Aldbury Primary & Nursery School: Vision, Aims and Values
‘To live life in all its fullness’ John 10:10
Our vision at Aldbury is to ensure that everything we do is underpinned by our core values of Respect, Responsibility and Friendship.
Respect - respect each other and the environment God has given to us
Responsibility - take responsibility for our learning and the choices we make
Friendship - somewhere that is supporting, caring and accepting
These values will help us flourish and guide us to 'live life in all its fullness'
Our Aims as a school community are that we
‘Love your neighbour, as you love yourself’ Matthew 22:29
We also have twelve Christian values that we teach over a two year cycle, one value each half term. These can be found below.
A short study of the biblical narrative underpinning Aldbury School’s Vision and Values.
‘Life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10)
In the context of shepherding imagery (the original pastoral care), Jesus says that he has come ‘To bring life in all its fullness’. Throughout this section of John’s gospel, Jesus is using metaphors of sheep and gates and pasture, things familiar to his first century listeners.
Jesus says, ‘I am the gate for the sheep’ (John 10:7). A first century sheepfold would have been a small pen, usually with stone walls, with only one way in or out. The gate Jesus describes himself to be isn’t a gate to keep sheep in, but one which lets the sheep out to find life-giving pastures outside the sheep-pen. We might imagine a sign attached to this gate that says, ‘life in all its fullness, this way’!
Jesus’ statement ‘I came to bring life in all its fullness’ is embedded in strong images of caring, nurturing, and flourishing. It’s a statement that points to the many possibilities that life offers us and the numerous ways in which God calls us to thrive and grow.
Jesus also says, ‘I am the good shepherd’ (John 10:11). In part, he’s referencing the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel’s description of a model shepherd as one who cares for the sheep, rescuing them from the places to which they’ve been scattered, feeding them, and tending to the weak, the injured, and the lost. (Ezekiel 34:11-16)
‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39)
The Christian understanding of the word love comes from the understanding of God’s nature made known in Christ. From this perspective we come to know love as unmotivated and unmanipulated, unconditional and unlimited. Such love isn’t a matter of feeling, but of commitment and action.
Jesus’ statement ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ assumes that the one showing love to their neighbour already has love for themselves. We understand that for many this isn’t the case. Sometimes help is needed for us to come to a place of feeling love towards oneself. Insecure attachment, challenging early circumstances, and many other things can all leave a child (and adult) with a sense of being unlovable to a greater or lesser extent. A nurturing environment in which care can be tailored to the individual can bring healing, enabling a person to feel that they are deserving of love, and free to pursue life in all its fullness.
Michelle Grace, 5/7/21