St James's Church of England High School

St James Church of England High School

'A National Teaching School'

September 2013

St James's Church of England High School images

our ethos

“We are made for goodness.

We are made for love.

We are made for friendliness.

We are made for togetherness.

We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know.

We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders.

All are welcome.

We all belong to this family, this human family, God's family."

 

Desmond Tutu.

 

At St. James’s, we have always called ourselves a family. It is a phrase we use often. We believe a family functions better with shared values and our values are those of the Christian family. We promote an ethos based on a climate of mutual respect and nurture of all, where good relationships are a priority. It’s the glue that holds us together!

“Our love should not be just words and talk.

It must be true love which shows itself in action.”

1 John 3:18.

Our daily worship is central to our ethos and pervades every aspect of school life, always in a very real and down to earth way. We celebrate daily Assemblies and major Christian festivals, as well as termly Communion Services. These embrace all staff and pupils, where everyone feels welcome and included and no one feels the need to withdraw, whatever their background.

We have adopted the principles of what we call the ‘ME:WE’ school which focuses on positive living and consideration for others. This means we place an emphasis on service to others, personal sacrifice and charitable giving, recognising that we are intrinsically connected to those around us. We realise that as part of a local and a world- wide community, this giving and receiving is vital to our health, harmony and hope. We actively share those expectations with all members of St. James’s, continually looking for fresh and creative ways to put the message into practice.

As one of our Year 11 Leavers stated … “When I first came to St. James’s they talked about this idea of a Christian family but I didn’t really understand what it meant. Now I do! I also know that I will carry those values with me into college life.”

 

The Impact of Collective Worship on the School Community is “Outstanding”

Collective worship is ……  central to the life of the school and valued by all for its contribution to the ethos and learning.

Pupils …..  play a big part in planning and leading, using weekly themes to make worship engaging and thought provoking.

Pupils …..  feel included, affirmed and inspired by  worship.

They say “It helps us celebrate God” (Year 7 pupil), “It helps us to learn what is important” (Year 9 pupil) and “It brings us closer to God” (Year 11 pupil).

Staff speak about being “moved” by the experience of worship.

Pupils have a good understanding of Christian practice - they are familiar with Bible stories and prayers, including the Lord’s Prayer.

Communion services are valued as opportunities for prayer, reflection and coming together “in a circle of faith” (Year 10 pupil).

The Christian ethos of a church school underpins ALL that we do. We communicate it through our lessons, our  worship, our extra-curricular activities and particularly through our whole school projects. …. most of all though, through our relationships. Ethos and Worship at St. James’s are judged as  ‘Outstanding’ by Church Schools Inspection. That is a reflection of the support and commitment that our staff, our pupils and our parents give to it.