The Church of England vision for Education is that children who are part of a school community formed around their vision will discover an education that embraces excellence and academic rigour within the wider framework of spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral and social development and enables them to flourish.
At Lady Seaward's Church of England Primary School, we constantly reflect on the question: How well does the school support all pupils in their spiritual development enabling all pupils to flourish?
In the SIAMS inspection document, it mentions how there are seven strands for a school to consider when it reflects on how effective it is being:
- Vision and Leadership
- Wisdom, Knowledge, and Skills
- Character Development: Hope, Aspiration, and Courageous Advocacy
- Community and Living Well Together
- Dignity and Respect
- Impact of Collective Worship
- Effectiveness of Religious Education.
Strand 3: Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
Our school came into being because of the aspiration of one individual to support children in their spiritual development and to see them flourish. Lady Seaward was a benefactor, who in the 1800s, was so full of compassion for the children of the area that she took it upon herself to turn her hope for a better future into action, the effects of which we are still benefitting from today.
At Lady Seaward's, we are aware of our history and the legacy left by Lady Seaward. As educators, we are constantly reflecting on our curriculum and exploring how we can support character development across all subjects.
We have started on our 'Journey towards the Heart of God' by beginning to see ourselves as global citizens. We are constantly looking to facilitate and enable discussion in order to help our learners make sense of themselves, our community and the wider world.
To support this, we use the vehicle of 'Windows, Mirrors and Doors'.
'Windows' - the need to become aware of the world in all its wonder but a sad realisation of its many problems i.e. to realise that the world is both 'awe-full' but also sadly 'awful' at times too (to be aware of both its 'Wows' but also its 'Ows')
'Mirrors' - the need to have a chance to reflect or think on this both alone and with others
'Doors' - the need to apply what has been learnt from this process in some sort of expressive, active way.
At Lady Seaward's, our vision is for all of us to 'Journey towards the Heart of God'. God's heart is for love and justice.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17
Courageous advocacy is the 'door'. We long for our children to be so full of compassion that they seek to become active global citizens relentless in their pursuit of love and justice for others.
We are taking inspiration from Christian Aid and working towards their 'Global Neighbours accreditation scheme', which is first and foremost about children: their needs and aspirations, their character and their hopes for the world in which they are growing up.
Edukid is a UK registered charity that helps to remove the barriers to education faced by children living in poverty and conflict.
As a school community, we sponsor a child through 'Edukid'. His name is Ryan. He is twelve years old and lives in Uganda. There is a display in the school dedicated to Ryan, where children can stop, reflect, pray and ask questions. Children at Lady Seaward's have and will continue to have opportunities to link up with Ryan via the internet and ask him about his life and education. Last year, the pupils ran 'to the moon' to help raise money for Ryan.