What we believe informs our actions.
This is the focus of our staff discussions at present: What we believe about God, what we believe about children, what we believe about learning. What we believe informs our actions, therefore, it is really important that we look carefully at what we believe and look carefully at what we are doing, if we are to see our children flourish, our staff flourish and this community of people flourish.
We have started pulling out the key words from the documents that express who we are and what we do: our Philosophy, and Teaching & Learning Statements, Wellbeing Framework, and Discipline policy and to ask ourselves, ‘Are these words expressing the true heart of what we believe?’ Are our actions leading to the fulfilment of the heart of what we believe?’ It’s an exciting, fulfilling and inspiring process because we get to consider all of the amazing ways God is and can be expressed through the people in this place. The aim is to come away inspired and empowered to create new frameworks and to educate within new paradigms.
At the heart of what we believe is that all people are created ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ by our loving God. That God is the source of all knowledge, wisdom and wellbeing. Over the next few weeks I want to take a look at what we believe in the key areas of Teaching & Learning, Wellbeing and Behaviour Management.
Research has shown that student wellbeing is integral not just incidental to learning. Therefore this is a good starting point, as in addressing wellbeing we also address the other key areas. Firstly, wellbeing isn’t a neutral position; it isn’t just the absence of mental health issues. Wellbeing is linked to the positive resources we have for living life well, for actually thriving within our world.
We believe that God has created us in His image and He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. We believe He has created us to be joyful, optimistic, loving, resilient, strong, courageous, generous and happy. Scientific evidence suggests that character strengths such as The Fruits of the Spirit (Joy, Peace, Patience, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control ) that manifest in us because of His Spirit are all critical contributors to our wellbeing. The research shows high correlation between character strengths (The Fruit) and life satisfaction, engagement, pleasure, ability to deal well with stress and trauma and to negate aggression, anxiety and depression. Therefore, our wellbeing framework is about releasing and building in our students the strengths that are already there. Rather than focus on what is ‘wrong’ with people, our wellbeing framework focuses on what is ‘right’ with people enabling them to flourish. And we believe it is God’s intention that people flourish, living abundant lives.