Our Church School
We are a Voluntary Controlled Church of England Infant School with close links to our parish church St Thomas' Being a church school we discuss the values and teachings of the Christian Faith, guided by the Church of England. We also openly discuss other faiths and encourage the children to question and discuss what they do and don't believe. Our school culture encourages the children to be curious about faith and to explore their own spiritual development. The whole school visits the church at key points during the year, such as Harvest, Christmas and Easter. As a church school, we have strong links with members of the parish and clergy visit the school on a regular basis. They sometimes lead worship (also known as assemblies), support the children in learning about different aspects of the church and also have representatives on our Governing Body.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHURCH SCHOOL
Our Vision and Values
Our core Christian values of love, courage and respect shape everything we do. We support children to become happy, confident and fulfilled individuals who build positive relationships. We help them understand and make a positive contribution to our diverse and rapidly changing society, and to challenge injustice in the world.
Our picture helps the children to articulate the vision. Waves - 'The waves are choppy and stormy like life can be sometimes. When life is difficult you feel scared and so we need courage to keep going' Boat - 'We are all on a journey together. The boat is rainbow coloured because we are all different. The difference doesn't matter we are all in the boat and God is on the journey with us' The Sun - 'God is looking over us and shining his light on us' The Mast - 'The mast is a cross to remind us that Jesus loves us and is with us on the journey. He will never leave us' The World - We are in God's world and so we must respect and care for it'
Our Church School Values
Jesus teaches us the best thing we can do to bring peace to the world is to love God and to love one another. He asks us to love everyone, even people who don’t like us. He gave us a perfect example by forgiving the people who killed him on the cross. That way he showed us that everyone is loved by God. St Paul wrote “Love is patient and kind” (Corinthians 13.4) and we show love in our school by being kind and patient with one another.
Jesus showed lots of courage by challenging those who were unkind to others. He also showed courage by being obedient to his Father in heaven and giving up his life for us by dying on the cross. Sometimes we are called to have courage by standing up for what we know is right. When we see people treated unfairly, we must try and do something to change that. We also are expected to show courage when we have to make difficult choices in life.
God created a beautiful world. We are all part of his wonderful creation and so are all worthy of respect. Jesus teaches us to look after our world and wants us to make wise choices in our lives. We are expected to care for each other, showing respect for our school and wider environment. We know that in order to protect our world we will have to make changes to the way we live now. We all contribute to our school aim: Learning Together
Events in the Church Calendar
The Church of England has a Vision for Education. This has four core strands; Wisdom, Hope, Community and Dignity.
Please click below to see the full Church of England Vision document.
Church of England Education Vision Document
We had our last SIAMS Inspection in 2016. Please click below to see the full report.
Collective Worship Policy Religious Education Policy Relationships and Health Education Policy
Governors at Lymington C of E Infant School are part of the wider school team who help ensure that our school’s Christian vision permeates the life of the school.
In 2022, the Foundation Governors took on the role of scrutinising key school policies as recommended by the School Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS ) process. The purpose was to identify where, within each policy, the school vision and values are made explicit.
The information within each policy forms part of the triangulated evidence drawn from a range of Governing Body monitoring activities e.g., ‘book scrutiny’, classroom visits, pupil and staff conferencing, stakeholder surveys etc. This evidence helps identify the extent to which the school’s practice is rooted in its Christian vision and values; where relevant, these findings then inform part of the School Improvement Plant. (SIP)
All policies scrutinised were found to reflect the schools Christian vison and values. On-going monitoring activities are evidence that each policy is ‘lived out’ in full and is true to the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision.
For further detail, these policies can be found on the home page of the school website under ‘School Info’.
- Teaching and Learning, including Assessment and Feedback policy
- Collective worship
- Equality and inclusion
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Religious education
- Relationships and Sex Education policy
- SMSC and spiritual development
Spirituality is a very personal experience. At Lymington C of E Infant School we understand the importance of developing the Spirituality of all of our learners. We recognise that Spirituality need not be linked to any faith and we have defined it at our school as follows;
Spirituality is not something we can see, it is something we feel inside ourselves.
It is about awe and wonder, asking questions, inspiration and being aware of something ‘bigger’ outside of ourselves’
We aim to provide a range of opportunities for children to develop their curiosity, ask 'big' questions and reflect on their experiences. We use a framework to support this based on four aspects; mirror moments, door moments, window moments and candle moments.
Our Religious Education
At Lymington C of E Infants, we believe that Religious Education should be taught within an enriched and meaningful curriculum. Religious Education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions in life, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit. We want children to reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions and other worldviews.
During R.E. lessons, teachers follow the Living Difference locally agreed syllabus, which is also followed by most schools in Hampshire. This curriculum gives the children the opportunity to discuss different themes such as special books, wisdom, and sacrifice while looking at other religions compared to the Christian faith. Children learn about Christianity alongside Judaism. The children continue this journey in the Junior school, learning about Christianity alongside Islam in Lower Key Stage 2 and in Upper Key Stage 2 they learn about Christianity alongside Buddhism.
The Understanding Christianity resource is also used to enrich our exploration of theological concepts, Christianity in particular. We base our teaching and learning style on the principle that excellent teaching in R.E. allows children to reflect on both what the religious concepts mean to them and also what they could mean to others. In an R.E. lesson at Lymington Infant School, visitors will see a wide range of challenging, enjoyable and stimulating experiences that are accessible to all. We have regular visitors, trips and artefacts to enrich learning.
Please click on the icon below to learn more about religious education at our school.
Understanding Christianity -Click here to read more about this Living Difference-Click here to read more about this
Church of England - Statement of entitlement for RE
At Lymington C of E Infant School collective worship plays a very important role in the life of our school. It is a special opportunity for the school community to come together. It also provides an opportunity for stillness and reflection in what is often a very busy and active day for our children. Worship has a crucial role to play in strengthening our caring Christian environment, where children feel confident, happy and fulfilled. We link each worship to our vision and our three values, love, courage and respect.
We follow a 2 year planning cycle which is underpinned by a chronological bible narrative plan of Old and New Testament stories. Alongside this, we also embrace the Anglican festivals throughout the year. Our Christian vision helps to shape our children's strong sense of justice. Worship can sometimes be a time when children are made aware of injustices around the world e.g. by exploring the work of a local or national charity supporting the vulnerable or marginalised. As a result, they are enabled to make a difference to the lives of others by responding proactively and compassionately to those in need.
Worship Planning Collective Worship Guidance
Part of our collective worship plan focuses on God’s creation linking to our core value of ‘respect’. Through this (and other wider provision) children are given the opportunity to respond emotionally to the wonder of the natural world around them which nurtures a love and respect for all living things. We expect our children to take care of their environment and ask ‘big questions’ centred around inequality and injustice. Collective worship sessions such as these provide purposeful starting points for further learning in class.
Collective Worship is delivered by a wide range of adults and sometimes the children may lead worship themselves. The school has strong working relationship with the parish church of St Thomas' and other local churches. Clergy, governors or other local groups such as 'Christians Together' are often involved in engaging the children through Bible stories. Collective worship can be quiet, calm and reflective or lively, highly engaging and interactive.
The children are regularly given the opportunity to respond and reflect more deeply on a Worship’s theme, within their classes, and these responses are often captured through activities based around the prayer space, in class worship or at quieter moments during the school day e.g., by writing a prayer request, placing prayer pebbles in a basket etc in the class prayer space areas
Our Collective worship is both inclusive and invitational. It is accessible to all through age appropriate bible storytelling and prayer. It allows all children to respond in ways that are non judgmental e.g it is ok to express both Christian belief and no belief. Children are always invited to pray, but also know it is acceptable to simply take time to focus on the candle flames if they do not feel at ease praying to God. Children can choose to actively participate at appropriate times or observe and reflect.
Collective Worship follows the pattern below:
Monday; Headteachers worship. This may be a Bible story based around our values of love, courage and respect, or learning about a key event such as Harvest or Advent
Tuesday; Vicar, Clergy or external visitor e.g Christians Together. This will often be an interactive 'Open the Book' worship, involving role play.
Wednesday; Celebration worship. In this worship we celebrate birthdays, special events and achievements. There is a focus on how we are all unique individuals with our own interests and talents.
Thursday; Singing worship. A joyous and uplifting time to share a range of modern and old songs together.
Friday: Class worship. This worship provides an opportunity in a smaller group for reflection on any central themes, current events or topics pertinent to the class.
Church Foundation Documents
Prayer is always invitational and accessible to all regardless of age or need. There are many varied prayer and reflection activities which children are able to use. Examples are prayer chains, prayer stones/pebbles, prayer flags, prayer walls. Each classroom has a prayer space where the children can use the activities provided, or simply be 'still' and reflect.
We are very lucky to enjoy close links with our local Church. For more information on St Thomas' Church Lymington please click here.
For information about Winchester and Portsmouth Diocese Education please click here.
Messy Church is a family-centred worship held on the third Wednesday of each month. It is a fun session led by a committed team from St Thomas' church and currently takes place in the school hall. The Messy church team organise songs, craft, refreshments, Bible stories and prayers. These sessions are not just for children from Lymington C of E infant school - all children whatever their ages and schools will be welcome, provided they are accompanied by a parent or other adult carer.