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Our Christian vision and understanding of spirituality

Our Christian vision is:

Learning from Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, to work diligently, act generously and live at peace with everyone.

It reflects a Christian understanding of God:

Our vision is based on Psalm 34:14 - Seek peace and pursue it.  Our vision recognises that our children live in an area with an array of challenges, from high unemployment, poor levels of health and high levels of socio-economic deprivation.  Our vision recognises that education can be the route out of poverty hence we want children to work diligently across all areas of school life.  Our curriculum philosophy of ‘purposeful learning, engaging activities’ motivates and drives such diligence. We not only want children to experience peace but to be instigators and facilitators of peace in order to improve their communities – personal to them and wider.  Finally, we recognise the generosity of God’s grace given freely to us and hence want to ensure we act generously to others: whether this is through our pupils’ service within the community, our generous leave of absence policy and staff release to support work life balance and our work to support our sponsor children in Guacamayal, Colombia.  We also have identified and listed 11 experiences that we want to offer all pupils during their four years at William Ford which range from visiting a foreign country to serving within the local community; representing the school in sport, music or art to learning to cook a meal.  Attending the borough’s SEND Ten Pin Bowling competition is just one example of how we fulfil this and ensure all pupils experience life in its fullness.    

It reflects our understanding of spirituality:

Through discussions with staff, parents and Governors, it has been agreed that spirituality considers the following:

  • Consideration of where we have come from and where we are going
  • Consideration of the purpose of our existence
  • Connection with a ‘greater being’ or ‘force’ that cannot be experienced through physical senses or expressed through everyday language
  • Develops pupils’ own faith and beliefs, providing them with opportunities to connect with God, nature and others and consider how this informs the choices they make and the values and principles by which they choose to live

We are tasked with developing pupils’ spirituality.  Our vision will ensure that we provide opportunities for pupils to share, discuss and challenge their views, along with the views of others with the aim of seeking peace through disagreeing well.  Theme days such as Vision Day, Values Day and Spirituality Day provide opportunities for diligent working around these ideas.

It reflects our belief about ourselves and each other:

As precious beings, created by a loving God, we recognise the uniqueness of each child and ensure that they develop the skills they need to flourish academically, physically, mentally and spiritually regardless of their background or individual needs.

It reflects our belief about the world:

We live in a vibrant, varied and beautiful world yet also distorted, painful and distressing resulting in us covering challenging topics of climate change, poverty and racism in our collective worship.  Children are challenged to be agents of change, ensuring they act generously and bring about peace, seeking to improve our communities: local and further afield.  Our three pupil voice groups particularly focus on these areas.

Our Christian vision is lived out:

We have a challenging yet engaging curriculum that not only develops the pupils academically but encourages them to make links between subjects, think for themselves and to develop their own morals and principles.  We ensure pupils develop a positive mindset towards education in order to become diligent workers, a skill for now and for the workplace.  Our learning environments are developed in a way to promote diligent working through useful prompts, models and vocabulary on our working walls whilst peace is encouraged through our Big Questions where pupils look at Bible verses related to new units of work and discuss and debate questions around these – learning to disagree well.  Each February, we hold a community month where pupils reflect on what they have learnt and engage in some form of practical service with a desire to make a difference within their community – local, national or global.  Our approach to British Values, seeing how these are enshrined within the Bible, enhances our work around striving for peace and is covered through our annual British Values day and through a series of collective worships.  Our vision is supported by our values of forgiveness, repentance, humility, hope and service which were all values exhibited by those associated with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, on whom our vision is centred.

Our Christian vision has been developed by:

Pupils, staff, governors, parents and Dagenham Parish Church.  This was through reflecting on Psalm 34:14 for our vision and Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection for our values.

Approved by Governors/Local Governing Body: Autumn 2021 

Due to be reviewed: Autumn 2023