Shankhill’s Vision, Values and Virtues explained…
Creative learning, personal achievement and happiness.
Enabling everyone to flourish and ‘to live life in all its fullness’. (John 10:10)
Our school community, based on Christ's teaching, seeks to develop, in each child, a vision of human flourishing, built on wonder, kindness, gentleness, excellence and academic rigour, explored through moral and creative learning experiences.
Our vision is everything you will see within our daily school life: all children flourishing through the many opportunities and challenges they are presented with. We educate the whole child: for learning and as a person.
Our vision embraces the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and social development of our children and community. We offer a vision of human flourishing for all, one that embraces excellence and academic rigour, which is explored through moral and creative learning experiences that support and shape the development and character of the whole child.
Throughout our learning, we explore the Christian values which permeate our vision for education in Shankhill Church of England Primary School:
* Wisdom * Hope * Community * Dignity * Peace * Joy *
Educating for Wisdom
In Shankhill, educating for wisdom, knowledge, skills and creativity means enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life. “Wisdom” is one of the great themes of the Bible where it is not simply religious wisdom which is talked about, but all aspects of life and culture including economic, political, relational and environmental. In the educational world it tells us of the importance of being radical and daring in the exploration of “big questions” and of the need to be open to new experiences, new knowledge and new people. Jesus’ teaching was vivid, imaginative and challenging, and so should ours be. The wisdom tradition also sees the natural world as a place of wonder, exploration, reflection and self-discovery which is important in a time of ecological challenges. Thus educating for wisdom in our school is about ethics, values and purposes, as well as for knowledge and facts.
Educating for Hope
In our school, educating for hope and aspiration, also requires perseverance and courage in enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them. Educating for “Hope” is about how we approach the future and, in Christian teaching, is bound up with hope in God’s future for the world. Every pupil should be encouraged to stretch themselves spiritually, morally, intellectually, imaginatively and actively as well as being well-educated. Hope also helps us cope wisely with things and people going wrong. It shows us that bad experiences, bad behaviour and wrongdoing need not have the last word, there is always room for healing situations, forgiveness and reconciliation. We know the importance of courage in this healing process as well as the role it plays in giving children the courage to explore new horizons and courage to make the most of these opportunities as they arise.
Educating for Community
In Shankhill, we educate for community and living well together with a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together. Relationships within the school itself and with the role the school plays in the local community and how it relates to other institutions. Every school should be a hospitable community where all can flourish.
We show how friendship is linked to how we treat and look after other people in our families, school and whole community. It also shows the role compassion plays in our community, the understanding of how our actions can affect the lives of others, in a positive way. We explore service and generosity and how we show empathy and understanding of others and the lives they live.
Educating for Dignity
In education for dignity and respect, trust and responsibility, we focus on the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth. A belief in the ultimate worth of every person and in human dignity is at the heart of a good education. Ensuring our children are kept safely from harm and educated in an environment where all children are valued is of the highest priority and may be encountered especially in the areas relating to safeguarding, bullying, special educational needs and disabilities. Children can trust both in themselves and that the adults around them will ensure all children are safe and valued. We encourage everyone to see how they are ultimately responsible to ensure that the worth of all people is considered in our school.
Education for Peace
In Shankhill, in educating for peace we explore spirituality, forgiveness, truthfulness and justice aiming to develop the attitudes, skills, and behaviours to live in harmony with oneself, with others, and with the natural environment. Educating to prevent conflict, strengthen inter-group cooperation and explore the principles of unity, equality and justice. Children listening and sharing God’s message, to ensure they can live in harmony with their community and environment. Through daily life and collective worship, we explore our spiritual capacities and how to be comfortable with stillness and silence, and open to the offer of reflection, meditation and prayer.
Educating for Joy
Happiness is a fundamental part of our school vision. Any education that does not communicate joy, awe, wonder, amazement, fascination and delight has failed. Our pupils experience a rich happiness throughout their learning; you can see it in their smiles and hear it in their voices. We explore thankfulness and how to appreciate and be thankful for what is good in life through experiences that create awe and wonder, causes amazement and fascination, as well delight.
In Shankhill, we educate to enable everyone to flourish by offering a spiritual and moral education for the development of human wholeness and a foundation for personal and social values based on personal character development and the ministry of Christ. Our virtues have been explored with our school community of adults and pupils by reflecting upon Christian based research; character virtues; our vision and values; social and emotional mental health and well-being; and our hopes and aspirations for our school family. Through this, we have created a distinctive language for understanding life and interpreting human experience. A language and spiritual experience where we can begin to discover who we are, why we are here, and perhaps most importantly, what we might be. (from ‘The Way Ahead Report, Church of England’).
Our whole school understands spiritual development using the imagery of a ring doughnut. We imagine what spirituality means by pondering the question “Is a ring doughnut whole without the hole?” We explore how the hole is important even though we cannot touch it, it is there for a reason. We liken this to our inner voice, our spirituality, our moral compass, knowing when something is right or wrong, or if we should give up or if we really can have a go and be challenged. We call this: ME Flourishing – My Spiritual Capacities - our VIRTUES.
From this imagery, our pupils understand and can articulate what their own spirituality means to them and how they experience it in many ways throughout their school and home life. Our common language on which Shankhill’s spiritual and personal character development is based includes these main ‘Spiritual Capacities’ that enable us to grow. Each virtue is a sentence that encourages character development, personal and spiritual growth and illustrates one of our values.