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St John’s A Church of England Academy

Creativity Responsibility Wisdom

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Vision and ethos statement

Vision

As an inclusive and caring Christian community, we endeavour to ensure that every person will flourish and attain their full potential. Our Trust community will provide a high quality education so that everyone can achieve excellence in all that they do.

Purpose (How we create value)

  • To promote and facilitate a broad and balanced educational experience of exceptional quality for all young people.
  • To build the character of our young people by providing a secure, inclusive and inspiring environment that fosters self-belief, builds resilience, and promotes a positive attitude to work and life-long learning.
  • To cherish the community that we serve and champion Christian values.

Values

Our Trust values are the means by which we seek to embed and move towards our vision. We have three core values that are rooted in the teachings and narratives of Christianity. These values permeate the life of the Trust community and underpin everything we work towards.

Creativity

“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.”  Genesis 1:31

Christian beliefs about creation are not simply about the origin of the universe. They are a position from which to view all life: Christians value all living things because they believe that God has willed life to be and sees it all as “very good”. They believe that Jesus was present at the moment of creation (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 1:15-16) and is intimately connected with it through his death and resurrection.

Within the Christian story, human beings have special rights and responsibilities in relation to living things (Genesis 1:28-29). In the context of climate change, the destruction of natural habitats and the rapid extinction of species around the world, Christians see it as their responsibility to act as stewards of creation. They believe that each generation simply holds in trust the natural world and its inhabitants for the next generation, and they therefore seek ways in which to respect and protect it.

According to the book of Genesis, God’s first creation was light (Genesis 1:3). Christians understand creativity as the bringing of light and order into a dark world. They follow Jesus’ advice to see the world through children’s eyes (Luke 18:16), recognising the need to imagine the world to be other than it is and acting on this impulse to improve it for all.

We seek to be creative in all that we do, building and imagining an environment that will be ‘very good.’  In leadership, we are creative in our approach and seek solutions by solving problems which may cause barriers to others.  In all our subject areas, we seek to create and reflect on our work, and take time to stand back to appreciate all that we have made.  We look for light where there is darkness. 

Responsibility

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:30-31

Being responsible means having the ability to respond. Throughout the Christian narrative, God builds relationships with human beings and gives them special responsibilities, from Moses in the Old Testament to Jesus’ disciples in the New Testament. Christians believe that all people have been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and they see in Jesus’ journey to the cross an example of God walking alongside human beings (Colossians 3:12), speaking with them and offering them a chance to respond.

One way in which Christians live out this belief is by participating in the Eucharist, also known as the Lord’s Supper or Mass. This is a shared meal, in which Christians and God are bound together, and in which all barriers are broken down and all people treated as equal. It offers an example of a world in which every person can flourish and in which humans live alongside each other in fellowship, each taking responsibility for the other.

The word ‘Love’ is used routinely in Collective Worship.  Our children and our staff know that they are loved and cared for within our community.  We encourage our students to show respect for each other and treat their peers and the staff in the same way that they wish to be treated.  We use discussion and relationships to encourage restorative approaches rather than punitive measures, creating more of a family atmosphere within our school.

Wisdom

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding for they are more profitable than silver, and yield better returns than gold.”  Proverbs 3:13-14 

The Bible contains a genre of literature called wisdom literature (for example, the book of Proverbs). These texts provide Christians with an insight into the way life works; it helps them gain understanding of the consequences of our thoughts, words and actions, as well as offering an opportunity for them to explore the true value of things. Wisdom takes seriously the discernment we gain through life experience and the impact that sharing life experience can have on the growth and flourishing of others. It helps Christians distil the lessons learned from this experience into guiding principles for life.

The opposite of wisdom is foolishness. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a parable about a rich fool (Luke 12:13-21). In this story, the rich man is not criticised for his greed, but rather for placing his trust in the wrong things. Christians believe it is vital to place trust in God; they recognise the limitations of human beings and believe that there is more to life than we can see on the surface. By approaching life wisely, they seek to increase their understanding of the world and gain not simply knowledge, but powerful knowledge – knowledge that can transform.

We encourage our students to seek to understand so that they may be empowered to go into the world with confidence.  In providing them with the tools to search for this, we are providing strength and helping them to ask the right questions.  We encourage them to seek solutions to their problems so that they can become increasingly independent, but connected to a world where they know where to go for the right direction and support when required.  They seek wisdom in approaches both academic and social, and therefore become confident and secure during their time with us in school.

Strategic objectives

  • To ensure that care and safety of the individual is seen as central to the roles of all members of staff and Directors.
  • To improve standards to enable our students to achieve at least in line with expectation whilst ensuring access to a broad, balanced and creative curriculum.
  • To ensure St Hugh’s and St John’s become the schools of choice in the area.
  • To generate strong collaborative networks with other schools and academies locally, nationally and internationally which will support and promote the development of quality provision for all our pupils and our community.
  • To create effective and highly focused ‘Annual Development Plans’ for both St Hugh’s and St John’s that meet the strategic objectives.

Plans

Create annual development plans for both St Hugh’s and St John’s based on the above strategic objectives.

Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Academy Headteachers will report to the Trust board quarterly on progress in delivering the strategic objectives and the accompanying development plans.
  • The full board will review and, if necessary, revise the Trust strategy annually.