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Church Ethos

The Church of England - Vision for Education

The Church of England’s Vision for education is deeply Christian, with Jesus' promise of 'life in all its fullness' at its heart. In line with the Church of England's role as the established Church, its vision is for the common good of the whole community and encapsulates: 

  • Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills
  • Educating for hope and aspiration
  • Educating for community and living well together
  • Educating for dignity and respect


Barton School is a Christian foundation and its approach to the education that it provides for its pupils is based on the beliefs and values exemplified in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. The school's ethos is formally described in the Instrument of Governance (2015) as follows:


"Recognising its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Church at parish and diocesan level. The school aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promotes Christian values through the experiences it offers to all its pupils.”


Our Christian Vision

‘I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.’ (Philippians ch 4 vs 13)

As a nurturing Christian community at Barton, sharing a core set of values, our vision is to engage and to inspire our pupils to become creative and independent thinkers, evidencing a love for learning and a thirst for knowledge. We aspire to promote the skills needed to persevere with learning challenges and the curiosity to enquire further. Our Christian ethos and school values, focus on developing children’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding. These are woven, like a golden thread, into every aspect of school life.


With God’s help, our Christian vision binds us together from the moment of arrival until the final day of departure. All members of the Barton School community are bathed in and supported by our Christian ethos: implicitly in our core values and personal relationships; explicitly in the Religious Education, Collective Worship, PSHE and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development opportunities that are a part of our everyday life.


We base this vision on the parable of The Sower (Matthew 13 Vs 1-23) which supports us to make good choices so that we can grow and flourish in our learning and in our relationships. This parable resonates with our historical heritage as an ancient site of farming and agriculture, a legacy that continues to this day through the Countryside Restoration Trust and Burwash Manor with whom the school has forged close links.


Our School Values

Values are the basis of our personal development, they make us who we are. Christian values are at the heart of Barton CofE (VA) Primary School: they shape every aspect of school life. Christian beliefs permeate our values, providing the rationale for what we do and why we do it. In our church school our values are earthed in the wisdom and understanding of the Christian faith.  Our key school values of RESPECT (Mark 10:14) and INTEGRITY (Titus 2 vs 7) are underpinned by Compassion (2 Colossians 3:12) and Thankfulness (Psalm 28:7), Courage (Deuteronomy 31:6) and Determination (Hebrews 12:1), Honesty (Zechariah 8:16) and Forgiveness (Mark 11:25) and summarised in the diagram below.



All children and adults understand the key values that we teach and expect to be seen in everyday life and in our dealings with each other. These are embodied in our Barton Bs which are the bedrock of our daily school life: be safe, be respectful, be learners.


Be Safe

We listen carefully to instructions

We are calm and orderly

We take care of our school

We consider our impact on others

We are in the right place at the right time

Be Respectful

We are kind, we are polite, we are honest

We treat others as we would like to be treated

We show compassion and empathy

We recognise and celebrate individuality and difference

We value teamwork

Be Learners

We listen, we enquire, we think

We let others learn

We persevere and are not afraid of making mistakes

We actively challenge ourselves and ask for help if we need it

We come to school ready to learn


Our values are based on Christ’s teaching in Matthew 7:12 ‘Do to others, whatever you would like them to do to you.’ and all parts of our school community embrace this ethos and use it as a starting point for their work, speech and actions in school. This Golden Rule is also explored in LKS2 RE, Emmanuel Project, as part of St. Paul’s Mission.

Collective Worship

At Barton Church of England Primary School, Christian values are embedded in our Collective Worship planning and delivery.  Half termly themes and values are delivered through a beginning-of-the-week, whole school launch, followed by more intimate classroom assemblies, Church-based weekly gatherings led by our head teacher and local church representatives and end of week family celebrations.


During collective worship we reflect upon the skills and talents of those within our community as well as more wide spread inspirational advocates of courage and vision (2Timothy 1:7).  We use Imaginor, Roots and Fruits as our starting point, as the themes resonate strongly with our wider school aims and Christian ethos.  We ensure regular opportunities for the whole school and community to come together in shared moments of reflection and prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) and value these times as vital elements of our cohesion and tolerance (Colossians 3:13), deepening our understanding of our school as a vital element of a community jigsaw.


We actively seek to include a wide variety of stimuli within each Collective Worship event, promoting interactivity, visual, oral and shared experience wherever possible.  We invite those from Christian and other traditions to share their world views (Luke 6:37) and priorities with us and make sure that there are regular opportunities for parents and children's families to join us and take part in our gatherings.


We ensure that our acts of worship include a prayerful call and response each day, accompanied by the lighting of a candle to focus attention and create an atmosphere of quiet thoughtfulness, with prayers, moments of quiet reflection and singing standard elements in most assemblies. 


In keeping with our legal obligations set out in the 1988 Education Act, Collective Worship at Barton takes place every day and is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.”


Our daily act of collective worship, aims to give pupils and school staff the opportunity to:

  • Express praise and thanksgiving to God (2 Chronicles 5:13)                                                                                                                        
  • Foster respect, celebrate differences, learn from each other and deepen spiritual awareness
  • Reflect on the character of God and on the teachings of Jesus (1 John 4:8)
  • Affirm Christian values and attitudes (Matthew 5:3-12)
  • Share each other's joys, successes and challenges
  • Celebrate our Christian heritage and special times in the Christian calendar (Luke 22:19-21)
  • Include opportunities for those of any or no faith to ponder the bigger questions of human existence and to consider their own beliefs and priorities in a Christian context.

Curriculum aims

Christian values are at the centre of our curriculum development, our everyday interactions and our involvement with the wider community.  We believe that the spiritual, personal and educational needs of each individual child and the well-being of all adults within our school community should be at the forefront of all we do (Romans 15:7).


All our staff and volunteers contribute to the rich and varied opportunities we provide for emotional, social and academic growth and fulfilment before, during and after the school day. From inter-age, House Team activities, cross-generational events (1 Timothy 5:1-2), fundraising and learning days dedicated to RE, Sport and the Arts, Barton is driven by an aspiration to provide an environment in which children are excited by their learning, feel valued by those around them and are able to discover and develop their own unique gifts (1 Peter 4:10) within a happy, welcoming and safe environment. Within our curriculum we seek to provide space in which faith can be explored (James 1:3).


Through our theologically rooted vision we aim to:

  • Create opportunities for all within our school community to develop their spirituality and faith throughout the year
  • Ensure a happy, safe, purposeful and stimulating learning environment in which all individuals feel valued and respected
  • Celebrate success, effort and determination in line with the values that are central to our vision
  • Establish an effective and constructive partnership between home, school, the Church and the community by sharing our vision and values and engaging with our partners with openness and integrity.
  • Promote the importance of enthusiastic, committed engagement in all aspects of school life (Colossians 3: 23)
  • Exhibit a positive can-do approach to challenges and possibilities, seeking out new opportunities and continually planning for improvement in all we do
  • Deliver the curriculum in a stimulating way, ensuring skills and content building upon previous learning year on year
  • Develop healthy lifestyles in which a nutritious diet, physical activity and personal development are valued as important (Mark 6:31)
  • Identify the needs and fulfil the potential of all children in our care, regardless of their background, gender, capability, talents or interests, within a distinctive Christian context
  • Be an inclusive community which also seeks opportunities to help and support others, valuing and celebrating diversity within the school and beyond (1 Peter 3:8)
  • Recognise and encourage prosocial behaviour
  • Develop the children’s sense of pride, purpose, self-motivation and independence through reflective dialogue
  • Provide opportunities to engage in collective worship as a creative, spiritual, worthwhile and educational experience (Psalm 100:1-4)
  • Promote Christian values through every aspect of our daily endeavours, and in this way,  encourage pupils to develop a sense of personal worth, respect for others and reverence for life


Please see the link below for details of Religious Education at Barton.

Our School Prayer

Our school prayer has been chosen and developed to resonate with and reflect our key values as set out in the Barton Bs. It is also aligned with our chosen Bible reading ‘I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.’ alongside our Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  These important expressions of our Christian foundations and aims have been shared with the whole school community and feature in our daily interactions between staff and children.


We also express the prayer through British Sign Language in recognition of children within our school with a hearing impairment.


Dear Lord Jesus,

We shall have this day only once.

Before it is gone, let us be true to our Barton Bs: be safe, be respectful, be learners.

Help us do all the good we can, so that each day at Barton is a good day.                



Barton Church of England (VA) Primary School values every person in the school community and recognises that we are all part of a team, with an important part to play in school life.

1 Corinthians ch 12 vs 12 says ‘There is one body, but it has many parts.

But all its many parts make up the one body. It is the same with Christ.’

As a community, we recognise that we all need each other to grow and to flourish; this is for our pupils, our staff, our parents and our wider community. Our Barton Bs remind us of the behaviours and values we need to demonstrate to one another and to our wider community. Our strap line of ‘believe, nurture, grow, flourish together’ expresses succinctly to the whole community our school ethos and the Christian values we uphold.