Christianity at St John's

Christian Values Cross.png

What does it mean to be a Church of England School?

As a Church of England Primary School (Voluntary Controlled) we ensure that our theologically rooted vision of 'Love thy neighbour' underpins the direction and everything we do at St John's.  The essence of this teaching is to promote kindness, compassion, and goodwill towards others, regardless of their background, beliefs, or circumstances. It emphasises the importance of treating others with love, respect, and empathy, fostering a sense of community, understanding, and harmony among people. The teaching transcends religious boundaries and promotes the idea of universal love and cooperation amongst various cultures and contexts.

Although we are a Church of England school and we do promote the teachings of the Bible through our assemblies, lessons and the way in which we interact with one another, we do acknowledge that we have many children from different faiths and backgrounds and aim to also celebrate these religions through theme days and celebrating the diversity within our school community.

Collective Worship

We are linked with St John's Church, which is located only a couple of minutes walk away and so are fortunate to be able to mark many of the key Christian celebrations with a service at the church, often supported by our Vicar Reverend Rowles.  The children take an active role in leading these services or contributing to elements of the service.  This provides a lovely opportunity for the whole school community, including parents and grand parents to come together to celebrate the key festivals.

F6dV55sXEAAYB88.jfif F_X-6GOXIAAEHM8.jfif FsY7juxXoAAUuGY.jfif F_ctaXcWsAAySSY.jfif

Children particpate in daily acts of collective worship, as a whole school, in Key Stages or as a class.  We focus our worship around 12 Christian Values which all feed into our overarching principle of 'Love thy Neighbour'.  Each Christian value is the focal point for a half term over a two year cycle.  The values are Service and Sacrifice, Courage, Peace, Trust, Thankfulness, Forgiveness, Friendship, Generosity, Equality, Respect, Perseverance and Love.  Further information about how and why these values were chosen and are implemented can be found in the document below. 


At school prayer is a spiritual practice where children and adults come together to express gratitude, seek guidance and reflect on our shared values.  Children are taught to actively engage in prayer and at times lead the process.  To support children in using prayer appropriately we encourage them to think about using it to:

            • say thank you
            • say sorry for something
            • to ask for help with something

We want children to understand that prayer is a very simple but powerful tool that can take place anywhere and be said by anyone.  It is simply a conversation with God.

Near the school office we have a prayer box and encourage children and other adults in school to place requests for prayer.  These requests are shared in whole school assembly and reflect the feelings and concerns within our school community in response to personal, local and global issues and concerns.  These prayers are said alongside some more familiar prayers which all children learn such as the Lord's Prayer, the School Prayer and a prayer linked to the current Christina value.

Lord's Prayer.JPG school prayer.JPG

SIAMS Inspection

Part of being a Church of England school requires us to be inspected by the The Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS). SIAMS inspections are carried out under section 48 of the 2005 Education Act. They involve the inspection of RE, collective worship, and spiritual, moral, social, and cultural education in Church of England and Methodist schools and academies in England. You can find a copy of our previous inspection here.

During our next SIAMS inspection we will be judged against the following 6 questions.  The school's response to each one can be found below and although not exhaustive, provides further information about how the school aims to meet each area.

1. How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision enable pupils and adults to flourish?

At St John’s we believe that every child should have the chance to access a range of experiences and achieve success. Our vision of ‘high standards through a caring community’ includes 5 core values covering a breadth of experiences for all. Opportunities for whole class music lessons, sports clubs, forest school, craft clubs and residential trips amongst others, are provided across the children’s time at school. These experiences, alongside our engaging curriculum, allow for children to flourish academically, creatively, socially, mentally and physically, developing confidence, a sense of accomplishment and an understanding of health and wellbeing for all.

Through our theological vision of Love Thy Neighbour, children and adults are encouraged to build on empathy and understanding through all interactions. Our supportive environment is evidenced at playtimes, where children look after one another and use our ‘buddy bus stop’ to ensure all children feel included. Our buddy system allows new Reception children to form relationships with those in Year 4, helping them to feel comfortable in their new environment and to be confident at whole school playtimes.

Family assembly is held every Friday and celebrates the varied achievements by our whole school. This includes activities in and outside of school and allows the children to be recognised for their own skills and talents in front of the friends and families. We believe this to be essential in allowing us to build relationships with our children and their families and to celebrate the different ways in which they are developing and flourishing.


2. How does the curriculum reflect the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision?

Our curriculum is structured to meet our vision of ‘high standards through a caring community’, using our 5 core values of core standards, Christian values, community, life skills and wider opportunities. These values run through every aspect of our curriculum, shaping the provision that we offer.

Core.jpg Core standards – We aim for all our children to meet their potential in all areas of the curriculum. We have high standards of all stakeholders and expect adults to be role models in attitudes to learning and behaviour. We have high standards in relation to behaviours, teaching children to do the right thing, even when no-one is looking. Children are taught that ‘love thy neighbour’ can include working alongside others and helping those that are hurt within our school setting, but also includes seeing ways that they can support their local, national and global communities.


Christian values – Children are taught our 12 Christian values through acts of worship and these are interlaced through our RE and PSHE curriculum. As a school, we have identified core values of love, service and sacrifice. These values underpin the story of The Good Samaritan, which Jesus used to demonstrate how we can love our neighbours. Children are encouraged to think about how we can serve others, both in school (for example through our buddy system) and in the wider community (through our foodbank donations and MacMillan coffee mornings for example). We look at sacrifice through the vehicle of the parable, where the Good Samaritan sacrificed his time in direct contrast to those who had hurried past and use events such as ‘It’s cool to be kind’ week to highlight how time can be sacrificed to benefit others. Christianity.jpg


Community.jpg Community – At St John’s, we recognise our role in establishing ideas of citizenship and community. Children are encouraged to develop community spirit to maintain our facilities and learning environments, for example by litter picking around our outside areas. We also aim to foster links with the wider community, taking music groups to perform at ‘Golden Oldies’ in our local community centre and raising money for identified charities such as foodbank. Through English lessons, geography and collective worship, children are challenged to consider environmental issues affecting our global community and our role in creating a more sustainable future for all. Through actions such as these, children can see how service and sacrifice demonstrates our love for our neighbours in our local and wider community.


Life skills – As well as developing life-long learning skills, our curriculum aims to equip our children to be independent, functioning members of society. Our science, DT, PSHE and PE curricula are designed to teach children about the importance of keeping their minds and bodies healthy, through exercise, diet and mental health and wellbeing. STEAM weeks help to develop skills such as cooking and sewing and we teach children about the responsibilities they will encounter as adults, such as finances and relationships. By explicitly teaching the children about the skills they will need to develop for adulthood, we are guiding them to become a part of a caring community. Life Skills.jpg


Wider Opportunities.jpg Wider opportunities – We believe that all children should have a chance to excel and develop skills in a range of areas beyond those learnt in a classroom environment. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that children have an opportunity to experience a wide range of activities to enthuse and excite them. Throughout their time at our school, all children have chance to perform through productions, assemblies and the nativity, bringing the school and parental communities together in celebration. We collaborate with other local schools through the linking schools project, which encourages the children to develop skills of working in partnership with others from the community. All children take part in Forest School, learning the importance of looking after our local area and how this can benefit both our current neighbours and future generations. Our buddy system provides support for our youngest children and welcomes them into our school community, whilst also teaching year 4 children valuable skills of service for the benefit of others. Whole class instrument lessons take place in year 5, where the children learn to work together as one group. Annual residential trips allow children to develop resilience and responsibility in a different environment. Here, children are encouraged to show ways of supporting their peers though helping with organisation, or emotional support to encourage one another to reach their goals and experience the sense of community outside of their familiar settings.


3. How is collective worship enabling pupils and adults to flourish spiritually?

Our Christian values are promoted through our assembly themes for each half term. Children are invited to reflect on what Jesus taught about embodying the values and how they can apply the values to their lives. Children share their understanding and the ways in which they demonstrate these qualities. Our Christian values have been chosen to reflect the qualities we believe will enable the children to act in the way of the Good Samaritan, caring for themselves and all their neighbours. During key Christian festivals of Harvest, Easter and Christmas, the children visit St John’s Church and take part in collective worship with the wider community. Here, they lead us through the spiritual messages central to the festivals and reflect on their significance for our school and community today.  In addition, Christians in Schools visit regularly to deliver collective worship in line with our themes and values and Bible Encounter also provide additional opportunities for the children to reflect in more depth. Children are invited to share their reflections about their collective worship throughout the day. Bible stories and hymns have been linked to each of our Christian values to promote spiritual development for our whole school community. Children are encouraged to create their own prayers and to lead others through this within classrooms.


4. How does the school’s theologically rooted vision create a culture in which pupils and adults are treated well?

Our school vision of ‘high standards through a caring community’ and our linked theological vision of Love Thy Neighbour centre on the idea that we should care for and about others and treat them in a way that demonstrates this. Assemblies focus on our Christian values and encourage children to develop an understanding of how values such as friendship and respect can be used to create a positive experience for all. During the national anti-bullying week, we explore how ‘It’s Cool to be Kind’ in school, at home and in the wider community. Children complete kindness challenges for one another and for strangers and learn the impact that this can have on both the recipient of the kindness and themselves. We celebrate all acts of kindness at the end of the week and can see how our theological vision of ‘Love the Neighbour’ is lived out amongst our school community.

The children learn about the importance of treating other people well through our curriculum, which is designed to be inclusive with the protected characteristics in mind. It is important that children and adults understand that ‘Love thy Neighbour’ encompasses everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity etc. Policies have been rewritten to ensure that they are inclusive and the school is working towards the Rainbow Flag award to further ensure that all children’s lived experiences are reflected and celebrated within school. Diversity is welcomed and celebrated through events such as Black History Month, where children learn about important historical figures from the black community as well as those from the modern day. 

Our golden rules (do be kind, do be gentle, do show respect etc) encourage children to treat others well in school. We also look at treating people well outside of our school community, with many fundraising activities taking place for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Our school newspaper has an ‘Unsung Heroes’ section, where the children identify other people within the school community that have embodied the school’s vision of ‘Love thy Neighbour’ over the last fortnight. This has included children (and families) donating items, looking after others, improving the school environment and adults going out of their way to improve areas within school.

Unsung Heroes.JPG

 5. How does the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision create an active culture of justice and responsibility?

At St John’s, we aim to develop a sense of responsibility in all children. We have ‘High Standards’ in relation to behaviours as well as attainment; responsibility is one of our learning behaviours and is discussed and taught through collective worship and celebrated in Family Assembly.  

Our school council take responsibility for improving areas of school life for pupils and for representing the school in the wider community. They have run a road safety competition to encourage children to behave responsibly when crossing roads, they have spoken at an open day for prospective parents and led the foodbank donations in the autumn term.


We also use the concept of ‘Love the Neighbour’ to develop a sense of responsibility towards our wider and global community through eco-club and forest schools, where children learn about the importance of protecting and developing our own natural environments and the positive impact this has within the local area and to the climate. Our Harvest Festival theme this year developed an understanding of the importance of Fair Trade and why it is our responsibility to support fair treatment for all.

As part of our geography, English, RE and PSHE curricula we teach the children about the importance of sustainability and our responsibility to the global community to take steps to protect the climate to ensure a positive future for all.

Justice is promoted through school council elections and interweaving British Values throughout our curriculum. Children learn about the importance of justice and the justice system, alongside the need for inclusion and the concepts of equity and equality to allow all children to thrive.

We take a restorative approach to resolving conflict and encourage children to develop skills of empathy and understanding. This allows them to take responsibility for their actions and to make reparations.


6. Is the religious education curriculum effective (with reference to the expectations set out in the Church of England’s Statement of Entitlement for Religious Education)?

‘Religious education in a Church school should enable every child to flourish and live life in all its fullness. It will help educate for dignity and respect encouraging all to live well together.’

Our RE curriculum is based on the Stockport Agreed Syllabus and includes teaching about Christianity alongside other religions and worldviews. Units of work in RE link to other areas of our curriculum to consolidate ideas around our responsibility to protect and care for our wider world and what religions teach about justice and fairness. Children are taught about the role of faith within communities and how values are used in daily life. Key questions shape every unit, with the children thinking about Christianity and other religions in terms of philosophy, heritage and challenging questions around living purposeful, meaningful lives that contribute to today’s society. Children are taught to appreciate diversity and explore theological interpretations of scripture from the Bible and other sacred texts.


Files to Download

Student Login