School Aims

 

We are a learning community – all here for the common purpose of growing as individuals and collectively - both in knowledge and skill as well as spiritually; we work together to rise to challenges – helping and encouraging one another to flourish; taking joy in and celebrating our successes.

 

We are designing our curriculum to ensure that: all our children nurture a respect for all God's children and love of our local and global neighbours, developing a sense of personal and collective responsibility to contribute towards the world God intended for us. 

 

We share many values but the three that underpin our work as a school are Respect, Responsibility and Koinonia.

 

Our central value of Respect is the foundation of our school purpose, as well as our one rule, “At Sutton School we choose Respect:

Respecting ourselves: by being the best we can in all we do.

Respecting others: by loving our neighbours as unique individuals.

Respecting the environment: by looking after God’s world and everything in it.”

 

In order to be the best we can in all we do and flourish as individuals, as well as a school community, we felt that we want our children and staff to be driven by a sense of purpose, believing we have a collective responsibility and can truly make a difference in the world God intended for us.

Together we are greater than the sum of our parts.

We care about our community.  Collective Worship and community events bring us together in acts of Koinonia: fellowship, communion and shared endeavour – with a sense of collective responsibility for making Sutton the best it can be in all its work – growing together spiritually and sharing our achievements. 

 

The Bible passages we settled upon that best reflected this are:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”  Galatians 5.22

 

"A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12

 

“Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”  1 Timothy 6:18

 

How the vision and values came about:

We began in September with introducing one school Rule – At Sutton we choose Respect: ourselves, others and the environment.  This was underpinned by the existing seven ‘superstar rules’ outlining what that respect should look like.

Reflecting on these we found that seven was too many and although time had been taken to link them to Biblical references, these were not in place and instead, exploring the values that are shared among the community would bring a better direction for this work.

In January we began exploring this in an INSET day with staff, some parents and Governors.  This was followed by a series of Collective worship sessions and discussions in class, with staff, parents and Governors to compare, rank, and distill down to a core collection, followed by a set of six. 

All were invited to share examples of Bible references, stories and proverbs that they felt resonated with them and the school.

One that came to the fore was Galatians 5.22-23 – “The fruit of the Spirit is lovejoypeacepatiencekindnessgoodnessfaithfulnessgentleness, and self-control." which is illustrated in the Lady chapel of our local church, St. Andrews.

 

As well as Respect, the highest ‘scoring’ values were:

 

Love: We love our neighbours (community) and are caring and compassionate; We value all God’s children (diversity); We love our learning; We are forgiving and seek to enjoy our time together in and out of school.

Peace: We promote prayer & reflection; gentleness, self control and patience; We practise peaceful problem solving and mediate through talk and reflection when issues arise; We strive to make Sutton School a nurturing place in which pupils can feel safe and secure.

Trust: We are honest and trustworthy; We are responsible and reliable; We trust and have faith in ourselves and are resilient, persevering and supporting of each other to overcome challenges;

Koinonia: (A Greek word that means fellowship & friendship, community & communion) We promote fellowship as a united community of shared and differing beliefs, interests & ideas.  We are all committed as lifelong learners and we share, contribute and participate wholeheartedly in action for change, making life better for those we can.

Justice: We act fairly towards one another and work to make sure that all voices are heard; We strive for equity and equal opportunity, ensuring that each individual child is nurtured and supported according to their skills, talents and needs.

The list also included resilience & perseverance; courage and resilience; compassion and generosity; teamwork and service; truthfulness and joy.

As a school we spent a term exploring and reflecting on these values and what these and the British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs really mean to us as a learning community.

Further discussion about the school and what makes it tick and where it needs to head also ensued.  Specifically – the common theme among almost all stakeholders is that this community really cares about its community and wants it to flourish.  We therefore selected Koinonia – as we did not feel that community alone is distinctively Christian and most importantly it is the bringing together of the community in acts of fellowship, communion and shared endeavour that we wish to achieve, strengthening the sense of collective responsibility for making Sutton the best it can be in all its work.

 

A series of assemblies based around the Catalonian Castells followed, illustrating an act of Koinonia - looking at how the achievement of the team was greater than the sum of its parts – each hand hold, concentration, commitment and determination playing a crucial part in the success of the team, as well as the encouragement, prayer and support of the whole community.

 

Exploring scriptures that related to this work, we first selected:

 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control." 

Galations5.22.

 

Our work on Koinonia with the theme of together we are greater than the sum of our parts led to the selection of:

 

"A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." 

Ecclesiastes 4:12

 

Further work on Respect and a love of all God’s children, diversity and valuing the uniqueness of individuals, alongside a discussion about ‘How do you become the best you can in all you do?’ led to the selection of the final scripture:

“Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”

1 Timothy 6:18

 

Illustrating and sharing our vision:

 

We worked with a mosaic artist to develop a sense of what our three values mean to us as a school and she worked with groups of children and SLT to develop the following artwork that is a Learning Community Tree:

Our learning community tree illustrates our core values of Respect, Responsibility and Koinonia.

The panel at the base illustrates what Respect means to us: a love of all God’s children, the jewels entwined in its roots representing the diversity among unique individuals. 

The central panel of our mosaic, illustrates our value of collective 'Responsibility'. 

We have on site three species of trees – Silver Birch which is a symbol of new beginnings, regeneration, hope, new dawns and the promise of what is to come; Willow, which is a symbol of balance, learning, growth and harmony; and Oak which is a symbol of strength, morale, knowledge and wisdom.

They are depicted here with intertwined trunks, representing the idea that we are stronger together and must pull together to become greater than the sum of our parts. 

The top panel depicts the branches, leaves and fruits of our community spirit - growing together as a community. It also celebrates a community that comes together to flourish together and celebrates the fruits of our spirit.

This work led to the final drafting of our vision and values statement as well as our curriculum mission statement.

Curriculum development:

We are on a journey with our curriculum, developing it over the next 18 months, as subject leaders develop and raise the profile of their subjects, ensuring that they tie together in a purposeful way in order to bring our vision for our curriculum to life.

We are developing our assessment systems, ensuring that they are robust, and then mapping out curriculum overviews for each key stage on a rolling programme to cater for our mixed-age class structure.  We are evaluating the progression in knowledge and skills to ensure learning is developmental with appropriate challenge, as well as inspiring, purposeful and enjoyable.

Everything we aim for as a school is underpinned by our core Christian values of Respect, Responsibility and Koinonia.  

Respect is the foundation stone of our school vision and values.  A love of where we live and who we are with – respecting and celebrating the diversity in our local and wider and global community.  We believe that children truly reach their potential when they have a purpose, and we aim to help them find this by giving them opportunities to contribute towards making the school, the village and the world a better place. We are therefore building our curriculum around this. 

We love our neighbours (community) and are caring and compassionate;  

We value all God’s children (diversity);  

We love our learning; We are forgiving and seek to enjoy our time together in and out of school. 

Through various discussions, working with Senior Leaders, Governors and the Diocese, drawing on all the preceding values and curriculum intention work undertaken so far, this developed into the mission statement as well as beginning work to implement it through investigation and action based research into the ‘Global Sustainable Development Goals’. 

Sutton Curriculum Mission Statement:

We are designing our curriculum to ensure that: all our children nurture a respect for all God's children and love of our local and global neighbours, developing a sense of personal and collective responsibility to contribute towards the world God intended for us. 

We aim to ensure that our curriculum allows pupils to develop their own personal identity and self-worth alongside a strong sense of belonging, ownership and pride in their local and wider community.

It is our intention that all acquisition of knowledge and development of skills has a purpose – learning projects are vehicles through which knowledge and skills are acquired, developed and applied.  Project outcomes have a real and measureable impact on making God's world a better place in which to live – demonstrating the intent 'love where you live; love who you are with; we grow as we give'.