Southbroom St James' Academy
Character Development: Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
At Southbroom St James Academy with have been piloting a project looking at developing the character and moral development of our pupils through Gary Chapman's '5 Love Languages'. This is now beginning to stretch out into the local community through the potential of a future community garden project. This has been developed hand in hand with our church clergy and Thrive Hub Chaplain.
How we live out this in our school – a celebration of excellence
At Southbroom St James Academy, we believe that all children should have a sense of ‘belonging’ and ‘believing’, which in turn will allow them to ‘flourish’. Children at Southbroom St James Academy understand that they can positively impact their communities through service.
To ensure an active engagement and understanding the pilot project looked at the character and moral development of our pupils through Gary Chapman's '5 Love Languages'. The vision is to continue this work, reaching out to our community through the creation of a St. James’ community garden project. This has been developed and delivered hand in hand with our church clergy and the Thrive Hub Chaplain.
How we achieved this
After an initial launch with school staff back in September, where staff found out their ‘Love Language’ preference, a series of sessions were crafted with input from St James’ Church and our Thrive Hub Chaplain. These were then delivered to the whole school through a series of collective worships and direct lesson delivery to our Year 6 classes. A clear understanding was shared across the school due to these weekly classroom sessions and fortnightly collective worships.
The focus of the session delivered on the 5 Love Languages listed below:
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
This took place over the Spring Term culminating in the Year 5&6 children being invited to Communion Service at St. James’ Church followed by a parent & pupil session for the Year 6 cohort at the St James’ Centre.
The difference that it makes
We have found that because of piloting the ‘5 Love Languages’ in a primary setting our children now:
- Know about what each Love Language represents as an action
- Are mindful of theirs and other preferences
- Understand the positive impact this has on our school, their families, and the wider community
- Can recognise these actions through Jesus’ life and how God is Love
“I have tried using this at home, it has had some positive results when I remember to do it. The results of the quiz where interesting and surprising when my family took it!
In the classroom, I have tried harder to ‘share love languages’ with both other staff and children. This has created a positive atmosphere. We need to encourage the children to ‘share love’ more often.” – Staff
“We’ve talked about the Love Languages at home, and it’s given us a different understanding in our relationship.” – Year 6 Parent
“My daughter has come home and spoken lots about the love language series so I’m here today to find out more about it for myself and what it can do for our relationship going forward into Y7.” – Year 6 Parent
“I didn’t agree with the Love Language Quiz result at first, but I now see that I have got 6% more used to receiving verbal praise and that’s okay. Maybe it was indicating my preference after all.” – Year 6 Child
“Jesus is relevant in my life, and we need more people like Jesus now. We need more people to help us, like Rob does, giving energy into us. It is important to have these lessons so that we recognise this side of ourselves.” – Year 6 Child