To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God and to devote the will to the purpose of God. Archbishop William Temple (1881 – 1944)
Our school is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School.
Founded in 1712, Whitewater C of E Primary School preserves and develops its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Churches at the 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 experience it offers to all its pupils.
Whitewater C of E Primary School is part of the Diocese of Winchester and works actively with the Diocesan Education Team. We are part of the Whitewater Benefice and have two active Foundation governors who regularly visit school and support our distinctiveness as a Church of England school. Our Rector, the Reverend Marion De Quidt, delivers collective worship each Thursday morning. Members of the Church community lead 'Open the Book' weekly in school, an assembly which engages the children in stories from the Bible.
The school meets daily for collective worship, which is educational and inclusive and focuses on Christian themes. Collective worship is an integral part of our school day and reflects Anglican beliefs, practices and values in accordance with the requirements of the Trust Deed. Worship themes are planned to help children experience awe and wonder, to promote willingness to reflect on their own experiences and those of others, and to learn about the life and teachings of Jesus.
Collective Worship - Summer 2
Our Christian Value this half-term is Dignity. It is the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, and to be treated ethically. The quality of being worthy of honour or respect.
We will be exploring dignity through bible verses including: (Gn 1:26-27) Human dignity originates from God and is of God because we are made in God's own image and likeness and (Titus 2:7) In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified.
Throughout the half term, we'll be reflecting on big questions such as: How can we show dignity to others? How can we show dignity when we make mistakes? How can we show dignity in the face of change?
Rabbi visit Tuesday 2nd May 2023
We are delighted to be welcoming back Rabbi Zvi Solomon's to work with our children in Hedgehog and Foxes classes.
He visited us last year and, as a practising Rabbi in Reading, was a fascinating visitor. We all learnt lots about Passover which is a major Jewish holiday that celebrates the Biblical story of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt.
This time, Rabbi Zvi will lead a workshop about the Synagogue for Foxes class. This will give us an opportunity to compare Rotherwick Church with another place of worship. We will therefore, gain a deeper understanding of the Jewish faith.
Hedgehogs will experience a Shabbat workshop and get to try Challah. This is a special bread for Jews, usually braided and typically eaten on ceremonial occasions such as Shabbat and major Jewish holidays.
Collective Worship - Summer 1
Our Christian Value this half term is Wisdom. Wisdom is different to just being clever. Often wise people have lots of experience and can give good advice to help us make difficult decisions. Some people pray because they believe God can help them to live their lives wisely. We will look at verses from the bible including: Proverbs 4:7, Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgement.
In addition, we will reflect on; what it means to be wise, how our new king may show wisdom and can wisdom help us to respect diversity.
Throughout next week, we will be immersed in all things Easter. On Wednesday, children in Years 4, 5 and 6 will have the opportunity to take part in the ‘Walk through Easter’ which is delivered by Marion and her team held at Rotherwick Church.
The Easter Service on Thursday 30th March at 9.15am is for the whole school. All children will make the short walk up the hill to the church where we will be greeted by Marion. Parents and family members are invited to join us in celebration which will include some readings from the children in Fox Class and some joyful singing by everyone, all of which will be led by Marion. Parents are invited to stay behind after the Service and enjoy some hot drinks and hot cross buns.
Inspirational Speaker - James Ketchell…
On Monday 20th March, we were treated to a very inspirational Collective Worship. James Ketchell came in to speak to our Key Stage 2 pupils about his adventures across the world including climbing Mount Everest, rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, cycling around the world and becoming the first person to fly around the world in a gyro-copter. As well as sharing video footage and photos of his achievements, he also shared key learning experiences which link to our values, he gained on the way:
- Respect - the world is full of amazing people from different cultures and backgrounds
- Courage - pursue your dreams and never giving up no matter how tired you feel
- Love – when someone does a favour for you - pass it on by helping someone else
It was a fantastic experience and one which has inspired all of us to embrace the challenges that come our way!
Collective Worship - Everyday Ubuntu
Marion continues to lead Collective Worship on a fortnightly basis. She is delving into the concept of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is an African concept of personhood in which the identity of the self is understood to be formed interdependently through community. “Bringing people together is what I call ‘ubuntu,’ which means ‘I am because we are.’ Far too often people think of themselves as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” – Desmond Tutu.
You may wish to engage with your child at home throughout the term which will deepen their understanding.
Collective Worship - Spring Term
This half term we have been looking at the Christian Value of perseverance in our Collective Worships. We have looked at how we can show perseverance when we are challenged both in school and out of school. We have looked at individuals who have shown perseverance in different aspects of life including the shortest basketball player in NBA history - Muggsy Bogues as well as the inspirational Story of Nick Vujicic who you can find out more on the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNnVdlvodTQ). We used these stories alongside the story of St Peter, who persevered despite many setbacks.
Christmas Service at Rotherwick Church (15th December)...
On Thursday morning, we all put on our coats and made the short walk to Rotherwick Church where we were greeted with the warmest of welcomes by Marion. All children and staff were joined by parents for our Christmas Service. The service included singing, including a very special performance from our choir and Year 6 readers. There were also a wide range of props including some cuddly sheep, some special gifts and a star! We had a fantastic time reflecting on Christmas and celebrating this very special time of year when God gave us the greatest gift of all.
Christingle Service (28th November)…
Earlier this week, Marion and Shona joined us all in the school hall for the first Christmas event of the season…the Christingle Service. This service involves oranges, ribbon, cocktail sticks, sweets, and a candle - The recipe for a fun afternoon! All of the children gathered in the hall to learn about the Christingle before trying their hand at making their own. For those who aren’t familiar, each element of a Christingle has a special meaning and helps to tell the Christian story:
- The orange represents the world
- The red ribbon (or tape in our case) symbolises the love and blood of Christ
- The sweets and dried fruit represent all of God’s creations
- The lit candle represents Jesus’s light in the world, bringing hope to people living in darkness.
All of the children managed to resist the temptation of sampling the sweets, whilst managing to cover the floors and tables in orange juice! It was great fun to see the older children help the younger children as we got stuck in to this wonderful practical activity.
Remembrance (11th November)…
Last Friday saw Whitewater remember. Poppy sales throughout the week enabled the children to show their respect towards those people past and present who have fought in an attempt to keep peace and keep everyone safe. We marked the occasion with a short walk to Rotherwick Church where Marion led a Remembrance Service, Mr Golding read the poem: What are we Fighting For by Brian Moses and some Year 6 children read In Flanders Field by John McCrae. In addition, children across the school created a range of stunning pieces of artwork.
A Collective Worship Update - Year of Listening (14th October)…
We are developing the children's musical repertoire by introducing 'A year of listening'. Each week will have at least one piece of music ranging from Night on a Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky and Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams to Perfect Day by Lou Reed. The children will have chance to listen to the set pieces both in class and during collective worship times. This is a fantastic opportunity for our children to develop their awareness of a range of different musical genre.
Harvest Collective Worship (14th October)…
Throughout the week, we had an action-packed timetable full of harvest celebration! Here’s a brief recount written by Tilly & Isla from Fox Class:
Yesterday, we celebrated our annual Harvest Festival at Rotherwick Church. Our new Rabbits also attended and helped us with the Harvest Samba by playing instruments while we were singing. Marion did an amazing service, so a big Thank you to her. Well done to Otters, Hedgehogs and Foxes for their amazing art, poems and prayers read and shown by the children who were happy to share their creations. A special well done to Yehor and Erika who read out a Ukrainian prayer during the festival.
Following the service, Marion, Mrs Clayden, the House Captains and I collected the donations into the minibus delivered the food to the Hart Food Bank and Maryfield Convent, both in Hook. It was a very fitting first outing in the new school minibusand it was an amazing way to demonstrate one of our new school values: Love. The children represented the entire school community beautifully. We have since received the following message from the Food Bank…
On behalf of Hart Foodbank at Life Church Hook, please pass on our sincere and grateful thanks to your staff, parents and children for the generous donations for Harvest collection this year. Our volunteers have, today, weighed in 170kg of grocery items.
Thank you all for supporting the local community in such a generous manner.
Collective Worship update - 30th September, 2022
Throughout this half term, our focus value has been community. We’ve been exploring ‘big questions’ around the theme which have included: What is a community? and How can we welcome others into our special community? as always, Rev’d Marion and Rev’d Shona have been in delivering some of our collective worships and engaging the children in a range of creative ways. We’re looking forward to making the short walk to Rotherwick Church on Thursday 13th October for our Harvest Celebration. We will be asking for donations of non-perishable foods which we will use the mini bus to deliver to a Hart Foodbank in Hook.
Values Assembly - 18th July 2022
On the final celebration assembly of each term, we ask staff to select one child in each class for a ‘Values Award’. This is a very special award for a select few children who demonstrate our school values of Fellowship, Creativity and Courage without fail. In recognition of their achievement, the children get a Values Award badge as well as a certificate. In addition to this, we arrange for a special treat. As a result, yesterday the 7 Values Award winners from the Spring Term, joined the 7 Values Award winners from this term on a trip to Hollywood Bowl at Basingstoke’s Leisure Park. Mr Ralph, Mrs Brett and Mrs Owen had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon with the children. Well done children…you are all superstars!
The winners of the Summer Term Values Awards are:
Year R – Tilly-May
Year 1 - Olivia K
Year 2 - Tommy G
Year 3 – William L
Year 4 – Freya H
Year 5 – Lilly-May S
Year 6 – Elliott R
Jubilee Collective Worship - Thursday 26th May, 2022
As I’m sure you are all aware, Her Majesty the Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service. Before we were joined by parents, grandparents and members of the Rotherwick community for afternoon tea, we gathered together in the school hall to celebrate the impact the Queen has had over the course of her reign.
Queen Elizabeth II has a strong Christian faith that has been evident throughout her life in her words and actions. We looked at her prayer she shared in her first Christmas broadcast in 1952. 'Pray for me … that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.’ We went on to share our thoughts whilst reflectioning on what the Queen represents to us.
Walk through Easter and The Easter Service - April 2022
Throughout the week, we have been immersed in all things Easter. Hedgehog Class delved into some incredible artwork which you can see in the photo whilst many of the children in Otter Class and Fox Class had the opportunity to take part in the ‘Walk through Easter’ which was delivered by Marion and her team. This was an amazing interactive learning experience held at Rotherwick Church which enabled the children to gain a deeper understanding of the different parts of the Easter story. This series of sessions ended with the Easter Service yesterday. We all made the short (but windy) walk up the hill to the church where we were greeted by Marion. It was lovely to see parents and family members there joining us. The service included some excellent readings from the children in Fox Class, some joyful singing by everyone and led beautifully by Marion. It really was a lovely celebration of Easter. When the service was over and the children returned to school, I joined several parents who were rewarded for their singing with some hot drinks and hot cross buns. A special thank you goes to Marion who really is a terrific host!
Collective Worship update - 18th March 2022
Yesterday, we left school and set off on the long walk (all 100 metres) to Rotherwick Church for our assembly. There was a slight chill in the air and bright sunlight streaming through the trees which makes a massive change from the bucketing rain we endured the day before. As always, Marion gave us the warmest of welcomes as we filed in. We have been looking at the value of justice over the past few weeks. We’ve been learning about global justice and we’ve posed the question: if the world has enough food, clean water and money for everybody, why do some people and countries not have enough? Justice also seems very appropriate when considering what’s going on in the world at the moment. It also links in to the Easter story so well. This is something which we’ll be delving into over the next few weeks.
Collective Worship update - 11th February 2022
In the last newsletter, I shared the exciting news that we were visiting Rotherwick Church for our Collective Worship last Thursday. I’m delighted to share that it was a huge success. With such a beautiful church so close, it’s great that we can incorporate visits into our regular assembly timetable. Marion was on fantastic form (as always) and the children and staff alike fedback that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to doing it again. A big thank you to Marion who provided such a warm welcome and delivered such an engaging collective worship.
Collective Worship update - 28th January 2022
The children showed great enthusiasm and compassion as we looked at the inspiration that was Martin Luther King last week as we delve into the concept of peace. Rev. Marion supports our collective worship programme by delivering the assembly every Thursday morning. Together, we have decided to hold next Thursday’s worship in the church instead of the school hall. This is something which we plan to do every three to four weeks. Having such a wonderful church on our doorstep seems like an opportunity that we should be making more of!
Collective Worship update - 14th January, 2022
As part of our Collective Worship programme this half term, we are looking at the value of Peace. Key questions which we’ll explore include: What is Peace? How can we find peace, even when it is difficult? Can peace exist without fellowship? In addition to this, we will look at key figures throughout history such as Martin Luther King. It would be great if you could find time explore these questions and share your thoughts at home with your children.