those with barriers to learning, to maximise their potential and have fun whilst doing it.  We have high aspirations for our children, working in collaboration with parents and carers.  Our curriculum is broad and balanced, carefully mapped across our mixed age classes to support clear progression and ensure full coverage of the National Curriculum.  We are pro-active in seeking professional development for teaching staff, contributing to a sustained level of inspiring teaching.  Our dedicated team of governors underpin the continued growth and development of the school. 

Motivation:  

We aim to produce self-motivated, lifelong learners.  Children are involved in their learning and opportunities are given for children to pursue their own enquiry.  They are involved in decision making about the school, through school council, collective worship group and other roles of responsibility.  We promote a growth mindset, encouraging children to try their best, take a risk and learn from their mistakes.  We know that confidence and self-esteem underpin achievement and attainment.

Independence: 

We equip children with the characteristics of effective learning so that they are prepared for post-Primary learning and confident in their own abilities.  At our small school, every member plays an important role.  Children are expected to act as role models for younger children, and take on supportive and encouraging roles for others.  All children are allocated a 'reading buddy' in Term 1 and are expected to meet regularly with their younger buddy to share books and conversations.  Children have the opportunity to take on other roles of responsibility through participation in school council, prefect roles, animal care duties or running lunchtime clubs and activities for others.

Learning Outdoors:  

We make the most of the beautiful setting of our school and links with the home lives of our rural families.  We know that children learn through the discovery and wonder provided by the outside world.  Children regularly access quality outdoor provision and play.  All children visit forest school on a weekly basis.

Equality and Diversity:  

We acknowledge our responsibility for teaching our children about life beyond rural Derbyshire and helping to prepare them for life in modern Britain.  We promote these values within a warm and friendly environment for learning and within the context of Christian belief and practice.  We teach our children to respect and advocate for others with the understanding that we are all different, but all equal.

You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

Mark 12:31

The Teaching of Values 

 We contribute to our children's wider personal development through a timetable of exploration of Christian and British Values.  This teaching is supported by our fabulous child led Collective Worship Group, links with our school governor, Anne Woods and work with Christian School's Worker, Jordan.

We are also excited to be embarking on the 'Engage!' project in Autumn 2023, working with St Oswald's Parish Church and musical director to contribute towards the formation of a robed choir.

Our plan for the teaching of Christian and British Values links with the school and Church calendar.  Regular visits to Church for family services are planned throughout the year.  You can find out more about our Church here - https://www.norbury.derbyshire.sch.uk/Our-Church/ 

school values.pdf