Northaw C of E Primary School

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Church & Worship

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Our Christian ethos

We work closely with our local and associated church, St Thomas a Becket  as well as with our local community.  We value the contribution that everyone makes to school life, placing importance on the welfare of individuals. It is our aim that at the end of our pupils’ time at Northaw Church of England School they will have developed a sense of achievement and self-esteem as a result of their experiences here and will leave us for their secondary school, happy, effective learners, with a positive attitude to life long learning.

A Christian school 

The school’s aims form its objectives both in relationships and through the curriculum. We are a Christian school, not merely a school for Christians and welcome children from other religious denominations and faiths. We are proud of our strong links to St Thomas a Becket Church and with our Vicar Reverend Christopher Kilgour, who spends much time working with the Head Teacher, the teachers and the children of our school and who is a member of our Governing Body. In the context of this, all children will receive teaching in Religious Education which, whilst having a multi-cultural element, will be based on the beliefs of the Church of England. Each year group in school studies Christianity, Judaism and Islam. We build on our understanding and interpretations as we grow and learn throughout the school and the children learn through an enquiry based approach using 'ultimate questions' and philosophical debate as a foundation. 

Collective worship

Worship in our school is inspirational and uplifting with carefully planned themes based firmly on the Bible and Christian values. Revd. Kilgour, the Head Teacher and all staff  are keen to ensure pupils have a meaningful experience where God, Jesus and the Trinitarian nature of Christianity is at the heart of worship. Prayer and reflection are central to the experience of our collective worships and in addition pupils are offered a deeper and more personal experience in class through teaching, discussion and further reflection. Consequently, our pupils talk articulately, confidently and enthusiastically about their beliefs and ideas about faith.

Worship diary

11th November 2019

Last week in Worship, we introduced the theme of Responsibility. This was linked to Remembrance Day by our guest speaker Poala Munn. Poala works for the Royal British Legion and she came to talk about Remembrance Day and why we have poppies. She briefly described the WW1 trenches and the dreadful conditions the soldiers were living in. Once the war was over, the land was devastated. Poala described how from the devastation, new life was created by the growth of the poppies. The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae was read and the children reflected on all people’s lives that have been affected by wars.

On this special day, as a school we spent two minutes in silence at 11 o’clock remembering all the soldiers and people affected by the tragedy of war.

4th November 2019

Just before half term we were lucky enough to have a Hindu visitor in school. She came in to share some of the traditions surrounding Diwali and was able to talk to all of the children during our assembly. The children were even able to have a go at a traditional Hindu song!

After break, the children in Apples & Pears worked in groups to create special patterns called Rangolis. These types of patterns are often created on the ground outside the front door of Hindu homes during Diwali to welcome the goddess Lakshmi.

Our visitor then talked to Willow class about the many different forms of God in which Hindus believe. Each form holds a weapon to vanquish evil and a boon to bring blessings. The children were given the opportunity to work in small groups and develop their own image of God, thinking about the different facets of God’s character and how these might be symbolised.

21st October 2019

In worship this week, we talked about our school vision: Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith. We discussed the underpinning 6Rs that help us to live together well. In school we endeavour to mimic the Church of England’s vision for schools, here is a summary:

‘In line with the Church of England's role as the established Church, our vision is for the common good of the whole community. Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills: enabling discipline, confidence and delight in seeking wisdom and knowledge, and developing talents in all areas of life. Educating for hope and aspiration: enabling healing, repair and renewal, coping wisely when things go wrong, opening horizons and guiding people into ways of fulfilling them.

Educating for community and living well together: a core focus on relationships, participation in communities and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together.

Educating for dignity and respect: the basic principle of respect for the value and preciousness of each person, treating each person as a unique individual of inherent worth.’

14th October 2019

In worship, the children continued to learn about Jesus’ miracles. These were a sign of God’s generosity. We talked about how Jesus often got involved in people’s situations and changed things in a way that wasn’t humanly possible. We also talked about where the stories appeared in the Bible. The gospel stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John describe how Jesus healed the sick, raised people from the dead, changed water into wine, fed a great crowd with very little food, calmed a storm and even walked on water. The stories of how Jesus came to be born and how he was raised from the dead are miraculous themselves. Later, the disciples themselves performed many miracles, believing that Jesus had given them the power to do the same things he had done through the Holy Spirit.

Forever in Faith

Jesus’ miracles are seen by Christians as signposts that point to who Jesus was and the power and divine authority he had. Christians also believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit miracles still happen today: that God still intervenes in people’s lives and changes situations that seem impossible and without hope. Many Christians share stories of miracles they have seen in their own lives and the lives of others. Have you seen a miracle?

7th October 2019

In worship this week we looked at this picture showing Jesus in a boat with his friends: Peace Be Still by He Qi. The Bible text that accompanied it was from Mark Chapter 4 verses 35-41 in which Jesus calms the storm. There are striking parallels between the physical events of the story and the spiritual experiences of people today. In ‘the storms of life’ it can often seem as if God doesn’t care and is, as it were, ‘asleep’. Yet the experience of many who cry out to God in prayer is that Jesus can and does bring inward peace and stills the soul.

Appropriately our Reflection Rangers told the story of the generosity of The Rainbow Fish. Thank you for your generosity to those less fortunate through your harvest contributions, Age UK, Macmillan and our own BRUNFAST.

30th September 2019

Here is a child’s reflection on Learning for tomorrow:

*learning from your mistakes;

*learning for adulthood;

* learning new things;

*learning new life skills (crucial crew); *learning to be healthy = have a good mind- set and eating good food;

*learning to be friendly;

*learning as you go;

*use skills for the future;

*learning more advanced things (technology);

*learning about safety;

*high standard learning;

*learning how to be a better, kinder person in the future;

*how to deal with tough situations;

*taking what you learn today to make tomorrow even better;

*applying life skills you learn in school for later in life;

*it’s like learning a song to sing tomorrow.

23rd September 2019

This term our focus for worship has been the Christian value of generosity. It’s a little ironic that my letter this week contains many requests for your generosity in terms of giving money. The children have been thinking about how to be generous in many ways, in terms of time, of friendship and sometimes of patience!

In school worship we have been linking our Christian value of generosity to the good deeds of Jesus in the New Testament.

Last week we talked about the kindness of a princess who brought up baby Moses as her own.

16th September 2019

During worship last week, the children were introduced to two of Jesus’ miracles the first of which demonstrated how Jesus cared about the dignity of ordinary people. And the second talked about how Jesus healed out of compassion. We talked about how humility, compassion, wisdom and faith are still factors in many miracles today.

Living for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith.

Here is a child’s reflection on Loving for Today and what this means to them.

9th September 2019

This half term’s value is ‘generosity’ and the Worship Plan links with this and the liturgy. Following last year’s successful planning and delivery of worship by our Reflection Rangers, we will be increasing their responsibilities to include keeping a reflection journal.

Miss Barker has registered our school with the British Council. Our global links with a school in Uganda reinforces our link global communities. Further to this, Mrs Burton has registered our school for Around the World with Paddington. Each month Paddington sends a postcard from a different part of the world; Mrs Burton will convey the information in Friday worship with the support of the Reflection Rangers.

19th July 2019

We enjoyed a fabulous Gospel Choir workshop this week.

Leonn and Marlon patiently taught each class the uplifting songs which culminated in our performance at the end of the day in the playground. What a fun way to give thanks for the past year!

12th July 2019

This week we had a visit from Thalea Turowski who works for Save the Children. This is the second time Thalea has come to let us know how the money we have raised has made a real difference to less fortunate children. She showed a video about a young Indian girl called Suraya who loves studying and wants to become a lawyer. When she was 10 her mother couldn’t afford to send her to school so she had to work in the fields picking chilli peppers. This work was very hard and made her hands very sore. A local Save the Children ambassador was made aware of Suraya’s situation and they intervened on her behalf to get financial help for the family from the Indian government so she could return to school. She has spent the last few months catching up with the schoolwork she missed but is now determined to succeed in her quest to become a lawyer so she can help other families.

Stories with happy endings like this are made possible because of your generosity. Thank you for supporting Save the Children.

We will support a different charity next academic year, but Thalea has become a friend of Northaw School and has offered to come back to tell us more.

5th July 2019

This week in worship we have been focusing on Jesus being ‘the light of the world’. In His life on earth Jesus brought light and joy to many people who felt that their lives were dark and without hope. Jesus told his friends to follow his example of service to others, and down the ages people have been doing just that.

Oak class have been researching some modern day social action personalities such as Nelson Mandela, Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Fry. The children have produced some very thoughtful written work about these people, including some questions they would ask them if they could.

28th June 2019

To celebrate Happiness Day as part of our Get Active Week, we started the day with a collective Mindfulness session. We thought about what made us happy and how we could help to bring happiness in to the lives of others.

We ended our assembly by dancing as this was something many children said brings them joy.

21st June 2019

This week the children have been creating masterpieces that represent the Trinity.

Today we held a special Trinity assembly; each class showed and shared their artistic representations. Please look out for photos on the website.

We also talked about change. Year 6 were asked what has changed in our school since they have been here. All the children were asked what has changed in their family. This links to our school vision “Living for today, learning for tomorrow, forever in faith” which was derived from a bible verse found in Hebrews, Chapter 13 verse 8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”.

In worship on Tuesday Mrs Burton told the story of Saul who became Paul. She blindfolded one of the children and asked another child to give him directions.

14th June 2019

This week we have continued to talk about Pentecost and in particular the ‘fruits of the Spirit’. Mr Napoleon asked the children to think about different types of fruit; what they look and taste like, where and how they grow, when they grow, and what makes them good. Is it the richness in their colour? The softness of the peal? Their shape?

In the Bible, Paul talks about fruit but he doesn’t mean the fruit we eat. He means the qualities a person may have to be a good and faithful follower of Christ. Paul writes “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”. Galations chapter 5 verses 22 -23

7th June 2019

This week in worship we have been looking at “Ascension”. This is the time when Jesus, having appeared to His disciples after His crucifixtion, ascended into heaven to return to His Father.

“When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven”. Luke Chapter 24 verses 50-51

We talked about how the disciples must have felt when Jesus left them. Were they afraid?

On Wednesday Mrs Whales delivered an assembly about ‘Fear’. She read the story of Daniel in the lion’s den which tells us that, although Daniel might have been afraid, he trusted in God’s promise that no harm would come to him and it didn’t!

24th May 2019

This week our Reflection Rangers delivered an assembly using the story “Giraffes can’t dance” to help us focus on the values of resilience and respect. Afterwards the children spoke about how the story reminded them of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness.

On Tuesday, Oak class went on a Faith Tour at Queens Park in Bedford. This collaboration of multi faiths gave the children an opportunity to visit a Sikh Gurdwara, a Mosque and an Anglican Church and learn more about these different faiths. The tour also demonstrates how different faiths can live in friendship, peace and tolerance of each other. A truly educational experience!

17th May 2019

In this week’s worship we have continued to look at Bible stories that tell of Jesus appearing after his death on the cross.

We heard about Thomas who didn’t believe the other disciples when they told him they had seen Jesus.

“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John. Chapter 20. Verses 25 – 29.

This reminds ask that it is often good to ask questions; to test things out not just take things at face value. Sometimes we don’t ask because we are embarrassed or ashamed. Jesus encouraged Thomas to find out for himself.

10th May 2019

In worship this week we have been thinking about how other people recognise us, not just by our looks but in our personalities and mannerisms.

We heard a part of the Bible story about the Road to Emmaus which is found in Luke Chapter 24 verses 13 – 35. It tells of Jesus appearing to some of the disciples after His death and how they didn’t recognise Him at first.

On Wednesday we thought about our responsibility to care for the planet. Plastic Free Day highlighted just how much plastic we have in our lives. It also made us think of ways we could eliminate some plastics such as carrier bags and single use bottles.

3rd May 2019

On Tuesday, we were privileged to have a special visitor from the Jewish community come and talk to the children during assembly. His name was Reynold Rosenberg and he was from the Whisper Project. During the assembly, he told the children the ‘Passover’ Bible story and explained why it is important in the Jewish faith. Following on from this, Oak class had a workshop where they discussed the Hebrew people’s exodus from Egypt and how God dictated the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. As part of this session, the children were able to try Matzah (unrisen bread eaten during the Passover festival), and had lots of their questions about Jewish beliefs and customs answered.

26th April 2019

This term we will be focusing on the 6Rs as part of our worship theme and how they link with our school vision: Living for today, learning for tomorrow, forever in faith. This week we started with a discussion about ‘Respect’ and what it means to the children. We talked about how it is ok to be different, yet we should treat everyone the wa