Our Christian Distinctiveness
As a Church Primary School, Steyning C of E Primary works hard to develop and sustain the school’s Christian distinctiveness. We work in close partnership with Reverend Mark and the Church of St. Andrew and St. Cuthman’s. Governors have also formed an Ethos Committee and work with us in order to nurture the school’s Christian ethos and ensure Christian faith is manifested through every aspect of school life.
Our core values are Love, happy, respect, collaborative, curious and brave. Although these values may be supported and shared by Christians and non-Christians alike, theological backgrounds and biblical references help to explore what is distinctively Christian about each value.
“This is the day that the lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118: 24)
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honour”
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
“I am eager to learn all that you want me to do; help me to understand more and more.” (Psalm 119:32)
"But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work." (2 Chronicles 15:7)
“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
We have daily collective worship, including a weekly ‘Songs of Praise’. We also have a weekly service where a visitor speaks to the children about their faith or leads worship if of a Christian denomination, We have had visits from Archdeacon Fiona, Iman Idris, Open the Book, SPLASH, Fr. Ricketts, Rev Dillingham, to name a few.
Religious Education is a core subject at Steyning C of E Primary School and is timetabled weekly. As a Church School, Christianity forms the major study in Religious Education lessons. We use ‘Understanding Christianity as our main resource. We ensure that we follow the West Sussex Agreed Syllabus for RE.
We also have a duty to foster an accurate and increasing understanding of religions and world views. As a result, pupils will gain greater insight into the world in which they are growing up. They will also be able to appreciate the faith of others and develop a deeper understanding of their own beliefs and practices. These outcomes contribute to harmonious relationships within and between communities, promoting social inclusion and combating prejudice. We use ‘Love to Celebrate’ as our main resource for world religions.
Each classroom has a prayer space or ‘reflection area’ to enable children to explore faith and spirituality in a safe, creative and interactive way.
We have a dedicated prayer box where pupils, parents, staff and visitors alike can write a prayer. These are then read aloud in Collective Worship.
Our definition of Spirituality is:
Spirituality - “Spirituality was generally viewed as enriching individuals in their understanding of and ability to relate to, others and of society as a whole”. Education for Adult Life (SCAA 1996)
Many people assume that spirituality is to do with Religious Education (RE) or PSCHE and therefore it tends to be put into those boxes. However, the truth of the matter is that it should influence all areas of education and life. This is also clearly seen through our four key pillars:
- Love of Learning
- Love for oneself
- Love for each other
- Love of the world around us
It is also reflected through how we demonstrate our values of being:
Happy, Respectful, Collaborative, Curious, Brave and Loving.
Therefore, here at Steyning C of E Primary School, pupils are encouraged to:
- Ask big and challenging questions and seek fundamental answers
- Are inspired by our Vision and Values to achieve long term goals
- Are able to work against convention and show flexibility
- See connections between diverse things and are encouraged to be holistic in their view of the world
- Have an ethical life-style and are trustworthy
- Encouraged to show self-awareness and humility; put aside ego for the good of others
- Encouraged to grow in resilience and be brave
- To be courageous for others in social action
We do this through:
Physical Spaces: Such as our prayer tables in each class and in the hall for collective worship, displays, and our regular visits to our parish church St Andrews and St Cuthman’s.
Subject Spaces: The links made between different subjects, the awe and wonder developed, and opportunities provided for children in every topic per half term. The focus on ‘enquiry’ based learning both in RE and through other subjects.
Spiritual Spaces: The focus on creativity in all our learning, the opportunities given to working with artists, poets, authors and faith leaders. Collective worship with Buddy classes so children can look at big questions together and reflect and discuss. Moments of prayer, quiet and silence as a school and in class groups.
Relational Spaces: We have created a sense of belonging, welcome and hospitality. We have explored our values and created a matrix of “I can” statements for every area of the school for every value and what we as staff must do to make that happen.