What does it mean to be a Church School?
At Little Houghton CE Primary School, in keeping with our mission statement, everyone is valued as an individual and helped to flourish in their own unique way within a Christian environment. Our vision ‘To flourish like a flower of the field’ is at the core of everything we do.
Through explicit teaching about Jesus and the Church, and the development of prayer and worship in school, we provide daily experiences where children live the gospel values; have respect for the opinions and beliefs of others, and grow in their own faith. We see this as our core purpose, and alongside their formation as children of God, we strive to ensure that each child fulfils their God-given potential -academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
We are lucky to have very close links with our Parish Church which is only a short walk away. The children regularly attend St Mary’s Church, at least once each term, as well as celebrating together at significant liturgical moments in the year. Reverend Irene is a regular visitor to our school, supporting in classes and delivering whole school worship every week.
At Little Houghton Church of England Primary School, RE is an expression of the school’s Christian vision and values and contributes strongly to the ethos of the school. We passionately believe that it is vital for all our pupils to learn from and about the Christian religion and other world faiths, so they can understand and appreciate the world around them. We follow the Diocesan Syllabus for Religious Education in the Diocese of Peterborough, together with Understanding Christianity. This develops children’s knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief, it provokes challenging questions about meaning and purpose, truth and values, identity and belonging.
Collective Worship is a time where we come together to share our love of God, celebrate the Liturgical Year and celebrate our achievements together. The worship of the school is based on promoting the Christian values, which permeate the ethos of the school. As such, the contributions of staff, pupils, parents, church clergy and other visitors are valued highly. We also actively seek to encourage the attitudes of awe, wonder and reflection. Our worship times are invitational, inclusive and inspiring moments for the whole community.
We blend Christian teaching and our Christian values in order to create opportunities for children to develop physically, emotionally, personally, socially, mentally and intelligently so that their self-esteem and well-being is sound and supported by ever growing emotional intelligence; leading to an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as young citizens. The systematic introduction of a common Christian values vocabulary allows children to access moral and ethical thought.
Spirituality is a powerful force that determines what and who we are, and our self-understanding. It forms the basis for successful relationships, and shapes our behaviour and outlook on life, others and the world. Spiritual development relates to that aspect of inner life through which we acquire insight into our personal experiences which are of enduring worth.
At Little Houghton Church of England Primary School, the spiritual dimension is expressed through our strong Christian faith, and the recognition of the spiritual nature of mankind. Our ethos enables and encourages all children to grow and flourish spiritually.
It is our aim that the children’s individual spiritual development is fostered as an integral element of the range of learning opportunities and experiences they encounter as part of the curriculum, and that it permeates all strands of school life.
Social, Moral, Cultural and Spiritual (SMSC) Development
At Little Houghton CEVA Primary School we recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC) plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop:
- their own values and beliefs,
- spiritual awareness,
- high standards of personal behaviour,
- a positive, caring attitude towards other people,
- an understanding of their social and cultural traditions
- and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultures.
SMSC development is a dimension of the whole school experience which makes the curriculum relevant, stimulating, creative and fun. It enriches each subject and the ethos of Little Houghton CEVA Primary School and is an essential ingredient of school success.
We promote Courageous Advocacy in its widest sense. Participating in fund raising for charities is an important part of the life of Little Houghton school. Pupils learn to take responsibility through the organisation of events to raise money for our wider school community. We have taken part in local and national fund-raising events such as Macmillan Coffee Morning, Royal Legion Poppy Appeal, Comic Relief, Children in Need and many more. The school community always responds generously to global disasters too, instilling in the children responsibility for others and the importance of giving. Pupils are involved in school groups – worship team, sports crew, lunchtime helpers and contribute to community projects when invited.
Our Prayer Space sessions, which often focus on environmental ethical and global issues, often result in children suggesting their own ideas for making the school/ community/ world a better place and being agents for change.
During our Harvest worship, we say thank you to the farmers for the wonderful crops that are being harvested and we also say thank you to God for everything he provides for us. As a school we join together with our community to share the Harvest worship at St Mary's Church in the village.
A Christmas nativity is probably one of the most recognisable symbols of the Christmas season. The Nativity recreates the scene of Jesus' Birth and tells of how Mary and Joseph were visited by the Shepherds and Wise Men. During Advent we light a candle each week to observe the time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
Christmas church service
During our carol service we celebrate Jesus as the 'Light of the World'. We also light candles during Advent.
Easter church service
Our Easter service is a very special time for us, when we remember the last week in the life of Jesus and our most important belief—that he came alive again after his death. This brings us forgiveness with God so we can feel together with God again.
Prayer spaces in schools enable children and young people, of all faiths and none, to explore these life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way.
Taking a broadly Christian perspective as a starting point, prayer spaces give children and young people an opportunity to develop skills of personal reflection and to explore prayer in an open, inclusive and safe environment.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy school day, Prayer Space at Little Houghton school provides an opportunity for children to spend some quiet time to reflect on our School Christian Value, where we are in the Church Year and issues affecting our World. Children can do this by participating in a wide range of activities that encourage reflection and also prayer if individual children wish. There is usually a theme e.g. Harvest, Christmas, Faith, Peace, Refugees, Water with four/five activities exploring different aspects. Sessions are held in the school library, one afternoon each for the two classes each short term.