Give to everyone what you owe them:... if [you owe] respect, give respect.
Christians work towards a vision of the world as a place of peace, love and justice. In this vision, each person is offered respect in their uniqueness in the eyes of God. Respect means providing all people with what is right and fair for them: life, health, freedom, and dignity. The Bible is full of teachings about treating people respectfully (e.g. Exodus 23:2, 6). Paul, one of the founders of the early Christian church, writes in his letter to the Romans that they should “honour one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). Living respectfully is about creating a culture in which each person recognises that their own good is bound up with the good of others.
In our school community children are taught a broad and balanced curriculum that encompasses equality and diversity. Children explore a range of different faiths, cultures and belief systems and are encouraged to see and respect the differences between them. Children at Newton on Trent Church of England Primary School are nurtured to respect themselves, each other and our school in order for us to create a school environment based on peace, love and justice.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body.
Christians recognise that the value of honesty is its importance in human relationships – dishonesty is harmful because of the way in which it damages relationships between people. The Christian concept of God as Trinity models a perfect relationship and Jesus’ life and teaching consistently emphasise the importance of building positive relationships (e.g. Luke 6:31). Christians endeavour to be trustworthy so that they can be in the best position to serve others and transform society for the better.
In our school community, we encourage honesty in everything we do. Our behaviour policy is based on building a restorative ethos towards behaviour and positive relationships. Children are supported in taking responsibility for their own behaviour choices both good and bad. They are given guidance on how to reflect on their behaviour and the impact it can have on others around them. School is committed to providing an open, honest and safe environment for children to discuss their success, worries and emotions.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Christians take courage from the belief that God is always alongside them. Jesus promises that he leaves his followers with peace: “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). The Bible is full of stories of people showing courage: Moses confronting Pharaoh, Daniel in the lion’s den, the boy David fighting the giant Goliath, Jesus facing the violence of the crowds as he walked to his place of crucifixion. In each of these stories, God promises to be steadfast and remain alongside them. For Christians, this is a source of great hope and courage. They see it as their duty to support those who feel vulnerable and bring courage to those who feel afraid.
In our school community, children are supported and encouraged to try new things that they may not be familiar with and enjoy every minute of their journey with us here at Newton. Children are taught that taking risks and making mistakes are vital in order for us to learn and achieve and that sometimes having courage to do something even though you are worried or afraid can bring about the most progress. Children learn through the stories of Christianity that courage is about standing up for something that is right even though it could be a harder thing to do.