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St Francis Church of England Aided Junior School

"Let your light shine bright"

Our latest Ofsted report has been punblished please follow the link in Key Informtion / Ofsted and Performance Click on NEWS above (NEWSLETTERS below on phones) for the latest updates from school including what we have been learning, achievements, routines and dates for your diary. Thank you for your continued support, Mrs. Lakey and your St Francis' family.

School Vision / Mission Statement

Our Vision: "Let your light shine bright."



At St Francis’ we respect individuals for who they are and encourage the development of aspirations, self-confidence and self-worth, so everyone can shine their light bright. During the Sermon on the Mount, found in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus addressed a crowd and revealed eight blessings (known as The Beatitudes). He then spoke to the crowd about salt and light. Jesus explained:


“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."

Matthew 5:14-16


Matthew teaches us the need for self-worth, self-confidence and resilience to find and then shine our lights bright. By shining we support the academic and personal development of our wider school family. We also follow the teachings of St Francis’ of Assisi. When approaching learning we:


"Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and before you know it you are doing the impossible."


St. Francis of Assisi challenges each of us to be present: to be present to ourselves, to one another, and to all of creation.  By being present to all around us, Christians believe we are being present to the God who created us all from His abundant love. 


We follow the teachings of St Francis of Assisi by:


  • Caring for those in need within our community.
  • Bringing acts of kindness to our everyday lives, work, family and community.
  • Being present, respectful, and curious in all we encounter, even with those with who we disagree with.
  • Being aware of global warming and how climate change will affect us and generations to come
  • Learning about our actions that impact our global landscape.
  • Understanding current news and discussing it in relation to Christianity, protected characteristics,Convention of the Rights of the Child and British values.
  • Appreciating a deeper understanding of human suffering.


By learning about Christian values, listening to the teachings of Jesus, and by following the example of Jesus, we say to every member of our community:

Let your light shine bright!

The impact of our vision can be felt by visitors. Bishop Paul and Bishop Sarah visited as part of their annual Bishop's prayer walk in June 2022.

Following their visit Bishop Sarah preached as part of her Sermon that St Francis' was:        


 “A school full of light that had nothing to do with windows; a light in the staff and children; in their friendships and their shared life together.” The Rt Revd Sarah Clark, Bishop of Jarrow, June 2022.


For more information on St Francis of Assisi, please watch the videos below. 

Stories of Saints for Kids! | Saint Francis of Assisi (Episode 26)

Saint Francis of Assisi is considered to be the patron saint of animals and nature.

Stories of Saints for Kids! | Saint Francis of Assisi - Part 2 (Episode 27)

Francis grew up and he made friends with the sons of richest men in Assisi.

Our Mission Statement


St. Francis’ is a truly inclusive school, dedicated to giving our children skills for life, so they can dream, be inquisitive and have many life choices open to them in the future.  We teach children to aim high, become good citizens, and use their skills to lead an industrious, meaningful and productive lives in a diverse world. Working in close partnership with the Parish of Aycliffe, we are an inclusive school for children of any faith or no faith. 


The school motto of “Let your light shine bright,” encapsulates the school’s commitment to:

  • Provide a wholesome education which is deep and broad, delivered by dedicated staff who care for every child's academic achievement, wellbeing and future opportunities. 
  • Develop skills in children and adults to live for life in all its fullness from their own school starting point.
  • Provide a safe space to try out and develop new skills.
  • Develop skills for learning together by trying, failing and learning from our mistakes.
  • Develop endurance, determination and support for each other through teaching critical, caring, collaborative and creative thinking skills. 
  • Children are equipped with growth mind-set skills so they can be confident enough to have a try. There is no failing at St Francis', just... First  Attempts  In  Learning

Spiritual development is at the heart of our school, our children are inspired with a love of learning enabling them to embrace their fullest potential whilst learning how to love and empower others to do the same. Using an equitable approach, children develop ways to overcome any disadvantages in a supportive environment.

We know that children have settled into our school ethos when they begin to: 


Look IN

  • be guided by their beliefs and values and be willing to take a stand to defend them 
  • love themselves, care for themselves, believe in their potential to achieve, and find inner strength and resilience when facing challenges  
  • exercise imagination and creativity
  • be comfortable with stillness and silence and open to engage in reflection/meditation/prayer  
  • be ready to say sorry when mistakes are made, to forgive themselves
  • be willing to take risks and to reflect, learn and grow following experiences of failure as well as success  


Look OUT

  • be guided by their beliefs and values and be willing to take a stand to defend them 
  • be self-aware and empathise with the experience of others in the school and wider community  
  • appreciate beauty in the world
  • be ready to say sorry when mistakes are made and to forgive others  
  • appreciate and be thankful for what is good in life like friends and family, and show generosity towards others  


Look UP

  • be alive to experiences of awe and wonder  
  • be intrigued by mystery and be open to an awareness of the transcendent in the whole of life  
  • demonstrate curiosity and open mindedness when exploring life’s big questions  


As children become more secure in their self-identity and begin to develop their own set of ethics, there are increased responsibilities in school and the wider community. We aspire for our children to shine their light further into the community, as lighthouses as they move onto the next stage of their education. They do, however, remain part of our St Francis' family for life and we welcome them back with open arms. 

School Hymns and Songs


With music's deep connection to the limbic system, people tend to find connections in music through memories. Certain songs have a way of taking you to certain time or a specific place in your life. Because of this, we feel a reminiscent connection to music to go along with the emotions it already arouses in us.


Below are our main school hymns and songs that help us to look IN, OUT and UP.

School Hymn: This Little Light Of Mine

Looking IN, UP

School Song: Zootopia - Try Everything (Lyrics, Shakira)

Looking IN

School Song: This Is Me - The Greatest Showman {LYRICS}

Looking IN

School hymn: Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Looking IN, OUT, UP

"The Lord's Prayer" Song - Our Father in Heaven - Brother Francis

Looking UP

School Hymn: City On A Hill

Looking IN, OUT and UP

School Hymn: My Lighthouse

Looking IN, OUT and UP

The Script - Hall of Fame (Lyric) ft.

Looking IN, OUT and UP

Our core values: Trust, Love and Koinonia


Christian values underpin all interactions, we value all learners and promote inclusivity so all members of our St. Francis’ family can shine bright. We teach children about our three core values of trust, love and koinonia. 



Our school is named after St Francis of Assisi who lived in Italy and was born in 1811 or 1812. He put all of his trust in God and gave up all of his possessions and lived in poverty. St Francis taught his disciples about God and in 1209 he took his 12 disciples to Rome. In April 1209, the Pope agreed that they could form  the Franciscan order. Once his order was established, in 1212 he organised a women’s order called the Poor Clares. It was run by Saint Clare of Assisi. 


St Francis' works closely with the Parish of Aycliffe and Debbie from St Clare's to ensure we provide the best possible education and personal development experiences for our children. “A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14) We trust that together Church and school, in partnership can support children to be even stronger teenagers as they prepare for adulthood.


From November 2020 to December 2023 Rev. Ann supported the growth of the Church - School partnership. She led collective worship, baptised and confirmed our community, ran a warm-space and led a weekly Church Youth Group made up of past pupils. Whilst we await the appointment of a new Parish Vicar, Debbie, Interim Ex-Officio, is supporting us in ensuring the links remain between school and the Parish.  


Trust is developed in St Francis’ through interactions between members of our community. We value honesty, openness, transparency and integrity from all. 


Through consistent rules, routines, school systems and grace, children are able to take ownership of their behaviour and learning. Mistakes are central to our community and together we learn and build shared ways of working together to ensure everyone to be the best they can be.


All staff have confidence and belief in every child and work with children, to ensure they are confident global citizens. 



Love is at the heart of our school ethos. It enables us to value everyone as an individual and provide the nurture and care needed to unlock their potential and help them shine.  Through the dark times, this light has brought us all together - without judgement, we work collectively to support our community.  


“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18) 


We teach children the meaning of love at St Francis' through the Parable of the Lost Sheep. In our St Francis' family we will not leave a sheep who is lost, with determination and love we will find them and once again help them to find their light (their confidence and gifts) so they can shine and be the best they can be.


Just like the shepherd celebrated the achievements with his community, we gather our 'flock' every Friday in our Awards collective worship linked to our vision and core Christian values to celebrate the weekly achievements. These are shared with the wider community in the school newsletter.  

The Parable of the Sheep - Brother Francis


Koinonia is a sense of community, not just being part of a school but a fellowship. Members of our St Francis’ family are part of school, parish, county, country and international communities.  “It gives light to all in the house.” (Matthew 5:15) 


Koinonia promotes a sense of self-worth and understanding of how, as an individual, they can impact on a much wider community.   


Our curriculum intent includes all members of our community being valued, as individuals, for their gifts and attributes. They can use these to be a beacon of light across the communities to which they belong. Through planned and unplanned shared experiences, connections are made between individuals and groups to enable the development of a distinctively Christian community. 

We have links with ST. JOHN'S PLACE, KILIMATINDE Tanzania

This video shows the schools and the school bus that was in an accident in 2022 so could no longer be used.
We sent just over £1200 raised by using our voices, sponsored activities and sharing our Just Giving page in Summer 2023.

Life in Kilimatinde in 2018

We have links with Memorial Christian High School, Bangladesh

Drumming performance filmed from the rooftop.

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