‘Encourage One Another and build each other up’
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Respect is an important core value in our schools because it is the foundation stone of relationships. We are all different but we are all special, and we celebrate our differences. The Bible has so much to offer in this area of positive personal, relational and community values, and its timeless wisdom can help all us as a Christian school pass on to the next generation the qualities of life that are most valuable and which, as Christians, we believe are not only God-given but also can be God-energised in our lives.
Respect has different meanings but all play a part in how Christians value themselves and the lives of others. Respecting those that love and care for us, our parents, carers and those in the local community, is common in all traditions. We should appreciate what's done for us, finding cooperation not conflict and take responsibility. Romans 13 states that we should 'Pay others the honour and respect you owe them'.
We treat others as we would like to be treated. In our communities, we learn that God made us all different and unique. This is something that we celebrate together. We learn to value ourselves, each other and the wider community through honesty, tolerance and trust, where everyone has an equal right to our care, time and attention as a reflection of God’s love. This means valuing differences and showing tolerance. Everyone is special; everyone's opinion matters; everyone's contribution is important; everyone's feelings should be considered; everyone's faith is sacred
Respect can mean simply treating each other with politeness and courtesy, and recognising that everyone’s contribution is important and that everyone’s feelings should be considered. At Crowcombe and Stogumber, we regularly discuss how respecting someone does not mean that we always agree with the other person but that we are prepared to listen and share our views without rudeness or impatience. Through whole school worship, class worship, relationships and discussion, we use bible stories (such as The Burning Bush, The Ten Commandments, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, Zaccheus the Tax Collector, Jesus in the Temple) to provide examples of respect and also explicitly give examples of how children can show and recognise examples of respect within school. This includes recognising others in our prayers, listening to others when they are talking to us, valuing others ideas and understanding that others may have different opinions. It also includes looking after school property and resources and thinking about how talk to others in a respectful way.
Christians recognise that respect needs to start with respect for ourselves and our own unique contribution to our homes, schools or communities. Having self-respect means being able to celebrate our gifts and talents, looking after ourselves and the bodies that God has given us. Having self-respect also means nurturing our talents so that we the best we can be, honouring how God has made us and being confident about who we are.