‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ – Matthew 22:39
‘At Ebchester CE Primary School, love lies at the centre of everything we do. Following the example set by Jesus, we create a culture of compassion. Every individual is valued, respected and cared for so that pupils can flourish into successful learners, caring individuals and responsible citizens’.
Ebchester CE Primary School is a Church of England primary school that offers a distinctly Christian education in an inclusive environment where we encourage all children and young people to learn, grow and succeed. Our Christian values are explicitly taught in collective worship and referred to throughout the school day.
Children and staff of all faiths and none are welcome at our school and our aim is to promote understanding and tolerance between those of different faith traditions.
As a community, we have identified six values that are embedded into school life which we expect all members of the school community – children, staff, governors, parents and visitors – to model. They are:
Each value is linked to a set of Bible stories which the pupils explore during Collective Worship. This helps them to understand what each value means.
Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy accompanied by a strong desire to help.
Christians believe that their attitudes and actions must reflect the kindness, mercy and compassion of Jesus and the love of God for everyone.
For Christians ‘having courage’ or ‘strength to carry on’ is linked to faith in God’s promises – promises of God’s presence, protection and power. When we encourage others we are helping them to find courage. One of the most often repeated commands of God in the Bible is ‘do not be afraid’. Christians recognise that human courage alone is sometimes not enough. They need the assurance of God’s help and presence to stick to what they know is right.
‘Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go’ – Joshua 1:9
‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’ – Deuteronomy 31:6
Christians believe that Jesus is our friend.
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. Hymns like ‘What a
friend we have in Jesus’ point to a relationship that is at the heart of Christian believing. Knowing that God is our friend is to recover something of the acceptance and close companionship
that people of all ages need and crave.
‘A friend loves at all times.’ – Proverbs 17:17
‘A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.’ – Proverbs 27:9
When thinking about ‘justice’, some people think first about giving wrongdoers the punishment they deserve. However, that would be a one-sided picture of justice. Justice also means giving
all people – particularly the poor and oppressed – what it is right and fair for them to have: life, health, freedom and dignity. It is about acting out of a 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. Throughout the Bible, it is emphasised that justice is immensely important to God; it is fundamental to God’s character. Justice is not about a culture which encourages everyone to insist on their own rights at the expense of others. It is about a community that knows that everyone’s well-being is bound up with that of everyone else.
‘Let justice and fairness roll on like a river that never runs dry’ – Amos 5:24
‘The Lord God has told us what is right and what he demands: “See that justice is done; let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God.’ – Micah 6:8
Christians believe that God loves and cares for them in many different ways in all aspects of their lives. They know that their response to this provision should be ones of thankfulness and praise.
Thankfulness has always been at the centre of the life and worship of God’s people. Under the Law of Moses, there were not only sacrifices for forgiveness, there were ‘thanks offerings’ as well. ‘Songs of thankfulness and praise…’ are at the heart of Christian worship. Thankfulness is directed towards God who gives and sustains life. Seeing the world as God’s creation underpins the way we approach everything in life, seeing it as a gift and not as a right.
‘Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ – Thessalonians 5:16-18
‘Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.’ – Colossians 4:2
Respect is recognising the rights of others and our responsibilities towards them.
Respect can be summarised in the words of Jesus: do to others as you would have them do to you. Respect has to do with
recognising each other as fellow human beings made in the image of God with equal rights to ourselves. Respect does not mean that we always agree with the other person but that we are prepared to listen and share our views without rudeness or impatience. Respect needs to start with respect for ourselves and our own unique contribution to our homes, schools or communities. Respecting is also linked to the words honouring, esteeming, valuing and listening whole-heartedly.
‘Love one another warmly, and be eager to show respect for one another.’- Romans 12:10
‘Do to others what you would have them do to you.’ – Matthew 7:12
(Thanks to Diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich)