Our vision and values are at the core of everything we do. They underpin our teaching and learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils to be confident, happy citizens.
Work Together Aim High Shine Bright
OUR VISION STATEMENT: To create and nurture a secure and caring Christian environment where every child can develop in their own faith and learning journey.
“Let the little children come to me for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.”
Mark 10 (14-15)
OUR SCHOOL AIMS
Our aims are directed towards preparing each child for life beyond St Matthew’s. To accomplish this we aspire to:
Offer an education based upon Christian aims and values;
Provide a curriculum that is:
relevant to each child’s experience;
balanced across a range of experiences that make an equal contribution to the child’s development;
broad in the range of opportunities and experiences which it provides.
Ensure equal opportunity for every child to realise his/her maximum potential, spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially, creatively and academically;
Develop high self-expectations and a delight in achieving, encouraging the acquisition of self-responsibility, confidence and independence in learning within a secure, happy working environment;
Promote respect for the abilities, skills, feelings and needs of others;
Prepare each child for the opportunities and responsibilities of adult life, enabling them to make a positive contribution to society.
Admissions to Church Schools
If you are planning to apply for a place at a Church School for your child, and it would be helpful to have evidence that you are a regular church worshipper, there will be a sign-up sheet available at St Matthew's each Sunday for you to record your attendance. At St Cross, please speak with the warden on duty.
The Revd Alan Jewell
Vicar, St Matthew's, Stretton, and St Cross, Appleton Thorn
The Vicarage, Stretton Road
We are delighted with our recent SIAMS Inspection report ...
"The distinctiveness and effectiveness of St Matthew’s as a Church of England school are outstanding
St Matthew's Day - Sunday 25th September
As well as our monthly all-age services in church, we have a special occasion coming up that you might like to know about. On Sunday 25th September, we are marking St Matthew's Day. The church commemorates Matthew, the Apostle, in September each year and we want to mark this as a time to celebrate our life together as ‘St Matthew's people’ – both church and school. On the Sunday there will be a service at 10:30AM at which we hope to see people from all the groups and organisations that make up the St Matthew’s community. It would be good to have many school families represented on that day. In addition, if your child would like to contribute something to the service – like doing a bible reading or singing or playing a musical instrument, handing out books or taking the collection – please get in touch.
The Revd Alan Jewell (01925 730276)
RE Week - we visited places of worship - St Matthew's Church and places where people of other faiths worship.
Read Alan's thoughts about the 'Rose Queen'
The Rose Queen… and King!
"When children ask questions, I believe that it is right to give them the best answer you can. So, when a child recently asked why, if we had a Rose Queen, we didn’t also have a Rose King, I decided I would give the matter some thought. It’s a good question! When I was newly-arrived in this parish, never having had much to do with Rose Queens in the past, I did a bit of research. Some people imagine that it’s an ancient pagan tradition, with its origins lost somewhere in the mists of time… Steve Roud, however, in his book “The English Year”, tells the story of a vicar in Bury who, in 1989, announced that he was banning his church’s Rose Queen ceremony, because, he said, it was rooted in pagan rites and not appropriate to a Christian community. Roud points out that that the hapless vicar:
“had fallen rather publicly into the trap of believing that all traditional customs must be extremely old, and are therefore linked to pagan activities. The Rose Queen was in fact a late Victorian invention encouraged, and perhaps even created, by clergy and respectable churchgoers as a piece of safe and controlled pageantry.”
Roud also points out that Warrington Walking Day goes back only to 1833, and was an attempt by the Rector of Warrington to combat the evils of gambling and strong drink available at the racecourse.
The Victorian enthusiasts liked to believe that they were rediscovering the joys of medieval Merrie England, whereas they were, in fact, mostly making stuff up.
There is, however, a possible precedent to the Victorian notion of a Rose or May Queen. It is to be found in the medieval tradition of ‘Church Ales’. The Church Ale, often held around Whitsun (the feast of Pentecost), and therefore sometimes called the ‘Whitsun Ale’, was a fundraising event for the upkeep of the parish church, which involved food, drink, dancing and games. Not that different from our current Walking Day, in fact. King James I listed Whitsun Ales as suitable entertainment for Sundays, but, with a change in the religious climate, they were banned by parliament in 1644.
Now, this is where it gets interesting! The ‘ale’ festivities were ruled over, not by a May Queen, but by a ‘Lord’ and ‘Lady’. So, if our Rose Queen has a precedent in the Lady who presided over the parish ‘ale’, she should be accompanied by a Lord!
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: it’s not just political correctness to have a Rose King, alongside the Rose Queen. It has historical precedent!
The only other parallel I could come up with was the tradition of the Boy Bishop, in which a boy (usually a chorister) was appointed ‘Bishop’ for a time. He was dressed in a bishop’s garb and given duties to perform, including leading processions and preaching sermons. The boy was usually elected on the Feast of St Nicholas’ (6th December) and served until Holy Innocents’ Day (28th January). So, the Boy Bishop held his post from the feast of the patron saint of children, through the Christmas season, until the day when the church remembers the children slaughtered by Herod in his bid to rid the world of the boy Jesus. The tradition of the Boy Bishop turns the usual order upside down, and reflects the teaching of Jesus about children: we tend to tell children that they should learn from adults. Jesus says that adults need to learn from children (Luke 18:17).
On Pentecost Sunday (15th May) we will select (by ballot from those who put their names forward), a Rose Queen and her retinue. We may also (if there are candidates!) select a Rose King. We look forward to welcoming the children who will teach us the way to serve in the kingdom of God.