VISION STATEMENT FOR ANGLICAN SCHOOLS
As learning communities of excellence, Anglican Schools are called to share the mission of the church to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God through:
Promoting faith in Jesus Christ among students, staff and families. Offering opportunity for students, staff and family to worship God and experience Christian community in the Anglican way.
Educating students to value themselves and each other as gifted parts of God’s creation with a vocation to explore, understand, nurture and serve that creation. Helping students to develop their God given gifts, talents and opportunities to live out that vocation.
Enabling students to develop skills and values to live in peace and harmony, seeking justice for all with a priority for the poor, powerless and persecutedand marginalised.
The vision document is in two parts. First the vision statement itself and then an ‘expression statement’ which seeks to offer practical indications of what activity might happen in a school to reflect the vision. This is not a prescriptive or limited list, but rather an indication of actions which will illustrate the vision being implemented. Additionally it will provide both guidance and a framework for discussion and review.
The vision places schools firmly within the mission of the Church – to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, and sees this mission lived out in the special context of a school. The vision statement is meant to be sufficiently broad so as to cover the whole life of the school and takes, as its starting point, that Anglican Schools will strive to be communities of learning excellence.
Anglican Schools share the mission of the Church and are an integral and valued part of the life of the Church and therefore deserve support and encouragement from the wider Church community. This support will certainly come via the Anglican Schools Office, however individuals, parishes and agencies are encouraged also to pray for our schools and join with them in their life.
PUTTING THE VISION INTO PRACTICE
The following are examples of actions which will contribute to the vision becoming reality in Anglican Schools. The list is not exhaustive and schools are encouraged to reflect on the Vision Statement to determine what more can be done to live out the vision in their context.
1. Promoting faith In Jesus Christ and the experience of Christian community:
A. The provision for participation in core Anglican worship as central and available to the whole school community by such means as:
- The appointment of a chaplain/s licensed by the Archbishop;
- Worship opportunities in a form and style which is appropriate and accessible;
- Celebration of Christian festivals and seasons;
- Regular prayer through the normal school program;
- The appointment of a youth minister/s by the Archbishop;
- The offer of the Eucharist on a regular basis to the whole school;
- The offer of the other sacraments and rites of the Anglican Church such as baptism, confirmation, admission to communion, reception, and reaffirmation on a regular basis.
B. The provision of opportunities for exploration of the Christian faith expressed through:
- The offer of voluntary groups where staff and students can grow in knowledge and faith in Jesus Christ:
- Building close links with local parishes:
- Opportunity for faith formation offered to families:
- The development of a consecrated chapel;
- Opportunity and encouragement for faith formation of staff;
- Opportunity for faith formation and exploration for members of School Councils.
2. The provision of a Religious Education Program which:
- Is compulsory for all students:
- Makes clear the beliefs and practice of the Anglican way of Christianity;
- While grounded in the Christian foundations recognizes diversity and is affirming and inclusive in form and content;
- Encourages and develops the notion of vocation as living in response to God’s call;
- Is taught by committed Christian (preferably Anglican) teachers trained in Religious Education who are encouraged and facilitated to continue professional development;
- Is grounded in the Christian faith:
- Is integral to the school and seen to be valued by the school:
- Encourages the development of moral values and reasoning and nurtures the notions and practices of the gospel values of compassion and forgiveness;
- Is relevant to the students beliefs and experiences;
- Encourages students to think reflectively and critically about faith and the ‘big’ questions of human life;
- Is well resourced.
3. The provision of School Staff who:
- Participate in an induction process which makes clear the values and mission of the Anglican Church:
- Are encouraged and facilitated to undertake basic studies in theology:
- Have access to professional development;
- Model the Christian life and ethos of the School;
- Are cared for and supported as the most valuable resource of the school:
- Are offered and facilitated in Christian faith formation:
- Are encouraged to participate in activities which link the school, ACSQ and the wider Church.
- That bases its decision making, processes, policies, structures and strategic planning on Christian beliefs, attitudes and values;
- Whose participants are mainly practising Anglicans. For those who are not practising Anglicans, practising Christians who are supportive of the school’s Anglican identity and mission;
- That develops a healthy, mutually respectful relationship with the ACSQ including mutual accountability and regular review of that relationship.
5. The provision of outreach opportunities and learning activities reflecting the values of the kingdom of God which:
- Address issues of injustice and inequality in society:
- Engage in responses of care for human need;
- Support Anglican organizations involved in mission and welfare;
- Engage in action to care for and renew the environment.
6. The encouragement of a school culture where:
- The gospel values of love, forgiveness, tolerance, honesty, safety and generosity are encouraged:
- Students are encouraged to develop their God given gifts and use them to the full:
- Those who might otherwise be marginalized are accepted as valued members;
- The pastoral care of students and staff and families is encouraged, facilitated and resourced.