Achievement by Faith and Work
It is intended that education at St Margaret’s should be both life-lasting and life-enhancing; the work and the life of the school takes place in an orderly atmosphere where self-discipline, mutual respect and the welfare of each individual are greatly valued. Importance is given to regular worship, religious education in the classroom and on the general presentation of Christianity in the school family. The school presents the teaching of Our Lord but recognises that commitment is a matter which must be left to each individual.
We regard the school as an extension of the family. We want everyone to enjoy their time with us, to be proud of their school and to uphold the principles that underpin a Christian School.
As an Academy we have adopted 8 Christian values which we feel are the basis of our community. The values were selected by the students through the voice of the Student Council; they are colour-coded.
- A Christian community is a community of faith, and at the heart of faith is TRUST. Trust is about letting go – putting ourselves in God’s, and in other people’s, hands. Jesus told his followers to “trust in God; trust also in me”; so as we work together, we expect members of our community to be trustworthy and reliable, and not to let others down.
- Education is not just about academic learning; it is about personal development too. As we work together, we expect that good working relationships, and FRIENDSHIPs, will develop, between students as well as between members of staff. In John 15, Jesus explicitly calls his disciples not servants, but friends. As a community, we celebrate the selflessness of friendship.
- JUSTICE is another value that is central to our community. Justice is about appreciating that our well-being is inextricably linked to everyone else’s. It is not just about our response when someone acts inappropriately; it is also about ensuring that everyone is accorded the dignity and the respect and that is rightfully theirs. Isaiah encouraged us to “seek justice!” – and we do.
- From time to time, however, we all get things wrong. Jesus commanded us to show FORGIVENESS to each other, and as a Christian community we seek to obey Him. Someone in the wrong should show self-discipline and apologise, making reparation where appropriate; someone who is wronged should accept an apology and not seek to humiliate.
- Education is about far more than chemicals, conjunctions and crotchets! As a community, we seek to foster WISDOM and true insight into the way life works – an understanding of the consequences of our thoughts, words and actions and an awareness of the true value of things. Such wisdom is rooted in a proper reverence for God: as the Psalmist puts it, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”.
- St Paul looked back on his life and was able to say that he had “run the race” right to the end. All those involved in education need to demonstrate similar levels of ENDURANCE – learning is the ultimate life-long task, a marathon not a sprint. By showing patience and resilience we will ensure that no-one is left behind, and that all are able to achieve their God-given potential.
- These values will be all the easier for us if we show COMPASSION. Compassion is more than just sympathy: like Jesus, we aim to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, understand their point of view, then do something about it – and thus to grow in faith.
- Underpinning all of these, we seek to be a community at PEACE. St Paul describes God as the God of peace. We therefore seek to demonstrate harmony, stability and security.
Worship is a priority and is the main starting point for the school day where students participate in regular and rich exposure to Christian Values. Students actively participate in worship and are keen to lead worship. Examples of whole school worship led by students can be found in the SMSC grid.
Acts of collective worship include:
- Form Worship -these are produced weekly according to the theme and are emailed to Form tutors, HoY and a school governor from the Ethos and Pastoral Committee.
- Year Worship -conducted by the Head of Year, based on a rolling programme and is delivered in St Anne’s church.
- School Worship -taken most regularly by the Worship Team, students and outside speakers. Outside speaker include Anglican Priests and Leaders of local Free Churches.
- Termly Services led by the Rev. Ian Greenwood in St Anne’s.
- Year 7 students and their families Welcome Communion.
- Year 11 and Year 13 students take their leave of school with a Special Leavers’ Service in St. Anne’s.
- A half termly morning Holy Communion (4th Thursday of each half term) for all, including students, parents, governors and staff is organized.
- Staff Holy Communion at the start of autumn term.
Student / Staff Services:
- The beginning of the autumn term
- Epiphany tide
- Ash Wednesday
- Ascension Day
- End of Summer Term
Special Communion Services:
- Year 7 Welcome Holy Communion
- Year 11 Leaver’s Holy Communion all in St Anne’s Church
- Year 13 Leaver’s Service
Although the overwhelming majority of pupils take part in religious education lessons and morning worship, the right of parents to withdraw a boy is respected. It is hoped that parents who have reservations about the subject will discuss the concerns with the Principal before withdrawing their child and, in the event of withdrawal an alternative scheme of worship should be provided by the parents and agreed by the Governors.