What it means to be a Church School
John Henry Newman Academy aims to serve its community by providing education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers all pupils.
Our Academy Ethos is promoted through our school values of Love, Courage, Community and Celebration.
Our pupils have defined our school values as:
Love: "Caring and protecting each other"
Courage: "Be brave, you can do it!"
Community: "We are a team"
Celebration: "We did it, we're really proud"
Christian values are reflected throughout our school in our ethos, policies and assemblies. Pupils are reminded of Jesus' words to:
"Let your light shine!" (Matthew 5:16)
Many opportunities occur within the curriculum to teach Christian Values both explicitly and implicitly, for example where pupils learn about different cultures and religions in Religious Education or through our rewards and celebrations which occur weekly.
Our JIGSAW PSHE curriculum develops pupils' understanding of their rights as an individual. It is a mindful approach to PSHE, which is an integrated scheme of learning, for Personal, Social, Health Education, with particular emphasis on emotional literacy, mental health, SMSC and spiritual development. Jigsaw has a strong emphasis on emotional literacy and nurturing mental health as the necessary underpinnings for learning. We believe, as a Christian school, supporting the emotional well-being of our children is fundamental for success.
Prayer and personal reflection is fundamental to our Academy routines. At John Henry Newman all children will;
- Participate in saying Grace before lunch,
- Have candle time at the end of the day and regular mindfulness activities
- Help develop a themed reflection space which will have thoughtful reflections linked to key questions relevant to current topics and learning.
- Take part in daily Collective Worship. This is delivered across a range of Christian and multi-cultural themes to ensure that all pupils benefit from equality of spiritual, moral and cultural guidance.
- Collective worship regularly includes the Lord’s Prayer, and every assembly ends with the Littlemore Prayer, also spoken in the local church.
Loving Lord, may you shining light fill the hearts of all who love, work and worship in Littlemore. Amen
The Academy has close links to the local Church and the Clergy deliver weekly collective worship in school with additional celebrations and worships taking place in Church. The school receives ongoing support and training from the ODST (Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust) and ODBE (Oxford Diocesan Board of Education).
How we promote Fundamental British values
As a Church of England school, it is a priority at John Henry Newman Academy to provide for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils, including the active promotion of fundamental British values.
The government defines these as:
The rule of law
Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
What does this mean for my child?
We seek to actively involve pupils in making decisions about the school and influencing best practice. We do this through a variety of measures such as the democratic processes of voting in elections (school council members, house captain elections etc) or completing questionnaires about their learning and the school. This gives the pupils an active voice in all aspects of school life.
Our work in promoting fundamental British values is designed, alongside our Christian ethos, to prepare children for life in modern Britain. Ultimately, we aim to help pupils understand:
- The importance of combating discrimination.
- How we can influence decision-making by taking part in democratic processes like voting and petitioning through School Council opportunities; participating in whole-school decision making.
- The freedom under British law to choose different faiths and beliefs.
- That the law is there to keep us safe.
Our duty to actively promote fundamental British values means that we always present political views to children in a balanced way. We are also responsible for challenging prejudiced or extreme opinions and behaviour.
As part of this responsibility, we have put measures in place to protect children from exposure to extremist views. All Staff have had Prevent Training to ensure that we can identify signs of extremism if present.
Promoting British values will reinforce, not change, our current Church of England ethos. The basic value of respect encompasses all and is be based on the belief that everyone is made in God's image, (Genesis 1.27).