Christian Distinctiveness

As a school, we work closely with our church, St John the Evangelist and they are involved in our worship, governance and are a resource for religious education and pastoral care.

The Reverend Vicky Maunder is the priest in charge at St John’s Church. She joins us in school to lead worship each Wednesday and she is also one of our school governors. Our classes at visit St John’s Church  regularly, for our special service days: Harvest, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Easter, Pentecost and the leaver’s service. Classes visit to look around and learn about the building and its use

Vicky is always happy to chat with any pupil, member of staff or parent should they find that helpful, offering spiritual, emotional or pastoral support. The church website is here:  http://www.stjohnskingston.co.uk/

Should you wish to contact Vicky, please do so through the School Office.

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Click on the above  picture to download the PDF.

At the Cornerstone Church Easter Experience we: discovered facts about famous Christians, watched a performance based on Jesus's death crucifixion​ and resurrection and we asked questions about the Bible and how the actors would have felt if they were one of the characters. It reminds us of the Easter story helps you remember that Jesus gave his life to forgive our sins. He also came back alive to give hope to Christians and to show he will always be with them. My favorite activity in the experience was the performance. The performance showed a variety of values including: Hope, Perseverance, Confidence, Trust, Service and Respect. It explained the purpose of the Easter Story, which is to forgive your enemies. 

 

William Y

Collective worship at St John’s C of E Primary School aims to provide the opportunity for pupils to:

 

  • worship God,

  • consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs;

  • participate and respond, whether through active involvement in the presentation of worship or through listening and joining in the worship offered;

  • develop community spirit, promote a common ethos and shared values, and reinforce positive attitudes. 

Reflection Areas

As a school we felt it was important to have a focal and central prayer point for the whole school community to engage with. As it is positioned just off from the main hall, most children can have access to it on a regular basis. Its theme either follows the class reflection areas or our worship topic.

Classrooms

Each classroom has a Christian reflection area, which are changed and added to regularly in worship in the classroom and other odd times in the day. They are a place where the children can come and ponder, reflect and pray.

The areas have a key Bible verse and cross as its focal point and will include other artefacts, pictures and verses to engage the children in thought and prayer.

They usually follow the same theme as collective worship to enable the children to deepen their understanding and thoughts behind each Christian message.

Bible Lunchtime Club

Martha, Sreenidhi, Ben (Year 3): We have lots of fun. We played a game where we had to pass plastic hockey sticks.  We listened to a story about Abraham and then made some star mobiles.

Spirituality at St John’s C of E

 

What Is Spirituality?

It is very difficult to put into words what ‘spirituality’ actually is because it is a very personal experience. It differs from person to person, and often spirituality changes within people during their lifetime. Spirituality is not the same as having a religion or faith; a person can be spiritual without having a particular faith.

 

Spirituality is not something we can see; it is something we feel inside ourselves. It is about awe and wonder, asking questions, inspiration and being aware of something ‘bigger’ outside of ourselves.

Spirituality concerns a person’s relationship with themselves, with others, with God (or the transcendent), and with nature and the environment. These four elements: self; others; transcendence and beauty form the basis of our work with children in developing a strong sense of spirituality.

It is also vital that all of the adults in school also develop their own spirituality for their own wellbeing, and so that they can effectively support and help our children and each other.

The four elements - what these consist of:

Self

  • Awareness of feelings; ability to reflect and express

  • Awareness of our uniqueness; happiness with who we are

  • Gratitude for the things we have and the person we are

  • Exploration of personal faith

  • Development of imagination and creativity

 

Others

  • Empathy and understanding; respect, tolerance

  • To love and be loved (loving your neighbour)

  • Making a difference; duty

 

Transcendence (Beyond)

  • Encountering/experiencing God (having a sense of what lies beyond the material/physical)

  • Ability to formulate and discuss the ‘Big Questions’ (eg about life, death, suffering, nature of God)

  • Opportunities for prayer, connecting with God

  • Making sense of the world

 

Beauty

  • Developing a sense of awe and wonder

  • Enjoying the miracles of everyday life

  • Taking time for what really matters

  • Appreciating beauty in art, music, nature

  • Caring for nature and living things

 How we aim to develop a strong sense of spirituality

We give children opportunities to:

 

  • Express personal beliefs and compare views with others, sharing feelings and opinions through discussions and stories.

  • Begin to develop their own system of beliefs which may or may not include religious beliefs.

  • Appreciating and respecting all faiths, respecting others and self

  • Explore and ask questions about world issues

  • Experience a love of learning through rewarding their enthusiasm and by encouraging exploratory play and learning.

  • Reflect upon the world around them and show a sense of awe and wonder towards aspects of the natural world or human achievement.

  • Reflect on the situations of others through role play, stories.

  • Experience a range of stories, music, art, drama and dance

  • Provide many opportunities for creativity and using the imagination

  • Valuing play opportunities

  • Ensuring regular time for quiet reflection and prayer.

  • Constantly reaffirm the importance of relationships. How we talk to and relate with each other is fundamental.

  • Encourage each other to admit mistakes and to say sorry.

  • Encourage children to show kindness, caring and compassion, and to express these in practical ways. (eg: how we treat each other every day; charitable works; looking after pets)

  • Explore the ‘Big Questions’ – particularly through RE

  • Read often to children, and give them opportunities to discuss and reflect. This includes both secular and religious texts, in particular the Bible.

 

Structures to support and develop spirituality:

  • Opportunities planned across our curriculum.

  • Reflective journals can used  as a focal point for reflection, and include RE and PSHE

  •  A planned programme for Collective Worship across the school based on our school Christian values.

  • Daily act of collective worship taking different forms, and involving children

  • Displays and pictures around the school to celebrate and encourage reflection and spirituality

  • An inspiring and motivating RE curriculum

Visits and visitors to support spirituality

© St John's C of E Primary