Christian Vision and Associated Values
Jesus said, “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10)
This is the precept upon which Rochester Riverside is founded. We are committed to enabling each member of our community to flourish.
With the role model of Christ as our cornerstone, we are building together a new community - a bridge from our past to the future.
The development of this vision and our associated values is firmly rooted in our reflection on the passage in Matthew 16:13 - 20 where Jesus asks His disciples, “Who do you say I am?”. On opening, this passage was explored throughout our school community. We are challenged to consider the importance of our identity by asking, “Who are we? Who do people say we are?”. We have responded by exploring how we live with Jesus as our role model. With this in mind we all try to live using a set of values associated with our vision:
Our vision defines all that we do, both within our school community and beyond.
Religious Character or Faith Ethos
Faith Designation - The school is a faith-designated school as part of the Diocese of Rochester; its parish church being Rochester Cathedral. This important link will have a significant role in shaping the identity of the school community. In the case of oversubscription, we will select some students based on faith, as described in the Articles of The Pilgrim MAT and in the school’s admission policy. Students will therefore come from a mix of Christian backgrounds from a variety of different traditions and ethnic heritage as well as from no faith and other faith backgrounds.
Christian ethos of the school - The school is distinctively Christian serving the common good. We want to embrace the idea of providing distinctive education but in its widest sense.
Once a child/family is admitted to the primary school, s/he/they are of equal worth and value. The language used by all members of the community is of ‘we’ and ‘us’, highlighting the sense of community and of our interdependence. Teaching and pastoral groupings will not discriminate on grounds of faith or the absence of faith. Full attendance at acts of worship is expected and acts of worship are planned to offer support and appropriate challenge to all members of the school community.
Notwithstanding this, the school will publicise appropriately and make suitable arrangements, were any parent to ask for their legal right to withdrawal from worship. The school is seeking to be clear about its faith basis but to engage openly and honestly with explorations of what faith means and so our hope would be that all members of the community would find the worship so inclusive that they would want to be part of it.
Should the request for withdrawal be made so that a student can concentrate on issues pertaining to a particular faith, then a room is made available for worship and/or study.
At Riverside, through our enlightened and compassionate Christian values we create and sustain aspirational, adventurous and risk-taking children. Our values generate/support our ethos and vice versa.
We welcome all families who support our shared values regardless of faith.
School Collective Worship, Assemblies and Celebrations - Prayer, reflection, worship and celebration will all be valued by the school. Worship will also be a ‘time to breathe’; a time when all can come together to find a space, silence and quietness to reflect on their own spirituality, values and place in the world. Worship is a significant and sacred time; central to the fabric of the school.
The daily act of worship in the school will vary between whole school, phase and year group worship. Regular worship is taken by the members of the clergy and other representatives of Christian groups such as The Family Trust. All students can engage with debate and reflection on current topics and thoughts through interactive displays and planned activities. Worship will use current examples, both religious and non-religious, to explore themes such as compassion, creativity, tolerance and friendship.
Most religious traditions have festivals or similar. The school will note and mark appropriately as many festivals as is possible as they mark the progress of a year and vary between reflection and joy. Non-religious landmarks such as Remembrance Day will also be on the school’s calendar.