As a Church of England School, we have very close connections with Berwick Parish Church in Berwick upon Tweed. We have links with other churches in the Berwick area too.
Our Christian Values are at the centre of everything we do at Berwick St Mary’s CE First School. They help us to live out our Christian Vision of ‘life in all its fullness’. Each half term, the whole school focuses on a different Christian Value. This is done explicitly through our Collective Worship time, but also throughout our curriculum. Children have regular opportunities to revisit and reflect on each value throughout the year and to develop an understanding of the Value in action.
Our visitors from Berwick Parish Church (Rev. Dennis Handley) and other churches, regularly lead our worship to help us to reinforce our understanding of each value as they share stories from the Bible. Children also have opportunities to plan, prepare and lead worship themselves.
The values were are going to explore and strive to live by this year are:
We believe these values are empowering our pupils to develop their spirituality and guiding them in personal development as effective learners and good citizens. For more information please view the Christian Values for Schools website and the information below.
Our Christian Values
The school community is guided through our daily lives by our core Christian Values, which have been chosen by the children to help model our faith in our daily practices.
Endurance and perseverance are only possible where there is hope and that hope is based on the enduring nature of God’s love and faithfulness. Even Jesus, for all his strength and ability to endure, looked to his disciples to help and sustain him by watching and praying with him (Matthew 26).
At its root, endurance is recognition that life is sometimes difficult and painful, and that it is important not to give up in the face of adversity.
When thinking about ‘justice’, some people think first about giving wrongdoers the punishment they deserve. ‘Justice’ evokes ideas of ‘just desserts’ or ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
However that would be a one-sided picture of justice. Justice also means giving all people – particularly the poor and oppressed – what is right and fair for them to have: life, health, freedom and dignity. It is about acting out of concern for what is right and seeing right prevail. It is about social justice, especially for those who suffer most and are least able to protect themselves.
In Exodus, the people are instructed to deal with everyone fairly and never to show partiality to one group above another. (Exodus 23:2-6)
The word Compassion has it’s roots in the idea of ‘suffering with’ someone, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and experiencing what they experience. This leads to a desire to act, to do something. It is not about ‘doing good’ from a position of strength or ‘remembering those less fortunate than ourselves’.
Compassion requires an act of imagination and humility to share in the lives of others. Notice the qualities that Paul links together. He says ‘clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ (Colossians 3:12)
Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper. This turned upside down the normal relationship between master and disciple, leader and follower. In many ways, this astonishing action symbolises the essence of the Incarnation: God stooping to share the human condition.
Jesus is very clear about the meaning of his action: ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done.’ (John 13:1–17)
Trust, feeling comfortable in each other’s company, being able to share joys and sorrows are all features of friendship and these are things of immense value. True friendship enables each person to grow and ensures that the unique individuality of each person is recognised. All this echoes the value placed by God on the preciousness of each person.
The write of Ecclesiastes puts it very simply: ‘if one falls down, a friend can lift him up.’ (Ecclesiastes 4:10)