Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
The Church of England has a vision for education being ‘deeply Christian, serving the common good’. The four basic elements that run through the Church of England’s vision are:
These are also key elements of what it means to equip pupils to be courageous advocates for the common good, locally and globally. Please see below just some of the ways we at St John’s we fulfil these elements.
The skills, knowledge, techniques and mindfulness ethos embedded throughout Jigsaw supports the school’s aim to be “Deeply Christian and serving the common good”.
Please see document for further information: https://www.jigsawpshe.com/jigsaw-pshe-supports-2018-siams-inspection-framework/
Social Action Week
Each year the children at St John’s take part in a social action project week. In 2019 the theme was ‘Exploitation of the Natural world’. This was inspired by work completed in Year 5 with children wanting to do something to reduce the use of plastics we use. The week of learning culminated in a sustainability fayre, where each year group had reused rubbish to create a useable product. As a school we raised over £200 which was donated to 4oceans, a charity working to clean up our oceans. Please see link for more information – https://4ocean.com/
Members of the Ethos Group from Year 4 launched our ‘Ecobrick project’. An ecobrick is a building block made entirely from unrecyclable plastic. It’s created by filling a plastic bottle with clean, dry plastic until it’s packed tightly and can be used as a building block. Ecobricks can be used in all sorts of sustainable building projects, which makes them a great way to dispose of plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfill, and potentially, the ocean. Further information can be found at https://www.ecobricks.org/
Rotakids and Character Award
In September 2019 we launched Rotakids after school club. The club is run weekly to support our children to develop the strength, knowledge, skills, enthusiasm and determination to keep on finding ways to change the world, locally and globally, into a more peaceful place where people can enjoy their lives.
The pupils, helped by the class teacher and a visiting member of the local Rotary club, choose ideas for projects. A minimum of three service projects a year are completed — one each for our school and local communities, and one that furthers international understanding. The children visit a local nursing home once a term, complete a litter pick on our school grounds, as well as in our local community, and work with the local council to see what projects they can get involved in around Midsomer Norton.
The children also have the opportunity in this club to complete activities from their 'Citizenship and Character Award Passport'. The new ‘Citizenship and Character Award’ has been designed to encourage our children to develop their own personal skills that will help them to lead healthy and happy lives. The award has been created to develop five main character strands:
‘Developing Me’ – To explore personal skills and interests.
‘Physical Me’ – To encourage physical activity, including healthy eating.
‘Wellbeing Me’ – To develop positive mental health and wellbeing.
‘Local Me’ – To discover and celebrate the local area.
‘Global Me’ – To learn more about their place as a global citizen.
As a school we hold many fundraising events throughout the year to support local and national charities. Here are just a few examples of the charitable giving that has taken place recently:
We are currently working towards the Christian Aid Global Neighbours bronze award as a way of recognising the global education we provide to our children.
Further information can be found at: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/schools/global-neighbours/about-accreditation-scheme
St John the Baptist Church
Parish Church of Midsomer Norton & Clandown
St John’s School has close ties to the parish church. Families from St John’s School are part of the church community and frequently visit for services, concerts and performances. St John’s is a place of worship, prayer, friendship, challenge, music, social action and so much more! They are a lively parish in the catholic tradition of the Church of England. They exist to be a community of people who worship together and grow in faith and friendship.
For further information: https://www.stjohnschurchmsn.org.uk/about-us
Welton Baptist Church
Welton Baptist Church have a strong community focus and are very involved in Midsomer Norton through toddler groups, café’s, kids clubs, meetings for the elderly and special events. The Church meets on Sundays at Paulton Rovers and has a team that welcome the opportunity to visit St Johns. Many families from the school are involved with the church, with Nfest holiday club being an annual highlight.
For further information: https://www.weltonchurch.org.uk
Midsomer Norton Methodist Church
Midsomer Norton Methodist Church can be found on the High Street. They offer a variety of activities and worship opportunities for all ages and offer a very warm welcome to people of all ages and stages of faith…from those who have been Christians for many years to those who have no faith and those who are wanting to explore faith. They welcome opportunities to serve the community both through church activities and in partnership with other organisations in the community.
For further information: https://www.msnmcc.org
One of the privileges of belonging to a Church of England school is the annual leavers’ service held at Wells Cathedral. At St John’s this is regarded as a ‘rite of passage’ and viewed with great anticipation. It is an opportunity to come together with other church schools within the Diocese of Bath and Wells to gain an understanding of being part of this wider community and to celebrate and give thanks for our time at primary school whilst also looking forward to the next phase – moving on to secondary school.
The morning is spent working with others on a variety of tasks and workshops ranging from dance, mime and drama right through to considering what life might be like living in a village in Zambia. The day culminates in a service of thanksgiving where hymns are sung and prayers are said. It is a very proud and moving moment when children from every school process through the cathedral carrying their banner representing their peers and the community to which they belong. Before the service closes, each school is presented with a candle. At St John’s, we use our candle in our whole school acts of worship and remember the Year 6 children who have moved on to their new schools and new challenges.