LOVING ALL OUR NEIGHBOURS
OUR VISION EXPLAINED
All Saints Church of England Junior School is an inclusive and nurturing community which welcomes people from all backgrounds and traditions, where we celebrate the unique gifts of each individual. The school promotes attitudes of mutual respect and responsibility, fostering a sound foundation for adult life, where learning is vibrant and enjoyable for all and everyone is encouraged to meet their full potential in life - to love each other and to love life.
This deeply caring philosophy is drawn from Christian values which are clearly stated in Christ's Summary of Mosaic Law. We focus particularly on those in relation to loving our neighbours - whether people in the school community, the wider local community or from across the country and the whole world:
'Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'
The Mosaic Law - The Ten Commandments brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses - is the foundation of Christian moral values and, at All Saints, we actively promote these values as Shared Values, values which are commonly accepted as good traits by people of faith, no-faith or who are undecided; values which ultimately underpin shared British Values as much as they do religious or ethical values.
This table explains how our vision links to The Ten Commandments and Christ's summary of the Law:
|The Commandments Relating to God
||The Commandments Relating to People
|1. Do not worship any other gods
||5. Honour your father and mother
|2. Do not make an idol
||6. Do not kill
|3. Do not misuse the name of God
||7. Do not commit adultery
|4. Keep the Sabbath holy
||8. Do not steal
||9. Do not lie
||10. Do not covet
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."
|"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
||LOVING ALL OUR NEIGHBOURS
Moreover, Jesus also gave us his own commandment which is why Loving All Our Neighbours is central to the school's vision and identity:
John 15: 12
'This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.'
In his turn, St Paul - in his letter to the Corinthians - expanded the theme of love and what it means further:
1 Corinthians 13
Love Is the Greatest
13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
While the school does not Evangelise or attempt to convert anyone to Christianity, we do invite everyone in the school - both pupils and adults - to share in daily assemblies which include a few moments of prayerfulness according to personal traditions and beliefs. English law states that there must be a daily act of worship for every child and we respond to this by inviting, during assemblies, everyone of faith to join in prayer in a manner according to their own traditions; those of no faith are encouraged to listen respectfully and reflect on how the theme of the prayerfulness attaches to their own values.
As a Church of England school, Christian stories - as well as those of other faiths and traditions - are commonly used to expand on our core values and give a rhythm to the school year. Each Year Group undertakes celebrations attaching to the Christian and academic calendars and these tend to be held at All Saints church:
- Year 3 - Christmas (December)
- Year 4 - Easter (March/April)
- Year 5 - St Peter & St Paul (June)
- Year 6 - Leaving Junior School and transition to Secondary School (July)
It is hoped that all pupils attend such events at the church as it is being used chiefly as a venue rather than for any form of sacramental worship. It is only with express parental permission that children would ever be invited to participate in any act of Christian worship with sacramental or Eucharistic elements.
We also value, respect and study the traditions, stories and teachings of other religions and cultures, particularly, but not exclusively, in RE lessons and actively seek out and promote commonalities and mutual understanding. Visits to Christian and non-Christian sites are commonplace as part of us delivering a broad and balanced curriculum and it is anticipated that all pupils from across all traditions fully engage with such experiences as a means of building understanding and respect between communities - thereby loving all our neighbours.
What Do We Mean By Love?
In the 21st-century the term "love" has been loaded particularly with ideas of sexual passion and desire within adult relationships. To the Ancient Greeks, this was only one type of "love": eros - romantic and erotic love, which, alongside ludus - flirting playful affection - is not the kind of love that is our primary concern at All Saints (other than being touched upon very slightly in the Sex and Relationship Education aspect of our PSHE Curriculum). However, other types of love, as identified by the Ancient Greeks, are our foci and they help understand what we mean when we talk about loving all our neighbours:
Agape – the love of humanity; selfless unconditional love
The kind of love which makes us sorrowful when we hear of a crisis in another nation (or our own); that makes us give our time or money to charity; and makes us feel connected to people we don’t know simply on the basis of our shared experience as human beings. It is the love that accepts, forgives and believes for our greater good.
Storge – natural affection that flows between parents and their children, and children for their parents
The love a parent has for a child, or a child has for a favourite aunt or uncle. The love a foster parent feels for the children in her care and the love a grandparent feels for the child adopted by his son- and daughter-in-law. Storge love can be found among childhood friends that is later shared as adults.
Pragma – love which endures
The love between a married couple which develops over a long period of time; the love which endures in sickness and in health. The love which makes a friend care for their former school friend who has become vulnerable in later life. Unlike the other types of love, pragma is the result of effort on both sides. It’s the love between people who’ve learned to make compromises, have demonstrated patience and tolerance to make the relationship work.
Philautia – self-respect
The love we give to ourselves. This is not vanity but our joy in being true to our own values. The strength to care for ourselves so that we can in turn care for others. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to truly be happy is to find that unconditional love for yourself. Only once you learn to love and understand yourself, will you be ready to find other kinds of love.
Philia – the shared experience of friendship
The love we feel for people we strive with to achieve a shared goal – fellow pupils, working colleagues, the players in a football or netball team, the soldiers in an army.
There is another love the Ancient Greeks spoke of: mania - obsessive love. This kind of love is one shown when things are imbalanced and going wrong in someone's life. Our approach is to help our school community avoid this through our vision and values being delivered positively, through a variety of mindful strategies and a curriculum with a spiritual and moral heart. The different kinds of love we think about, when loving all our neighbours, are found in our school values:
Our School Values & Ethos
- Through developing the school as a nurturing and caring environment, we are a welcoming, happy, safe and trusted place for everyone to learn and grow;
- To encourage everyone (whether pupil or employee) regardless of status, financial circumstance, religious or philosophical background, race, gender, orientation or disability, to gain the skills and experience to maximise their full potential in our ever-changing and diverse world;
- To encourage enquiring, healthy minds, sound working habits, healthy lifestyles and pride in work and behaviour – for all, for life;
- To ensure all are nurtured in holistic and mindful ways: whether socially, morally, culturally, intellectually, emotionally, physically, philosophically and/or spiritually;
- To encourage a positive view of and involvement by the whole school community (pupils, parents, carers, teachers, support staff and governors), the wider local community and even wider world in each others' education and development;
- To provide a creative curriculum which is broad, balanced, fun and effective - which challenges each and every child so that their full potential is reached in life, as well as in the terms of academic attainment and progress.