Hope – Spring 2021
We all have hopes: we hope the weather will be good, we hope our team will win, we hope our plans will succeed. Sometimes hopes are high, we hope for the best, at other times things go wrong, hopes seem to fade, flounder and get dashed.
At Crayke, we recognise that hope is a key ingredient for our well-being. That is why we intentionally foster hope and an ‘I can, you can, we can do it’ positive mental attitude. Hope is like a rope we can reach out to, a ray of light that can lead us and an anchor to keep us steady when times are tough. That’s why we look out for each other and aim to build each other up. A kind word, an acknowledgement of good effort or of a growing skill, a sign of appreciation, a nod of affirmation, acceptance, words of praise. These are just a few of the ways in which we build a sense of hope in our pupils and encourage them to build a sense of hope in each other. Such simple things that make all the difference.
Christians through the ages and world over have looked to the teachings of the Bible, and especially to the words of Jesus, to find hope; described in the words of a well known hymn:
“We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love”
Priscilla Owens, the writer of this hymn, was a children’s worker who wrote most of her songs for children. However, she wrote this hymn for a sick friend and sent her singers to go and sing it at her door when her friend was gravely ill. Words of encouragement to bring hope at the most difficult of times. A most powerful gift indeed.
In the New Testament it says that Jesus gave a new and important commandment.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
As we put into practise our core values of determination, forgiveness, friendship and respect we show care for one another and create a good environment for hope and confidence to grow.
Sometimes we struggle to hope if we can’t see the outcome. The Bible teaches the importance of patience. It makes the point that hope is about belief in something that isn’t always easy to see. In Romans 8:24-25 it says:
‘…Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.’
At the moment a great deal of patience is needed, but we will persevere in hope and get through the storms together.
Truthfulness and Generosity – Autumn Term 2020
Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate values; especially if there are pressures on us to compromise! Truthfulness seems to be one of those values that is quickly dispensed with in a tight spot. However, our core values are a little bit like Jenga blocks. They are stronger together. When we start pulling away the building blocks we become weaker. Think about the core value of trust, for example. We only trust when we are confident that there is a foundation of truthfulness between us. When we are truthful towards each other our relationships grow stronger and other core values are intertwined. At Crayke school, we grow stronger together as we put into practice our core values together, including truthfulness.
The Bible puts it simply like this:
‘So discard every form of dishonesty and lying so that you will be known as one who always speaks the truth, for we all belong to one another.’
We all enjoy being the recipients of generosity. It’s no surprise! Who doesn’t like to get a lovely gift? Even more so, when it is more than we expect or think we deserve. But, when it comes to having a generous spirit it can be a bit tricky. We all have to count the cost of our giving and often it is tempting to hold back.
We know that generosity isn’t just about giving nice gifts. We can be generous in lots of other ways, too. Here at Crayke we aim to be generous with our attitudes towards each other, generous with our efforts, time and in our friendships.
One of the very last things Jesus said to his special friends, to help them live their lives to their best, was this:
‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another…’
So, as we genuinely care for one another it helps us to be generous towards each other. The amazing thing about generosity is that often the more generous we are, the more we are rewarded with other people’s generosity. The more we give, the more we get out of life and the better our sense of achievement.
Trust – Summer Term 2020
Once bitten, twice shy! If we have ever been let down we may be tempted to relegate trust to a very low division and to view it with a big dose of suspicion. We think it is worth giving a second look!
What does the Bible say about trust? There are lots and lots of positive references. Here is one example from Psalm 37:3 (English Standard version)
Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Christians believe that God is trustworthy. As they put their trust in him their fears and anxieties subside – even in the toughest of times.
If one believes in embracing trust, one must also embrace the need to be trustworthy. In a community fostered by an atmosphere of trust people can share, learn, work and live together in confidence and at peace, helping each other to be the very best that they can be.
At Crayke we value an atmosphere of trust highly.
Courage – Spring Term 2020
The core value we are looking at and learning from is courage. We all know that when we feel courageous it helps us to overcome obstacles and enables us to do our best. At Crayke school we have lots of courageous children and staff who continually make all kinds of strides forward in their lives.
Sometimes, though, it can be a little tricky to feel courageous. That’s why we need to unpack courage. It helps us take hold of a very helpful tool in our kitbag of life.
In the fable of the Lion and the Mouse, a very little mouse takes courage and bravery as he argues with the mighty lion. The mouse believes in himself and offers to be a helpful friend to the lion. In return the lion lets the little mouse go. A little time later, the mouse finds the lion is all caught up in a trapper’s net and desperately needs help. Sure enough, the little mouse comes to the rescue and helps the lion by biting through the net.
The didactic tale helps us understand that courage is not dependent on size, or age for that matter! In the Bible there are several stories that give the same message. It was, after all, the young shepherd boy, David , who dared to bring down the ferocious giant, Goliath, when all the Israelite army was shaking at the knee. The story of David exemplifies how having a spirit of courage can help overcome adversity, develops resilience and expels fear of failure.
Joshua was a young lad, who God called to lead the Israelites into his promised land. At first Joshua didn’t have the courage to do the job. He thought he was too young. However, God encouraged him and told him to be strong and courageous. He would help him.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says: God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. (The Message translation)
We believe the children of Crayke each have their own amazing strengths and we encourage each one to use and develop them to the best of their potential as they nurture the core value of courage.
Friendship – Autumn Term 2019
We are starting this new academic year with the Christian Value of Friendship. Over the next half term we will be taking part in a number of ‘Friendship’ activities during Collective Worship and across the school.
Sharing a meal with someone is an explicit sign of friendship and the word ‘companion’ literally means ‘one with whom you share bread.’
Jesus tells stories of the heavenly banquet to which all are invited. The barriers between people are broken down in a loving community around God and Jesus had stern words to say to those who refused to recognise that all are included in this community of friendship.
The Bible has many sayings about friendship:
‘A friend loves at all times.’ (Proverbs 17:17)
Friends are not afraid to tell each other the truth and a friend’s loving criticism is worth more than the empty compliments of someone who does not really care for you.
‘Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.’ (Proverbs 27:6)
The writer of Ecclesiastes puts it very simply: ‘if one falls down, a friend can lift him up’. (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
The friendship of David and Jonathan is very strongly emphasised in the Bible, Abraham is described as the friend of God (James 2:23) and Jesus explicitly calls his disciples not servants but friends (John 15:14 – 15).
Forgiveness – Summer Term 2019
The Christian Value we are particularly focusing on this term is Forgiveness. Forgiveness is fundamental to the character of God. Throughout the Bible, God is described as slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin (Numbers 14:18). Jesus was uncompromising in his command to forgive. Forgive, he said, ‘seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:21), meaning forgive and keep on forgiving without limit. Forgiveness was at the heart of everything he did and is at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer. When Jesus declared a person’s sins to be forgiven, it often aroused the anger of those who were less willing to forgive than he was and yet a prayer for the forgiveness of his persecutors was on Jesus’ lips as he died. Christian preaching has always put forgiveness at the centre.
We forgive because we are forgiven. Forgiveness cannot be given or received unless it is asked for, and the asking must be genuine and from the heart. Too often ‘sorry’ is said very easily, implying: ‘All I need to do is say I’m sorry and everything will be OK’. Real repentance demands that we take what we have done wrong with the utmost seriousness and have a deep desire not to do it again. We will be linking Forgiveness to ‘Jesus and Zacchaeus the Tax Collector’ (Luke 19: 2 -10)
‘Be compassionate and kind to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ (Ephesians 4:32)
Creativity – Spring Term 2019
Christians believe that life is a ‘gift’, given to them by their loving God. Each person has a creative spirit within them which allows them to value and explore, celebrate and enjoy this world in all its mystery and diversity. With this gift comes a responsibility to make sure that creation is not spoiled, but cared for and shared by all.
‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.’ (Genesis 1:27)