Our school is part of the Diocese of Oxford’s family of schools, the Anglican Church’s gift to the community across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The school is founded upon traditional Christian values, which are manifest in the school’s culture and ethos of ‘Dignity and Respect for all’. Students and staff of all faiths and none are equally valued, cherished and loved.
Our Christian Ethos Group, which is responsible for developing our school’s Christian ethos in practical ways across school life, comprises student representatives, members of staff, governors, trustees and local clergy. In recent years the group has overseen the introduction of a part time Chaplain to the school, prayers at the end of all assemblies, a school Bible Verse of the Year, the presentation of a copy of the Holy Bible to all leavers (courtesy of The Gideons International), regular ‘Prayer Stations’ events in the library and an Annual Service of Praise and Thanksgiving, attended by the whole school. With the support of Rt Revd Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, we have introduced regular services of Holy Communion, which students and staff may attend on a voluntary basis. There is a thriving Christian Union which meets regularly. Whole school assemblies take place every morning, where we welcome speakers from the local clergy and representatives of other local faith groups and organisations.
Each year, our students choose a Bible Verse of the Year. For 2018-19 the students have chosen “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit” (John 15:5). The inspiration from this verse highlights the need for spiritual roots, shoots and fruit. In a world of increasing individualism, it is imperative to belong to healthy and thriving spiritual, as well as academic, communities. Love is the glue that hold us together, and the exemplary sacrificial love of Christ and his command to love one another continues to be our ideal, however difficult that may be in practice. We remain in God by loving one another, and through love, God becomes incarnate in the Waddesdon community. The metaphor of the fruit of the vine illustrates the health, healing and merriment we get from seeking God (Love) in our daily lives.
Our hope is that Waddesdon school continues to be not just a school, but a family where there is enough room for everyone irrespective of the colour, culture or creed; a place where the weak are strengthened, the lost are found, the isolated are integrated and all flourish irrespective of their personal circumstances. It is our prayer that our students and staff will flourish in the knowledge that they are loved eternally and that the words of this verse will give them the confidence they need to achieve highly and to live fruitful lives in all its fullness.