Thrybergh Fullerton Theological Rationale
Summary of the theological rationale of Thrybergh Fullerton school
- the whole child meets all life can offer through our school, and our vision is for an education that offers life in all its fullness
- love is at the core of our vision both in how we conduct our school and in the experience our children receive
- our relationships will be akin to that of a family, caring and nurturing and supporting one another through life together
- learning brings the light of life and our vision is for a learning journey that lights up the lives of every child
Whole child, whole life
“The ultimate worth of each person is grounded in being created in the image of God and in God’s love and compassion for each.”(Church of England Vision for Education, page 9)
Thrybergh Fullerton educates the whole child and has a vision of education that brings fullness of life for every learner, echoing the promise of Christ to bring “Life in all its fullness” John 10:10
Thrybergh Fullerton affirms creativity and joy in educational experience, seeking an environment akin to the joyful image of wisdom at play in the presence of God: “ I was beside him like an architect, I was his daily source of joy, always happy in his presence, happy with the world and pleased with the human race.” Proverbs 8:30-31
Thrybergh Fullerton believes education is a journey into the full truth of life and situates itself in the tradition of the church, formed by Christ breathing the Holy Spirit into his friends, such that they could be led further into the truth (John 16:13) and carry on doing as he did (John 20:21-22).
Love – and what it looks like
“Jesus and the love he embodies are at the heart of our faith” ”(Church of England Vision for Education, page 10) and Thrybergh Fullerton consciously builds on love as a supreme value (Mark 12:28-34; see also Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 7:12, 22:36-40; Luke 10:27).
In the life of Thrybergh Fullerton this is translated into expression, asking “What does love look like?”
and allowing the guidance of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians to remind us that
Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; (5) love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; (6) love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. (7) Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
“The centrality of relationships in education is inspired by our conviction that the love Jesus taught and lived is at the heart of reality.” ”(Church of England Vision for Education, page 11)
Thrybergh Fullerton prioritises the building of good relationships and learning about how these are to be conducted in healthy and enriching ways. It seeks to create an environment akin to that of a family. One key inspiration to relationships in Thrybergh Fullerton is the image of the walk with the Lord, described in the poem ‘Footprints.’ From this the school derives the inspiration to ensure the journey of life and learning is one of walking, and of walking together, and supporting one another, inspired by God’s carrying of us, as we journey in life.
Thrybergh Fullerton reflects the Church of England Vision for Education in its recognition that:
“The God of wisdom, love, compassion and peace, in whose image we are created, is utterly relational. Hence the essential importance to human worth of fellow human beings, human community and the whole created world of which we are part, of the virtues, of the formation of character, and of relational practices, including service, prayer and worship.”
The formation of good relations is underpinned by a rooting Thrybergh Fullerton and its work the presence of God in the life of the school and an expectation of the fruit of the spirit to grow out of that root:
But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a)
A vital strand of this also involves nurturing peace, kindness and humility towards all. Children are actively taught the meaning of these fruits of the spirit in relation to living wholesome and tolerant lives in a multicultural community and society, aware that “Jesus is himself understood as ‘the image of the invisible God’, who renews that image in human beings across differences of religion, race, nationality, gender, and economic or social status (Colossians 1:15, 3:10-11; Galatians 3:28).” ”(Church of England Vision for Education, page 11)
Light comes through learning.
Like the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, as in the Psalms and Book of Proverbs, Thrybergh Fullerton sees all learning as part of the light of God, like the word of God described in Psalm 119.105:
‘Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.’
As such, the school reflects the Church of England vision for Education with its “confidence that the pursuit of wisdom, knowledge and skills is consistent with how God has shaped the world and ourselves.” ”(Church of England Vision for Education, page 8)
Thrybergh Fullerton notes that Jesus himself, as a child, ‘grew in wisdom’ (Luke 2:52) and reflects the image of light used in the opening of the Gospel of John. The first chapter describes the Word of God, incarnate in Christ, but also seen as embodying the light of all.
The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. (John 1:4-5)