Our Core Christian Values Are:
The children have been finding out about Christian Values and have decided that the four values above are those which underpin the Christian Ethos of our school.
Selborne is a Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School and has close connections with the Diocese of Winchester and the local parish church of St. Mary’s that serves Selborne.
Love - Our core Christian Value is Love. In our school each member is encouraged to love and respect themselves, others, God and his world. The Bible explicitly tells us that God is Love and that those who live in love live in God and God lives in them. (1 John 4:16)
Belief that God has revealed Himself to us as love is at the very heart of the Christian faith. The original Greek word that the New Testament uses to describe the love of God is agape (pronounced ah-gah-payh). Agape does not mean romantic love or even the love we might feel for our family or close friends. It means putting of others before ourselves whether they deserve it or not – a kind of selfless love-in-action. God’s love calls us to serve others freely without expectation of reward – even people who we don’t like or who don’t like us – because they are made in the image of God.
At the centre of the teaching of the school is that we are all created in the image of God; that we are all individuals and that we are treated equally. Genesis 1: 27 “So God created humans in his own image. He created them to be like himself.”
The value of ‘Love’ underpins everything we do in school. We believe that through a focus on Love by working together as part of a strong and supportive family, we can all achieve more – socially, emotionally and academically. Matthew 22:38 “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
The school community has identified several other values to explore in more detail, through acts of worship and our curriculum, to support the understanding and fulfilment of our core values:
Fellowship – We could equally use the word ‘friendship’ but the original Greek word koinonia (that translates as fellowship) means something more like ‘being united together’. This fits very well with the value of Love, through Fellowship (working together) we can achieve more. The power of the Holy Spirit binds Christians together in fellowship and it is through this fellowship that we are able to live as God wants us to. The children chose this value as although they see friendship as important they realised that we can have fellowship with those who may not be our close friends and that this is important in building a happy, caring school environment.
Truth – In the Gospel of John, Jesus declares that, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (14:6). In the Christian tradition, ‘truth’ does not mean ‘not telling lies’ but an understanding that the true value of life lies in the love that we put back into the world. This truth is the Christian hope so these two words are closely interlinked. The Christian value of truth is the ability to follow Jesus with honest hope rather than follow our own selfish whims and build a wall of lies around ourselves.
Courage –The history of Christianity is rich in stories of courage and endurance, both from the Bible and to the present day. Christians are motivated by faith in the grace of Jesus in giving us his life as a model to be followed and so are prepared to stand up for what is right in the face of danger and hardship. Jesus told his followers that , ‘If anyone wants to be my disciple, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’ (Matthew 16:24). For Christians, living with courage may mean sacrificing wealth, plans and ambitions in order to follow the path that God wills for them. Courage is also about a life-long process of challenging ourselves to be the best that we can be – even when this becomes hard. For children in schools, this could mean the courage to say ‘no’ when everyone else wants you to do something you do not want to do; the courage to stick at a task even when it is difficult or the courage to stand by your beliefs even when people laugh at you. The children chose this value as it is something that is important to them to develop as they go through their lives. They felt that they often had to be courageous in school.