Key Stage 2 (7 - 11 yrs)
In the Prep department, a methodical study of the Bible forms the basis for the curriculum, taking for instruction the major stories and episodes which lie behind our language, literature, and moral character as a nation. The chaplain is assisted in this teaching by other members of staff, each taking a specific year group, and the substance of the lessons is largely based on narrative, both paraphrase and literal.
In Key Stage 2, each year group focuses on a particular biblical theme for the whole of the year in order to build a strong foundation of biblical knowledge and to begin to appreciate how the different books of the Old and New Testaments fit together as a collection.
In Year 3, the theme is that of "God and Mankind," with most of the stories coming from the books of Genesis and Exodus and a timely reference to the Incarnation at Christmas in the light of what the children have learned about the Fall. By the end of the year there ought to be a general understanding that the covenants made with Noah, Abraham, and Moses are a true reflection of our relationship with God and a continuing responsibility for all Mankind.
In Year 4, the theme of "Prophets and Kings" offers opportunities to explore the contrast between different kinds of leadership and the fortunes enjoyed under each one. We focus mainly on the books of Samuel and Kings and look at the differing roles of Kings Saul, David, and Solomon as well as a variety of Prophetic influences including Samuel, Elijah, Daniel, and Jonah. All these stories help to make clear that perfection is not required to do Godís will, and human weakness is often necessary to help it to find expression in the world.
Year 5 provides the opportunity to concentrate on "Jesus and the Gospels," with the children now firmly rooted in the tradition of the Old Testament and Godís relationship with his chosen people. We make a study of John the Baptist as a forerunner and see how Jesus prepared for ministry in his choice of followers and in his self-discipline.
During Lent, we begin to explore the reasons why Jesus was crucified and the significance of the Passion, before looking at resurrection themes after Easter and exploring several well-known parables and miracles as effective and practical examples of Jesus teaching.
Year 6 gives us the space to discover how the Church began with a background of "Acts and Epistles," beginning with the experience of Pentecost and the associated tension that arose from it. The stoning of Stephen and the conversion of Saul help to underpin ideas of martyrdom and mission before travelling through the high points of Paulís missionary journeys and some of the epistles written to the early Church.
In Year 6, an introduction is also made to some aspects of faiths other than Christianity, but the general philosophy behind our approach to religious and spiritual development is that tolerance and understanding amongst different faiths and cultures is best established by first learning and understanding the background and beliefs of Christianity in particular, in order to provide a firm foundation for the proper study of faith in general.
On several occasions throughout the year, services for different age groups are held in St Michaels' Church, Chart Sutton and in the senior school chapel, in order to set our corporate worship within an appropriate spiritual context, and to teach the children about practical aspects of worship.
Throughout their time at Sutton Valence Prep School, it is hoped that the childrenís spiritual and moral development will be informed and enhanced by their religious studies and by the opportunities they have to participate in the religious and spiritual life of the school, both as individuals and as a community.
Sutton Valence School is a Christian foundation and this is reflected not only in the school motto, "My Trust is in God Alone," but also in the principles which underpin our Religious Education, both practical and academic.