In God's Hands we learn and grow
We believe that if we open our hearts and minds to the possibilities each and every one of us, no matter how small, can make a difference in our school and beyond. The parable of The Mustard Seed teaches us that God can do a lot with a little.
As an Infant School we teach our children that they are capable of achieving highly although they are very young.
Our vision drives our approach with pupils, staff and our school community. Our pupils have been taught that even as young children they can contribute a lot to their communities and beyond
Children's spiritual development is fundamental to our school, it enables us to look within ourselves, at our relationships and the wider world. Our school values of Love, Peace, Trust, Thankfulness, Forgiveness and Hope help to equip our school community to face the challenges and opportunities of life in all its fullness.
Meaningful spirituality is nurtured through opportunities for Space, Process, Imagination, Relationship, Intimacy and Trust (Rebecca Nye)
Religious education is taught to all children following the Diocesan guidance and has been highly praised in our SIAMS report (November 2016) 'Religious Education is outstanding and is integral to the whole curriculum'. In addition to our Diocesan units our RE curriculum also includes opportunities for children to explore life's big questions through our weekly outdoor learning where they also learn to appreciate our wonderful world.
Children will be given opportunities to understand Christianity as a global faith through collective worships and geography learning in our topic 'Around The World' where they will look at how Christmas is celebrated in many other countries and how this compares to the UK.
Our school vision and Christian values are reflected upon in our RE lessons, enabling Newdigate children to embark on a spiritual journey, allowing them to flourish. These insights, principles, beliefs and values we hope will influence, inspire and guide them through life.
Educating for Life
Teachers provide learning experiences that are creative, thought provoking and inspiring to develop Newdigate children's wisdom, knowledge and skills.
We welcome visitors, including those from our community, into school to talk about their faith and celebrations, whilst also visiting different places of worship, i.e Redhill Mosque, Sutton Synagogue and Guildford Cathedral.
We want Newdigate children to develop positive and respectful attitudes towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own and towards living in a society of diverse religions and beliefs. (See Geography and History curriculum including 'Stand Up, Stand Out' people, where we learn about inspiring people from different faiths.)
We are proud of the progress the children make in RE and their depth of knowledge and reflection. At the end of each RE unit, children are given time to reflect about how their learning has helped them to' learn and grow' assimilating their learning to our school vision.
Our RE Skills
We develop the following skills through discussions, drama, art, music, dance, writing and stories:
We hold two Christian 'Pause Days' every year and we have also introduced another Pause Day this year - Judaism - Hanukkah. On these special days, we 'pause' the ordinary timetable and spend the day focusing in creative and reflective ways. The children are usually in their tri-angels (mixed-age groups) and spend one session in each classroom over the course of the day, learning about three different aspects. The teaching and activities are carefully planned to be accessible to all ages and abilities and might include collaborative artwork, cooking, music, dance, drama and writing. Stories and objects are used to bring the learning to life and create an environment with opportunities to reflect, interpret, synthesise and empathise, which encourages spiritual development and deep thinking. Pause Days are always a genuine delight in which the children show their values in action as they support younger children, respect each other's ideas and build relationships
Our daily acts of collective worship are a valued and important part of our school day, for children and adults alike, and instrumental to the implementation of our school values and ethos. These are usually held in our school hall, but on occasions we have also used our outside space. We are lucky enough to have close links with St Peter's Church where we visit for fortnightly worships and hold Christmas, Harvest and Easter services to which parents are invited. The Rectors are also regular visitors to our school. Our Year 2 children are always seen as 'leaders' of our school and we have high expectations of them in this role. They are expected to contribute to collective worship as worship leaders, look after 2 younger children in our 'Tri-Angel' groups as 'Head Angels'. act as role models thinking about our school Bee rules and values and many other important jobs.
The children will also be taught the Trinitarian nature of God
We make sure our services are thought provoking and always chose a theme that will allow us to explore big questions and ideas. Harvest Festival this year, gave us the opportunity to reflect on the theme of 'Scattered but Connected' and celebrate the courageous advocacy of Marcus Rushford, acknowledging the impact of his hopes and aspirations to tackle child hunger in England.
Our Place of Peace (Reflection Space)
Our whole school prayer space is a quiet inclusive space that enables children, of all faiths and none, to explore life's questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way. They are able to use this quiet space to reflect on the value of the term. Children also have a reflective space in their classroom to pause, be still and reflect inwardly on what they see, hear and feel and develop their own personal response, which may include prayer.