Our Church School
me on the path I should go,
Help me see the ways I can grow,
Thankfulness1, Hope2, Friendship3, Wisdom4 and Trust5,
These values help me be kind and just.
Our Values Team help me write this school prayer, above. They felt it captured our Church School Values, as well as reflecting our Bible quote on the side of our school, put there nearly 150 years ago.
"Train up a child in the way he should go".
So, fast-forward to today and the only change is "they should go". Our girls in education deserve a direction, too! But the essence, the ethos, the aspiration has not changed since that quote was written in our Bible many generations ago: if we get it right at Thurlbear CE VA School today, it will create better adults for tomorrow.
1872...and the message is still the same nearly 150 years on.
At Thurlbear School, we use stories from the Bible in all kinds of ways, from our Open The Book team, to visitors and all the way through to Mr Gillan in our Collective Worships. Two stories stand out for us, as agreed with our Values Team, when we look for life lessons in our learning:
These two stories can be seen lived out in school every day! As one pupil told us: "The first time he built his house, he was just mistaken, because he might not have known what would happen. If he did it again, then he would be foolish!" (Charlie Y5)
"Jesus saw the best in Zacchaeus. Our teachers see the best in us, even when we might not know it ourselves." (Grace Y6)
At Thurlbear, our Values Team helps us think about the church, God, living well together and how we move forwards as a whole group of individuals! They help the teachers look at behaviour at breaks and discuss things with their own class groups. For example, they have helped Mr Gillan decide on a hard question: "How do our pupils look at spirituality? What does that even mean if you are 6 years old?" It is a tough role, but they do it with real enthusiasm. Here they are:
The Thurlbear family see spirituality as our relationship with ourselves, with others, with God and with nature and the environment.
- Windows help us to look out at the incredible world and people around us;
- Mirrors help us reflect on who we are and how God sees the best in us;
- Doors help us move through our learning about others and about ourselves, leading us to new thinking about ourselves, others, God and the environment.
How do we move this forward as a school?
Our teachers will plan specific times in our RE Long term plan that spiritual moments will be focussed on. Examples: FS, Y1 and 2 topic "Caring for God's Creatures", pupils take opportunties to wonder at the small, beautiful plants and creatures that they find, use magnifying glasses to study the intricacies and design of God's world. They reflect on God's spirit in these designs and feel the wonder inside themselves as sign that he wants us to protect these things for him.
In Y5 and 6, pupils answer questions such as: "What if God was only Holy? What if he was only Forgiving?" They critically look at this, reflecting on the effect of God on their own lives and those lives around them.
In Y3 and 4, the pupils investigate the story of Adam and Eve and what it shows us as humans, today: guilt, temptation, actions and consequences.
As a whole school, we celebrate and spirituallly reflect in our EXPERIENCE DAYS. These are organised by our friends from the Seven Sowers Benefice and provide regular, incredibly spiritual experiences for Christmas, Easter and the most recent day on Pentecost. Each year group experiences a differentiated session which aims to enrich the spiritual lives of our pupils with specific activities reflecting the impact of God upon them. They are incredibly popular with our pupils.
But.....our school is so much more than just specific planned spritual moments! Our teachers give opportunities for those golden moments in every day to wonder, reflect, think and discuss God's spirit in us.
For example: Our Y4, 5 and 6 walk around our field every day between lessons. They get time to reflect on our beautiful surroundings and reflect on what God has given Thurlbear pupils. Our Saints' Bell, placed in the bottom corner of our field, is a perfect reminder of this spiritual touchstone to God and our four saints.
Rector for the Seven Sowers Benefice
Job Title: Youth and Children's worker for the Blackdown Local Ministry Group.
Contact Information: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What I do: My position involves coordinating the youth and children's work across twelve parishes for two multi-parish benefices. I do regular schools work within the five primary schools located within this area, taking assemblies, spending time within classrooms and assisting wherever the schools ask.
In addition to the school's work, I help within the local churches with 'All-Age Worship' and 'Messy Church'. See below for a range of services and activities available within the Seven Sowers Benefice that are particularly suitable for families. We would love to see you at these services:
Corfe Village Hall - Open on Sunday, Corfe Village Hall
When: 2nd Sunday of every month (not August)
Time: 10.15 am
What: An hour for all the family exploring Christian faith and everyday life. Including refreshments.
Contact: David Ager t: 01823 335424 e:
Sunday Gang, West Hatch Village Hall
When: 3rd Sunday of every month
Time: 9.50 am
What: For ages up to 11 years (under 3s to have an adult stay). Any other adults always welcome too, or you can attend the 10.00 am service in the church, where the children join in for communion and the last hymn. Sunday Gang is an opportunity for children to hear more about God, experience God, sing songs, make crafts, play games and have fun together.
Contact: Alison Horsey t: 01823 481013 e:
Stoke St Mary Worship for All Services
When: 4th Sunday of every month
Time: 10.00 am
What: This service is suitable for all ages, is informal and includes activities for children and adults. It doesn't follow a specific pattern, but is usually led by various members of the Ministry Team (see Benefice website or Parish Magazine for specific details each month).
Over the past 3 years, a team of people from the church have been into the school to do Prayer Spaces (www.prayerspacesinschools.com) and more recently Easter Experience. See photographs for the good times we've had together.