The Christian ethos of our school and our commitment to encouraging community cohesion means that we:
- seek to promote a common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities
- appreciate and value the diversity of people‟s backgrounds and circumstances
- are determined to ensure that children from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities
- seek to foster strong and positive relationships between people from different backgrounds in our school, in the workplace and within our neighbourhood
The school recognises that we are all equal in the eyes of God and that we each possess unique gifts to be celebrated and encouraged with weaknesses being embraced and supported. These ‘gifts’ combine to create a vibrant school community in which individuals work together for the common good.
The school provides many opportunities through its community cohesion programme for pupils to ‘live out’ the Gospel, becoming aware, compassionate, knowledgeable and involved in the issues of our time for the benefit of our local community and the nation in which we live.
So, what do we do to achieve this?
We have strong charitable links with organisations that are important to us. Infant classes ‘adopt’ a charity each year to learn about and support. We have whole school fund raising events for our chosen charities; in recent years we have supported the following:
- work of the NSPCC (we raised a remarkable £3026.70!)
- cake events for MacMillan Cancer Support
- sponsored aerobics workout and raised £838.35 for LEPRA, a charity dedicated to wiping out Leprosy
- £378 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
And of course every autumn we celebrate Harvest Festival to share the earth’s bounty with our local charity for the homeless, ‘Homeless Action Barnet’ (HAB)
We cultivate and maintain strong links with our local community.
- Y3 help out at the Parish Toddler group.
- Y4 cook winter meals for the homeless and support the work of SHELTER.’
- Y5 attend Oakleigh Special School to join the children there for one of their lessons.
- Y6 attend the Parish Centre Lunch every fortnight to set up the hall, greet the diners, serve them their lunch, eat with them and clear away after the meal. And of course, at Christmas we sing carols in the community – sometimes outside Tesco, Friern Barnet or at a residential home for the elderly, for Age UK East Finchley and at our Parish Centre attached to St. John’s Church.
We also seek to cultivate strong links with foreign communities. In recent years these have included close friendships with communities in Mozambique through our association with ALMA; a mutually rewarding friendship with Yangzheng Xishan School in Guondong Province, China and two lengthy Comenius Projects which ran from 2012-2015, enabling us to form a close working relationship with schools in France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. These projects involved pupil and staff exchanges and the involvement of the whole school.
All of the activities mentioned above provide children with a sense of purpose and an understanding of their place within the community both near to home and further afield. They also provide opportunities for the children to serve and offer something back to the community while at the same time developing their understanding of their place in the world and how lucky they are compared to others less fortunate.
All of these activities support the Prevent and British Values agenda, currently so important to all schools in England.