Valuing Our Distinctly Christian Ethos
Guided by Christian and British values, we maintain that learning should be an exciting and enjoyable experience for everyone (adults and children); it should be fun and interactive, challenging and celebratory so a love for learning deepens and everyone's light shines.
Our Christian values support our spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as we grow and learn together in a happy, safe, aspirational environment. Through God’s example, we celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and endeavour to unlock their full potential. We inspire and enable our children to contribute to and thrive in a diverse society through promoting the following core values:
Friendship, Love, Perseverance, Respect and Compassion
In so doing, our vision is that our whole community will let their light shine so that all may flourish and succeed.
Our Vision Explained
“Let your light shine” (Matthew 5:16) so that all may flourish and succeed.
Our strong sense of community and collaboration ensures that happiness, fulfilment and wellbeing are at the forefront of our work, so that children know they are loved by God and in turn grow to love learning, to love life and to love others. Our ambition is for all our children and school community to use their talents and gifts for the common good so that they may live life in all its fullness.
Our vision is rooted in the teachings of Jesus. In the sermon He gave to His followers, as described in Matthew 5:16, He said:
When you shine your light, you become the symbol of hope and goodness in the world; to be the light in someone's life is ultimately the best thing you can do for them as you will then find great joy. We encourage our children to be kind, caring and respectful of others; we want them to have kind thoughts, speak kind words and do good deeds. In so doing, we know that they will be happy and feel a sense of peace, safety and so their confidence will grow. Their light will shine for others, with others and upon others.
Our vision also links to the vision of Rise Multi-Academy Trust, The Leicester Diocese Board of Education vision and the Church of England's vision for education.
Collective Worship at Waltham
Collective Worship is a very important part of our day to share our vision and values through recognising the love of God.
We listen to and act out Bible stories; think about current news, other faiths and every day experiences; we pray; sing together; and celebrate our personal achievements.
Rev. John joins us weekly to lead worship and we visit church regularly. Mike Alexander is one of our special friends from church who leads Messy Fiesta, festival celebrations and lessons that help us learn more about the Christian faith.
Children lead worship each week, sharing their own thoughts and reflections. They include PowerPoints, videos, plays, Bible readings and prayer with quizzes to see how much the children have learnt.
Click on the link below to take you to our dedicated areas.
We are the Owl Ministers at Waltham-on-the-Wolds Primary school. We have a very important job as we ensure our Christian values are identified and celebrated in school.
We meet each week and discuss events that are coming up, as well helping to plan activities that develop our values, for example for Messy Fiesta, charity days and festival celebrations.
Each week we choose a pupil in school who we think have displayed the Christin values exceptionally well. They get to take home a special trophy called 'The Owl Minister's Award' that we present to them when parents join us on a Friday afternoon. Children love to receive this trophy as it's presented by the children for the children.
We try to ensure that the voice of the children is heard so our pupil-led assemblies and follow-up evaluations are important to us because we know our teachers listen and value what we have to say.
Spirituality At Our School
What does Spirituality mean to our school?
“Spirituality is not something we can see; it is something we feel inside ourselves. It is about awe and wonder, asking questions, inspiration and being aware of something ‘bigger’ outside of ourselves.”
Our children have defined Spirituality as:
“The roots that make us who we are.” (Year 6)
“Things we cannot see but feel.” (Year 5)
“The world’s thinking.” (Year 4)
“God and other God’s thoughts.” (Year 3)
“It’s what you think in your head.” (Year 2)
“It’s from your heart.” (Year 1)
“Something you feel.” (Reception)
The four elements of Spirituality in school:
Spirituality looks to explore our relationships and connections with:
- The World
Spiritual development relates to the quest for individual identity and the search for meaning and purpose in our existence. It leads towards the understanding of self and others; the natural world and beyond; how to love and be loved. It has to do with feelings, emotions, attitudes and beliefs: things that we care about, things that move us, things we are curious about and love. It is not linked solely to a particular religion, doctrine or faith. It is something we experience on a personal level.
Spiritual development is therefore accessible to everyone.
Nurturing and developing Spirituality
We provide a range of planned and unplanned opportunities for children to develop their own spiritual journey. These opportunities are across the whole curriculum in order to educate the whole child. Activities teach the children to reflect and consider their own actions through the following symbols:
- Windows: Children learn about life
- Mirrors: Children learn about themselves
- Doors: Children step out into the world, living out their Christian values
We visit the church and other places of worship so that we can think beyond our own beliefs. At special times of the year we come together at our local church to reflect and share our thoughts.
Our ‘Messy Fiesta’ gives us the opportunity to participate in art activities where we can respond to aspects of faith and share our thoughts and feelings with others.
In our classrooms we have time to be calm and still. We use a range of techniques such as yoga, meditation and stories linked to feelings and emotions. In our rooms we have reflection areas where we are encouraged to deepen our thinking.
We encourage children to build on their talents and to dream big so they can make an impact on the world. Here is an example of us sharing our successes with the world.
Our ‘Leicestershire syllabus’ and ‘Understanding Christianity’ units that we use encourage children to reflect on their learning and dig deeper with their questioning. Spirituality is not only explored in our RE lessons but across all areas of our curriculum. We give children the opportunity to share their thinking and opinions each day.
Our community is so special and precious to us. We love to talk about our families and how they contribute to the world. We often think spiritually about what we can do to change the world to live out our Christian values in the wider world.
Charity and supporting the world is so very important to us. We believe that small acts of kindness make a huge impact in the world. We can all make a difference to the world, we just have to believe it.
More Charity Work
Many of our parents (accompanied by their children) volunteer to support The Viking Challenge, held annually at Redmile School.
Charity Off-Road Cycle Event
Press release – 3rd October 2022
Sun shines for The Viking Challenge
Redmile CE Primary School welcomes over 700 cyclists!
The Viking Challenge returned with over 700 cyclists conquering the charity off–road cycle event on Sunday 2nd October. With inter-changeable weather over the past few days, the sun shone for the event that cycled across the beautiful scenery of the Vale of Belvoir.
The volunteer-led event has always been a key fundraiser for Redmile CE Primary School. Entrants complete a 65km, 55km or 30km circuit, which starts and finishes at the school. This year the money raised, through entry fees and donations, will be for the school and its charity partners REACH. The route is mostly off-road and provides plenty of opportunities to get muddy!
Although the event is not a race, Gavin Jones led the way with the 65km route, Tim Young was the first back from the 55km with first woman back Ruth Stanley hot on his heels, completing the 30 km for the first time. Chris and Karen Crawford returned for the fourth time to complete the course on their tandem!
Jane Noad, Chair of the organising committee noted; “It was a fantastic day with all participants riding safely, enjoying themselves and having fun. Our huge voluntary marshal team were incredible in making the event happen this year. It was lovely to see everyone taking part and we are delighted to deliver another great event for our Vikings.”
There were also a number of pupils from Redmile CE Primary School who tackled the challenge with their parents and families past and present were there to volunteer on the day. The Viking Challenge really is a family focused event that brings the local community together as well as many others from all over the country.
Not just an event for the local villages, the Viking Challenge attracts cyclists from across the country travelling from as far away as Hastings, Sutton Coalfield and Sheffield! Steve Copeland returned to cycle from Jerez, Spain as well.
Executive Head teacher, Julie Hopkins, said, “It was such a thrill to host the event yet again. Riders were so appreciative and even thankful for the mud! It was great to see many familiar faces who have returned year after year to support the event. Special thanks to everyone who volunteered their time before, during and after the event; we couldn’t have done it without you! The money raised from this year’s event will support the many trips we have planned for the children.”
There will be an announcement about the funds raised from the 2022 event at our presentation event in January 2023. Please follow our Facebook book for photographs, news and updates.
Light a candle
Whenever we worship together, be it in church or at school, we create a spiritual experience for the children and staff by lighting a candle. The peacefulness of the light helps us to think deeply about what matters most to us.
The Church of England Society introduced a virtual candle during the pandemic and it continues to be available for those who need a quiet moment of reflection. By lighting a virtual candle, you can make a space to pray.
You can light a candle online to pray for yourself, for a loved one or for a situation by clicking on the picture below . Whatever is going on, make space to pray in your life.
Learning about British Values
Mutual Respect through British Traditions
On Friday 21st April, local legend, former England and Nottinghamshire County Cricketer, broadcaster and match referee Chris Broad, officially opened the newly built Hopkins Hall at Waltham-on-the-Wolds CE Primary School.
Before the day, all children learnt about the traditions surrounding a grand opening, for example, the cutting of the ribbon, unveiling a commemorative plaque, dedication from the Bishop, speeches, special guests and cake! They learnt about the significance of these traditions and why it is so important for us a school community to honour these traditions.
The children were very respectful throughout the proceedings and participated fully.
Please visit our Latest News page for the press release and more details.
The Rule of Law and Democracy through Parliamentary Processes
In January, the children had a very special visit from a representative of the UK Parliament.
It was a very informative and interactive presentation with the children gaining an insight into the workings of Parliament and the Government. They learned how new laws are introduced and the process they go through before finally being brought into force and had great fun bringing this to life in the classroom!
A fantastic opportunity to learn about how our country is governed and one which the children will remember. To see more photographs, please visit our Curriculum Enrichment page.
Books About Faith and Spirituality to Inspire Readers
We are delighted and very proud of our most recent SIAMS Report (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) which took place in November 2021.
Some of the highlights:
The school is characterised by the tangible care that pervades the whole school community...
Everyone is valued inclusively with dignity and respect as precious children of God...
The quality of teaching in RE is consistently good or better, shown through school monitoring and verified during inspection...
...exceptionally close and mutually supportive relationships between church and school...
As put by a parent, ‘each individual feels part of a big family because everyone is valued and welcomed.’
Pupils care for and support each other with kindness and respect. As noted by a pupil, ‘We let our light shine to others by showing kindness’.
The school’s behaviour focus of ‘Care and persevere, show respect and be fair’, supports all in treating others as they wish to be treated. As a pupil said, ‘we let our light shine by respecting and valuing people who do not believe the same things as us’. Pupils are keen to challenge injustice and enjoy articulating the difference they make. They feel listened to and their viewpoints are treated with respect.
- The whole school community share a clear Christian vision for the school. This vision, and associated values, underpin the whole life of the school and inform every decision that is made.
- Waltham-on-the-Wolds School is a highly inclusive and caring community where every pupil is valued, nurtured and challenged as the unique person God created them to be.
- The pupils’ needs are met effectively, including through the promotion of mental health. Pupils live out the vision and values through care for each other, social action and opportunities to challenge injustices.
- Collective worship, springing from the Christian vision, is valued, biblical and affirming. It is developed and enriched by strong opportunities for pupil leadership. Collective worship influences the lives of both pupils and staff, enabling them to flourish.
- Enquiry-based religious education (RE) develops curiosity through questioning, although expectations of what pupils will learn in each lesson sometimes lack clarity.
- Staff strengths and expertise have been used to develop a cohesive and relevant curriculum. This is impacting positively on attitudes to learning, with pupils engaged and hungry to learn. Whilst opportunities exist that support pupils’ spiritual development, opportunities are sometimes missed as the school lacks a clear shared view of what spirituality means to them.
The full report can be read below.