School Ethos & Religion
Our ethos is one of love and care within a Christian community – every child is cared for as a child of God. We place a high priority on the emotional health and well-being of every child and know that in order to learn effectively children need to feel safe and secure. In order to learn effectively, children need to understand how to learn, and why they’re learning; they need a careful balance of challenge and support to enable them to be the ‘best that they can be’.
We place enormous value on our relationships with children and their parents and consider parents as partners in their child’s learning journey. Successful relationships are the bedrock from which a community grows; we have an ‘open door’ policy, which means we welcome feedback, support and working together.
We hold a daily act of collective worship, sometimes as a whole school and sometimes within class groups. Our collective worship offers opportunities for reflection and thoughtfulness, for celebration of our children’s achievements, as well as for rejoicing through our singing assemblies. These assemblies are for those of faith and no faith, and we invite parents to join our Monday service to celebrate the start of each new week.
Our school is named after St Martin of Tours. St Martin lived his life being kind and wanting to do good for others without wanting any reward. In the same way, we want to encourage our school community to do good for others through our “Courageous Advocacy” projects; and in each small act of kindness we are reminded of St Martin’s life and work. This is the story of St Martin who is often referred to as the ragged bishop.
A long time ago in the year 316AD a little boy called Martin was born . Martin’s father wanted his son to be tough and learn to fight so he sent him to join the Roman Emperor’s guards when he was still a teenager, Martin wasn’t very keen on this idea but he went because his father told him to.
One absolutely freezing night Martin was riding along on his horse with other soldiers from the Emperor’s army, Martin was wearing a lovely warm red cloak when he saw a man huddled on the ground, the man was obviously very poor because he had no warm clothes to keep him warm. None of the other soldiers stopped but Martin did, he used his sword to cut his cloak in half and gave half to the beggar. Before the beggar could even begin to say his thanks Martin had gone because he was very modest and shy.
The following night it is said that Martin had a dream. He dreamt that he met the poor man again but that the man was really Jesus who had wanted to test whether or not Martin was a kind man. Jesus said to Martin, “What you have done for this poor man, you have done for me.”
After this experience Martin decided to become a Christian and was baptised. His beliefs meant that he really did not agree with fighting in battles so he went to see the Emperor. The Emperor was a bit cross as Martin was a good soldier and the Emperor wanted him to be part of his army but Marti n said he needed to be true to his beliefs. It was very brave to stand up to the Emperor; Emperors can be quite fierce!
Martin became a Monk and started a monastery. People thought that Martin was such a good Christian that they wanted him to be a Bishop but Martin didn’t want lots of reward and praise for being good he just wanted to be good because it was the right thing to do. The people came to find Martin but he hid in a barn with lots of geese, unfortunately the geese honked loudly and the people found Martin and persuaded him to be a Bishop. Martin was a Bishop but he didn’t like all the finery that went with being a Bishop so he only wore his Bishop clothes on special occasions because of this he became known as the ragged Bishop.
Martin died on the 8th November 397AD at the age of 81 years old. People felt that they really wanted to remember Martin in a special way because he had been such a special person and done so much for so many people during his lifetime so they made him a Saint. To make sure no one forgot him and because St Martin had often said that he wanted to be a light that shines for everyone, someone had the idea of dedicating the lantern walks that already happened in Germany to St Martin. So every year in Germany during a night in November children go out onto the streets and light up the darkness with lanterns and they remember the many kindnesses of St Martin. They also eat goose because of the geese that gave St Martin away when he was trying to hide!
We started the tradition of Lantern Walks through Cranbrook in memory of St Martin in November 2012.