Rossington All Saints Theological Rationale
Summary of the theological rationale of Rossington All Saints
- in a spirit of hope, we aim above and beyond, experiencing life in all its fulness
- we confidently pursue wisdom and learning offered in God’s world
- we persevere, running the race, taking the cross
- we take pride in our learning, changing the world
- we strive to uphold the four Christian values: advocacy, joy, compassion and equality.
Above and beyond
Rossington All Saints is a school of aspiration where students experience “Life in all its fullness” (John 10:10b) The school presents education and learning as a means of rising and flourishing. In a spirit of hope, the school calls upon and challenges all members of the school community to aspire to go above and beyond in their vision for their personal flourishing. In this way the school enacts the Church of England’s Vision for Education (p.10), which affirms that “Hope in God’s future for the world, in God’s ongoing love and compassion for all people, and for the whole of creation, and in God’s promise of life in all its fullness are at the root of our dedication to educating for hope and aspiration.”
In practical terms this theological vision leads the school to challenge and call it’s community to build on past attainment, own their aspirations and plot a pilgrim path towards them and ensure they build a portfolio of experience that enhances future prospects. The school challenges it’s young people with the message set out by one of our house icons; Michelle Obama. She delivered a speech to a school stating: "We are counting on every single one of you to be the best that you can be."
Learning changing lives
At Rossington All Saints, we are about changing lives’. We practice the confidence expressed in the Church of England’s Vision for Education (p.8): “There is confidence that the pursuit of wisdom, knowledge and skills is consistent with how God has shaped the world and ourselves.” In a manner consistent with the Wisdom tradition of the Old Testament (Proverbs 1:6, 18:15), students are encouraged to understand the world in which they live, in pursuit of learning and the outworking of abundant life. In the words of the prophet Jeremiah we are encouraged to: “Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” (from Jeremiah 6:16). Or as one of our icons Stephen Hawking puts it, we call upon students to "Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. "
We acknowledge the need for grit and resilience – qualities the Apostle Paul endorses when he speaks of the perseverance to run the race (Philippians 2:16, 3;14). Jesus issued the stark challenge to those who followed him that it would be like taking up a cross (Matt 16:24). We are clear with our students that the right way forward is sometimes the harder road (Matthew 7:13,14). However, within the context of this commitment we then grace, celebrating mistakes as learning opportunities and supporting learners on their journeys. We follow the inspiration given by our house icon Nelson Mandela who said “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb”
Rossington All Saints nurtures a sense of pride in the school community. Children are encouraged to take pride in their conduct and readiness for learning. There is a good spiritual basis in the New Testament for taking pride in work done well and becoming the people we are to be. The Apostle Paul delighted in the outworking of God’s life in the lives of others (Philippians 1:6) and, in our learning, we echo Paul’s words in Galatians 6:4: “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else”
Being proud in our learning is a habit we encourage, taking up the challenge of our house icon Malala Yousafzai “Let us pick up our books and our pens,” I said. “They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
As a school we aspire to live by the values demonstrated by our four house icons, students have identified a quality for each icon and we work to spread the message of their work and philosophy through the representation of four key Christian values: advocacy, compassion, equality and joy.