Developing our School Vision
Over the last year we have been developing our school vision. A school vision is our beliefs and our values and our hope for the children in our school. We are very excited to share with you our journey and new school vision.
Who are we?
We began by thinking about who we were as a community. Research into Sutton Benger showed that in the past we have been a heavily farming community, providing produce to the local town of Chippenham and the surrounding villages, as well as Sutton Benger itself. As a community, this has evolved over time. Today, farming is still a part of the village, but in a very different way. In addition, the village has grown and developed – families have moved on, new families have joined, houses have been built and old buildings have disappeared. The school itself has moved sites from the old school house near the church to our present building, which has also changed over the years. We are a village of old and new. A village that is forever growing and changing.
Why are we here? What is our purpose as a school?
As a school why are we here? We talked to the children and we decided that our school:
- is a loving community that respects, cares and cherishes every person;
- has a full and exciting curriculum, with opportunities that encourage children to develop a love of learning;
- develops values that will help us grow as individuals and as a community;
- helps our children to grow and shine, to be the best they can be.
Thinking about who we are and why we are here, we have developed the following vision for our school…
TOGETHER WE LEARN, GROW AND FLOURISH
The Green Man
In Term 1, all of the children visited our village church to see ‘The Green Man’, a really unique and special part of our church. It is said to be Medieval but there is some thought that the head was re-worked in Victorian times. It has an expressive face surrounded by hawthorn leaves, which sprout from his mouth. A very unusual feature is the four birds, which peck at the hawthorn berries. Its meaning is a bit of a mystery but it is considered a symbol of nature, growth and change. We felt that the Green Man image reflected our village and our new vision – the village and our children are forever changing, growing and flourishing. We also use ‘The Green Man’ to remind us to take care of the environment, God’s creation, something that is reflected in our school curriculum.
Our school values
Our school values are developed in our worship and encouraged and developed in our school life. Our values are forgiveness, friendship, respect, trust, perseverance, truthfulness, generosity, compassion, courage, thankfulness, justice and service. Thinking more about our vision, we thought of our values as seeds that grow in our children. The more seeds we plant, the more our children will grow and flourish. As the Bible says:
“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
We asked the children to design a symbol for our new school vision. Well done to Josh in Year 6!
Our local church is All Saints, Sutton Benger, part of the Draycot Benefice within the Diocese of Bristol.
All Saints Church dates from the 12th century, but the present building is 14th century. Its outlook on the High Street makes it a natural focus for the village. Recent internal modifications have created a meeting room plus kitchen facilities, all of which are freely available for village groups to use. Does the school use them?
The local ministry team, has long term and deep connections with our school. The congregation regularly pray for our school, and support us with their time, skills and generosity. Team members regularly lead collective worship, support the RE curriculum and help us explore spiritual development and develop our Christian distinctiveness as a church school.
The children and staff from Sutton Benger C of E (VA) Primary School are invited to church for special services 6 times a year. These are agreed and planned between the school and the PCC. We also visit the church to support our curriculum learning throughout the year and to take part in ‘Experiences’ run by the PCC.
“When we visit church we always have a chance to learn about God and reflect on things. We always learn something interesting.” (William – Year 5)
Services at All Saints’ Church are as follows. All services are at 10.30am:
1st Sunday: Café Church
2nd Sunday: Holy Communion
3rd Sunday: Holy Communion
4th Sunday: All Age Service
When there are five Sundays in the month, there is a United Benefice Service for all churches in the Draycot Benefice.
Further information can be found on the church website at:
Please also see the Bristol Diocese website:
“When we learn about different values, it means that we can think about how we live our lives and
what we can do to be better people.” (Faith – Year 4)
The Christian Values that we feel are at the heart of our school are:
Each half term, we focus on one of these values in depth and investigate its meaning to Christians, people of other faiths and to ourselves. As a church school we embed our Christian values into everyday learning and foster a respect for other people and their beliefs. We live these values out in our lives in school and when we go out into the world.
Our Worship Team have an important role to play in school. Y6 Worship Council support the delivering of whole school worship, special church services and also lead a summary worship, usually each term.
A wider Worship Team supports the delivery of class based worship across the school.
Because we are a Church of England school, their role is to help our school evaluate collective worship, and to explore ways in which we can develop the distinctively Christian character of Sutton Benger. We enjoy working together to make a difference - hearing and discussing new ideas, having a say and input into changes to help the whole school community understand and enjoy worshipping God. The Worship Team have opportunities to plan & lead collective worship and help in school services at church and with Experiences. They listen to the ideas of their class to feed into their discussions.
This year we are:
Achievements so far:
Our Worship Team meets each year with others from our village cluster schools to share ideas and celebrate our hard work. This good practice features on the Bristol diocese website.
“Collective Worship is really important to us because it helps us to think about our values and how this can help us in our lives.” (Edward – Year 3)
Our termly value is displayed in the entrance hall, school hall and in our classrooms.
Each Monday morning we have whole school worship led by Mr Maddison or a church member. During the national lockdowns these services went onto Zoom / Teams and were attended by a huge number of families.
On a Thursday afternoon we hold a Singing Worship, where we learn new songs that support our Christian Value of the term or the church calendar.
On a Friday morning we hold a Celebration Worship. Certificates are given to the children, including children who have shown the value of the term. Parents and carers are also welcomed to join on 'Teams'.
Collective Worship is an important part of our school day – it is a time where we can gather as one family to reflect on our values and learn about God’s messages to us. Our collective worship reflects the liturgy of the Church of England – we gather, engage with the theme, respond in song and prayer, and are sent out to make a difference. Our worship includes hymns and songs, silence and stillness, images and symbols, actions and the response of our hearts and minds.
Our School Collective Worship Timetable
Whole School Collective Worship
The theme of the week is introduced
Twice a term, this is led by members of the Draycot Benefice Ministry Team or other local church leaders
Class Collective Worship
In this worship each Key Stage looks carefully at an appropriate level at the value and its weekly focus
Whole School Singing Worship
Our worship team help to lead and support worship in our school – from lighting our Trinity candles, to telling stories and leading prayer. Prayer is an important part of our worship and each term a different class create prayers reflecting on our value that are then used in worship. Children from all classes are regularly asked to evaluate worship and think about what they have learnt from it. Along with our governor evaluations, these help to guide and improve our worship, improving the impact it has on our children and staff.
This year our Christian Values for Collective Worship are:
Our School Prayer:
This is our school
Let peace dwell here
Let the rooms be full of contentment
Let love abide here
Love of one another
Love of mankind, love of life itself and love of God
Let us remember that as many hands build a house
So many hearts make a school.
Our latest RE policy:
See RE (in Curriculum)
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