Worship and Christian Life at the School
Worship and Christian Life at the School
The fifteen church school values underpin our Christian worship and school life:
Creation; Compassion; Endurance; Forgiveness; Friendship
Humility; Hope; Justice; Koinonia; Peace
Reverence; Service; Thankfulness; Trust; Wisdom
At Hever CE Primary School we provide a caring environment in which we want all pupils to feel happy, safe and valued.
Our Christian ethos is characterised by kindness, compassion and tolerance.
Our values are those of Love, Respect and Wisdom.
Children of all faiths and none are welcome at our school. Our children have many enriching experiences to help them develop as independent learners and build a lifelong love of learning. The distinctive nature of our approach to education can be found in our Christian values of love, respect and wisdom. We expect the whole school community of children, staff, parents, and governors to share these values.
Visitors to our school comment on the happy, confident children, their exemplary behaviour and their care and concern for each other and the wider world. They also note the excellent role models in the staff, volunteers and clergy who contribute so much to the school. School policies and practice are moulded around these values and are reflected in the learning environment.
How do we develop and live out our Christian values day to day?
While a shared Christian ethos permeates all our teaching and learning, there are two particular areas that are important to us as a Church School: Collective Worship and Religious Education lessons.
There is a daily act of Worship, which is a highly valued part of each school day, and grace is said before meals. Assemblies are led by the Head Teacher, staff, the children or clergy. It is an opportunity for the children to learn about God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to understand the teachings of the Bible. In our acts of Worship, Bible teachings are related to the school’s values and to the daily lives of the children.
A lively, creative approach includes drama, dance and art work alongside readings, prayers and music. We use a variety of well-known hymns and modern worship songs, and the children actively participants and enjoy Worship. It is also a time for quiet prayer and reflection on behaviour and on the difference between right and wrong.
Each week we focus on a different Christian value and on Mondays an award is given to the child who has most demonstrated the previous week’s value.
There are areas for reflection in each classroom where children can engage in prayer activities, take time to think and ask questions, and also reflect on the values they have seen in action at the end of the school day. They regularly contribute their thoughts to the overall concept of Christian faith on the school community's central worship board.
We have strong links with St Peter’s Church and the local community in Hever and Edenbridge. There are four main church services each year, namely Harvest, Christmas, Easter and Leavers Services and we warmly welcome family and friends to these services.
The school celebrates Christmas and Easter through dance, song and drama, telling the story of Jesus in a lively and child-friendly way. For the last few years we have held a reflective ‘Easter Pause Week.’
All these activities help to support and deepen the school community's understanding of what we stand for as a Church school.
Leading Lights and Soul Purpose
A group of year 5 and 6 children, known as our ‘Leading Lights’, regularly contribute to our Worship in St Peter’s Church, in assembly and in class.
In addition, our 'Soul Purpose' group encourages children to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their faith and of God, as their Heavenly Father. Soul Purpose is a group of dedicated KS2 pupils who help plan and lead worship in the school, and are also responsible for many of the worship areas around the school. They promote our school’s Christian values and support the RE curriculum team by the monitoring of RE and worship. The group meets on Wednesday lunchtimes and uses the time to pray and support each another. We aim to be a kind and loving group who share God's love with those around us.
RE lessons are a key part of the curriculum. From 2017 we will be teaching the new "Understanding Christianity Curriculum".
Staff use a range of teaching styles (discussion, art, writing, drama, music, visits and visitors) to ensure that children are engaged and stimulated by RE lessons. RE is at the heart of the school’s creative curriculum.
How do our Christian values influence the life of the whole school?
Through emphasis on our Christian distinctiveness, we are a school community that demonstrates God’s love through our words and actions. Our values underpin our day-to-day lives, which results in excellent behaviour, a readiness to learn and a caring school community. Our values are linked to our behaviour policy, which is embedded throughout the school. Children understand the expectations that we have for their behaviour and they treat others with respect and consideration. Children are fully involved in the life of the school as faith team leaders, school councillors, lunchtime helpers and sports leaders, and they play an active part in the smooth running of the school community. The school encourages the children to think of others and this is seen in fundraising events for a wide range of charities including the school’s adopted charity African Promise, the Poppy Appeal and Operation Christmas Child.
Pupils’ spiritual development is strong and contributes to their positive attitude and enjoyment of learning. All staff are committed to helping the children fulfil their potential in all subject areas. As it is a small school, all the staff know all the children in their care very well. They are aware of their academic, emotional and spiritual development and needs. Pupils are encouraged to give feedback about all aspects of their school life and their views are listened to and acted upon by school staff and leadership.
As a result, the children at Hever achieve above the national average in key subjects. The school learning environment strongly reflects the ethos and values of the school. Inside, there are prayer corners, and the outside environment also provides space for the children to reflect, for example the Peace Garden. As an eco-school, we help the children gain a better understanding of the environment and the need to take care of it. With digging and planting areas, we encourage pupils to explore and care for God’s creation. Our Christian ethos is built on the genuine commitment of the whole school community to our values, which are lived out in the day-to-day life of the school..
We were assessed as Good in our most recent SIAMS inspection.