What is a courageous advocate?
A courageous advocate is someone who champions a cause which is special and meaningful to them.
At Shottery St Andrew's C of E Primary School, we have a strong emphasis on encouraging our pupils to become courageous advocates, not just locally, but nationally and globally.
At some point in life we will all face challenges and need support to help us overcome these barriers. We teach our children that it is important to help others when we can no matter who they are, where they come from or what challenges they may face. We teach this through the teachings of the bible and learning about other courageous advocates.
Our Christian values and carefully planned opportunities in our curriculum ensure that the children regularly discuss and debate the big issues, to challenge injustice and to engage in activities that can bring about change are always present.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
It is important for our children to appreciate their role as part of a community; to take responsibility, to be able to look after themselves & to foster an understanding of their importance, impact and influence in the world.
In collective worship, RE lessons and other times of reflection and prayer, biblical references are explored to deepen children’s understanding and enable them to live out our Christian vision and values to serve others and enable themselves and others to flourish. Children learn how Jesus demonstrated values of courage, hope, service and love, and are inspired to follow His example. Children and adults learn about the life of Jesus and God’s vision for the world and reflect on the message of the Bible in the context of their own character and actions.
Jesus spoke up for people who were disadvantaged, disempowered and ignored by their communities. Children are encouraged to reflect on Jesus’ actions and teachings to inform their own values, judgements and courageous choices. Other learning experiences, including PSHE lessons, Shottery Behaviour Curriculum and learning about British values, enables children to grow in character and independence, develop their sense of respect and justice, and grow in courage “to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8).
The Church of England also promotes the Christian values of wisdom, community and dignity as key values associated with courageous advocacy. For more insight into the theology behind courageous advocacy, refer to section 1 in the Church of England document, ‘Courageous Advocacy’.
Courageous Advocacy Projects
Year 3 and 4's class text, The Great Kapok Tree, taught the children about the terrible consequences of living in "a world without trees" or beauty, about the interconnectedness of all living things. Inspired by their reading, the children wrote and performed persuasive speeches as part of their English work and through further class discussion, the children decided to write letters to Sir David Attenborough.
Courageous Advocacy in action
In recent years we have carried out a range of different fund raising to support many fantastic causes, some of which include:
Stratford upon Avon local food bank;
Harvest Festival donations;
Children in Need;
The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Our children have an excellent grasp on the meaning of belonging to a local and global community and the sense of responsibility that comes with belonging. Thereby developing their ability to empathise and make a small sacrifice to benefit others. Together we consider the beauty and fragility of our environment, the actions we take, and the impact these actions may have on the well-being of everyone. Our school community and curriculum actively embraces a responsibility for the world in which we live. We are diligent to show our connection with, and care for, the world in which we all live and care for the people who live in it: