How are our vision and values rooted in Christian Teachings?
Our School Christian Vision
As an inclusive and caring church school, we provide an excellent education and aim to develop a life-long love of learning. We see all members of our school family as individuals, valued and valuable in the eyes of God (Psalm 139). We will support and challenge everyone to show respect and courage in achieving their full potential as part of a peaceful community. Enabling all our community to live life to the full – John 10.10.
Living Out Our Christian Vision
As a Church school, we have a distinctive character where Christian values are promoted in all aspects of school life. We encourage all members of the school community to promote a Christian ethos where care and respect are shown to everyone.
Our Riston family ensures that all members of the school community feel safe, valued and cared for.
We appreciate and value the uniqueness of each individual and nurture these personal and individual gifts.
Our special Christian identity is demonstrated in the values we share and in the relationships that all members of the school community have with one another. We are inclusive and welcome others regardless of differences; all individuals are respected, supported and nurtured. We respect our community and when needed show forgiveness that we would want for ourselves.
As a result of the trusting relationships between all members of the school community and embedded Christian Values in every aspect of our practice, pupils at Riston Church of England Academy grow into respectful, well behaved and compassionate young people who have an understanding and respect for diversity and difference together with a motivation to be peacemakers and help others in their community and beyond.
“The vision is deeply Christian, with the
promise by Jesus of ‘life in all its fullness’
at its heart.”
Deeply Christian, Serving Common God
A value or ethic is a principle or standard about what is important in one’s life. Therefore, Christian values are the principles that a follower of Jesus Christ holds as important—the principles of life that Jesus taught.
Christian values don’t change over time. They are consistent from generation to generation since their foundation is found in God’s Word, the Bible.
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” — Philippians 4:9
Trust lies at the heart of all relationships and is central to a cohesive community, living together in harmony. Trust entails vulnerability, putting yourself in others’ hands. Trust in God is central to faith. Jesus entrusted his on-going work to his disciples.
‘My God is my strength in whom I trust.’ (Psalm 18:2)
‘I thank Christ Jesus our Lord because he trusted me and gave me this work of serving him. He gives me strength.’ (Timothy 1:1-12)
‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
How do we see this value in school?
In our school hymn we sing, ‘He’s Got The Whole World.’ Through Jesus’ example, we trust our pupils to take responsibility for leading, behaving and learning. We invite pupils to undertake leadership roles in school, placing trust in pupils to carry out roles with an age appropriate level of responsibility. When children have difficulties they trust adults to help them and support them. Our Positive Learning and Behaviour Policy is based on children learning to self-regulate their behaviour; using Restorative Practice philosophy we talk about children making choices rather than school rules. In the children’s learning we trust pupils to be independent, to take responsibility for their own learning. By trusting our children and encouraging children to trust adults, we are teaching them to trust others to build a cohesive community.
We rely on feedback from our school community in relation to Collective Worship. We value this feedback and act on it.
The value of peace was added after an annual review of the values at the heart of our school. Peace includes ideas of healing and health, wholeness and well-being. It refers to relationships based on truth and righteousness. Peace is founded in goodness, decency, justice and morality. It means harmony and security within a community where people flourish because they are nurtured.
‘My peace I give you.’ (John 14.27)
‘Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.’ (Psalm 34:14)
‘The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.’ (Isaiah 32:17)
‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.’ (Galatians 5:22-23)
How do we see this in school?
We value all our children as we are all created in the image of God. The caring ethos nurtures all in our community adults and children. Relationships are very strong built on trust. Where individuals or the school as a whole is at peace we see good moral choices and a calm, purposeful learning community. We value each other as people and offer strong pastoral care. We ensure that Collective Worship is invitational and everyone finds the time and space supports them to reflect, be still, be inspired and at peace. Peace is referred to in a variety of ways including within ourselves, the community and the wider world.
Respect is about valuing everyone and everything and celebrating our differences. We are all God’s people and we all matter as we are all wonderfully made by God. As such, self-respect is important. Respect also encompasses the notion of stewardship and our responsibility to look after God’s creation. In the Bible, the concept of respect is expressed through a variety of Hebrew and Greek words. In Peter 2:17, the apostle commands us to “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” Here, the word translated respect is timao.
‘Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.’ (Peter 2:17)
“Treat others as you would want them to treat you.” (Matthew 7:12)
How do we see this in school?
The Bible teaches us to respect differences in our world through stories like The Good Samaritan and Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. We use these stories to think carefully about how we treat others. At Riston, we encourage everyone, “to treat others as you would want them to treat you.” (Matthew 7:12) Respect can mean simply treating each other with politeness and courtesy, and recognising that everyone’s contribution is important and that everyone’s feelings should be considered. We regularly discuss how respecting someone 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.
This Christian Value comes from a Greek word ‘Koinonia’ which means ‘that which is in common. Other translations might include ‘union’, ‘partnership’, or ‘being yoked together’. A yoke is a shaped piece of wood that goes across the shoulders, often linking two animals. By combining their strength, it helps work to be done and eases the burdens to be carried. So, in our school and classrooms, by working together we can make things easier, work better and achieve greater results!
As a small village school we are at the heart of our community therefore it is vital that community is central to our values and how we flourish together.
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” Acts 4:32
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body …” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
How do we see this value in school?
Koinonia is based on fellowship with Jesus. Through him, Christians share the relationship that Jesus has with God. In John 17, Jesus prays that all his followers may be ‘perfectly one’ as he and the Father are one. Through him, Christians become sons and daughters of God and therefore brothers and sisters of each other. They are all members of the same family. We think of our school community as a family. We spend lots of time together; we have fun; we play games; we share experiences; just like a real family does.
A central element of being a family is interdependence: all are needed and valued and each person is important to the whole.The same message is found in Paul’s image of the Christian community as the body of Christ. Each member of the body shares the joys and sufferings of the others and each depends upon every else.
At the end of each week we celebrate together as a whole school community in our Celebration Worship, families join us and are welcomed. As a school we support local charities such as The East Yorkshire Food Bank. Older children support younger children and children learn how to ‘look out’ for each other, celebrating success together and helping each other when they are struggling.