St. John’s is a Church of England school, which aims to provide an aspirational education within the context of Christian beliefs, for all its pupils, so that they ‘have life and have it abundantly’. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith, and promotes the Christian values of Respect, Empathy, Hope, Trust and Wonder.
“The school is diverse and inclusive, and everyone in the community shows profound respect for one another” (SIAMS Inspection, 2019).
Religious Education is a core subject and underpins the Christian values of our school. RE is taught every week and we follow the structure of the ‘Discovery’ Programme combined with ‘Understanding Christianity’ modules.
“Staff and governors talk about the ‘Christian heart’ and the Christian ethos being a ‘golden thread’ running through the school. These explain how welcoming the school is and how aspirational the expectations are for every pupil. Worship is the focal point of the school day and pupils thoroughly enjoy it. RE is given very high priority and taught well so that pupils develop their understanding of the Christian faith and other world faiths.” (SIAMS Inspection 2019).
Although Christianity is a focus, our RE Curriculum is broad and balanced and ensures our children are taught about Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, in line with the Pan-Berkshire Agreed Syllabus from Education 2018-2023. Hence, each year group normally has focus on one of these religions in addition to Christianity. Each and every module taught across every year has a key question that the learning revolves around and involves rich questioning and discussion.
“The vision for every pupil to ‘live abundantly’ has led to the implementation of a rich and engaging multicultural curriculum. Pupils develop their skills through interesting and relevant lessons and an exciting range of trips and other activities…The curriculum is rich in opportunities for spiritual development, with pupils being encouraged to ask deeper questions and to have a sense of awe and wonder in their world.” (SIAMS, 2019).
Worship or Reflection times are a focal part of each and every day, whether this be through Whole School assemblies, Team assemblies, Clergy assemblies or Class assemblies. There are also ‘Reflection Areas’ throughout the school, whether it be in classes, the church itself or the newly developing outdoor reflection garden.
Prayer is also an important part of our daily routine. Our main school prayers include the ‘Our School Prayer’ and ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, used at different points during the day and in our assemblies. However, we also encourage and give children opportunities to write and use their own prayers too, during these times.
The Lords’ Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
You will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not in to temptation but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
Forever and ever.
Our School Prayer
This is our school,
Let peace dwell here,
Let the rooms be full of contentment.
Let love abide here:
Love of one another, love of mankind and love of life itself.
Let us remember that as many hands build a house,
So many hearts make a school.