Year 6 pupils spent time studying the Understanding Christianity "Big Frieze" which depicts the Bible in art from Genesis to Revelation. They were asked to review our current core values, to see if they felt they were still the best choices or whether it was time to reconsider? This is what they thought...
As a class, we concluded that ‘Forgiveness’ should be one of our core Christian values. Forgiveness should be practised throughout life because everyone deserves a second chance. If there were to be no forgiveness in the world, it would be a darker, more miserable place. Forgiveness is represented in the Bible many times and is seen daily throughout the world. People often use forgiveness as a matter of course e.g. if someone accidentally pushes you. It is important to forgive sincerely although we are aware that actions and behaviour could have consequences.
Without forgiveness, there would be less friendship and peace therefore people wouldn’t be able to move on from their mistakes. Forgiveness can make everyone better, more positive and happier people – a world God wanted.
1 John 1.9: But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.
Mark 11.25: If you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you.
Jesus came into the world to show us how much we are loved by God; by taking the sins of the wholeworld upon himself on the cross Jesus made forgiveness and a personal relationship with God possible. We strive to offer every member of our school community a life-giving encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. Following Jesus' example, we always offer forgiveness and a fresh start to children and adults who have made mistakes. We teach that an individual's behaviour can have a positive or negative impact on others and that this consideration must be paramount in deciding whether behaviour is appropriate. When sanctions are deemed necessary because behaviour falls short of expectations, we endeavour to demonstrate justice with compassion.
As a community whose life is founded upon Christian values we recognise that forgiveness, offered and received, will be at the heart of all our relationships. We teach about how we can show we are sorry in practical ways and equip individuals with strategies to prevent them from repeating mistakes in the future. We believe that learning from the past and not holding grudges will help to develop character by making us more resilient.
As a Church of England school, our behaviour policy is informed throughout by our Christian values. We try not to make assumptions about people or situations before knowing all the facts and circumstances. Decisions about sanctions are made carefully and after consultation. We teach children about the justice system in modern Britain and the emphasis on principles such as the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the concept of restorative justice.
Taking these thoughts and reflections into account, from September 2017, our 5 key Stratton school values are to be Forgiveness, Respect, Responsibilty, Truthfulness and Friendship. It was felt that our previous key value of Peace would stem from Forgiveness