Ethos & Beliefs
As Waverley Abbey is a church school and a member of the Good Shepherd Trust MAT, assembly time is fun and thought provoking. The assemblies are acts of worship and provide a time for all children and staff to come together as a school family in God’s presence. The assemblies are always of a broadly Christian nature with readings from the Bible, prayers, reflections and Christian songs. The time together is valued by both staff and pupils and we endeavour to find fresh ways of bringing the Christian gospel values - inclusiveness in particular - to the forefront of our thinking.
We value an international approach, recognising that we are part of the wider community and seek words of wisdom from both Western and Eastern, ancient and modern texts and songs. The school supports a huge variety of different charities. We try to hold in tension the needs of all members of our family, including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and those of no faith; understanding our similarities and respecting our differences. This is very much part of how we work as an inclusive family together.
We thrive on sharing life in all its diversity, discovering that we may not have to be concerned just with our own self-development or self-fulfillment, but with God’s purposes for our world.
In assemblies there will be candles, music and tailored visual presentations which help to develop all children in their spiritual and moral development. The ideas and themes, which are well planned, are then followed up by the class teachers in weekly classroom assembly sessions. These are very important times where the whole class can spend time thinking, reflecting and praying according to their needs. The children can talk to one another and listen to ideas in this smaller group setting.
We spend time each year thinking about the world and at the wonders of creation. For many, Harvest is a time for reflecting on God’s goodness and celebrating the good things in our lives especially food and freedom. A collection is taken for a charity.
Remembrance Day is another special time for all the children and staff. We look at the conflicts of the past and those taking place today. We feel it’s important the children look at issues which reveal the frailty of humankind and ask questions about the mistakes of the past, looking to the future with optimism and hope.
At Christmas we celebrate in a number of different ways from class parties and staff pantos, to FOWA fairs and quizzes. The most central part of the celebrating however are the Christmas Performances and the Church Carol Services. These are very significant moments in the life of our school and as a Church School, we place a big emphasis on giving the children the opportunity to consider the nativity and what it means in today’s world.
The four year groups walk down to All Saints Church for a Carol Service which includes readings, prayers, drama, carols and a message chosen to guide the children in their thinking about this festival. We welcome our local clergy in our life as a Church of England School.
Again, as a Church School we believe it is important that the children have the opportunity to discuss at length the issues which come out of the Easter Story and why they are significant in the lives of Christians. The Easter assemblies support classroom RE in allowing the children to ask questions like: Why did Jesus have to die? What happened after the crucifixion? What part did Judas play? What next for us?
Pupils are encouraged to write down their prayers and responses if they want to. Our Easter Pause Day gives us a full day for contemplation and reflection on these central beliefs of the Christian Community.