Pupils and Adults flourishing within a 'Community of Hope'
Ofsted September 2021 :- ‘We’re a small school, but we can achieve big things.’ How right they are. Pupils in this school achieved second place in a national schools’ competition last year by designing something that could change the world for the better.
Leaders did not let the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic interfere with the richcurriculum on offer. They found creative ways to make sure that pupils continued to have experiences that enriched their learning. Leaders have identified that pupils do not acquire early reading skills well enough and are doing something about it. The Christian ethos in this school sits behind everything they do. Pupils understand and appreciate this.
All adults in this school know every pupil by their name. Staff also know pupils’ families very well. Staff and families work closely together to make sure that pupils are happy and safe. Pupils’ behaviour in lessons and around the school is exemplary. Pupils told inspectors that poor behaviour never disrupts their learning. There is no bullying. Pupils are kind and caring. Younger pupils trust older pupils to look after them, including at breaktimes.
There are after-school clubs every day except Friday, and these are open to all pupils who would like to attend. Almost all pupils jump at the chance to stay at school until 4pm
Pupils say :-
'Hope makes me feel safe and it helps us to express our feelings'
'Being a community of hope means we think about what will happen in the future'
'The Prayer of St Francis helps me to see that for any negative, there is a positive action'
'The teachers ask us if we are ok and the children think about how the adults are feeling'
'Hope helps you to believe in yourself and helps you to try hard because anything is possible'
'Our vision is about challenge and overcoming difficulties'
'We can change something. It will get better. Try try again'
Governors say :-
'As a Board of Governors, we support and challenge school leaders to be the best so that our pupils have the best education possible to reach their full potential'
'Having hope is seeing challenges as opportunities'
'Children, staff, parents and governors are working together towards the same collective aim'
'the adults help us to be the best we can be'
Governors say :-
'No one is left behind'
'Delivering a rich and varied curriculum and encouraging pupils to become rounded individuals'
'All members of the school community working together to aspire towards fostering hope, building resilience and aiming for positivity in all aspects of learning and development'
Character Development : Hope, Aspiration and Courageous Advocacy
'Make Me A Channel of Your Peace' (based on the Prayer of St Francis) is a special song for our school. It reflects hope, aspiration and courageous advocacy that we aim to 'live out' as a group of school community stakeholders.
Pupils say :-
'believe in yourself... try hard and anything is possible'
'for every negative, there is a positive action'
'we can change what happens in the future and it doesn't matter what age we are, young or old we can make a change together'
Lesley Berrington (Inclusive author) visited our school and shared her story books with the pupils. The books promote positive images of disability, fostering acceptance, respect and understanding for the differences we all have. The children really enjoyed the session and the parents/carers were keen to buy some books!
Our school supports the local foodbank and various charities such as MacMillan Cancer and Children in Need.
Our pupils say :-
'if we are struggling, we gets lots of help from the teachers'
'we should forgive - the adults at our school encourage this'
'don't do something that you wouldn't want to happen to you'
'try to be good to other people'
'I was nervous coming back to school, but now I feel safe and secure'
'we are happy and we work as a team'
'everyone is in it together'
Dignity & Respect
We treat everyone as we want to be treated ourselves.
The children say :-
'we include everyone'
'if you are nice, people will be nice back to you'
The Impact of Collective Worship
Our 'Pupil Worship Leaders' (a group of pupils from Years 3 - 6) impact positively on our collective worship by
- ensuring that the messages in worship are followed through
- organising prayer spaces in our school
- helping our Collective Worship Leaders (staff) devise themes for prayer
- making suggestions for worship songs and displays in and around school that reinforce the distinctive Christian character of our school
- helping the staff team to evaluate worship
- helping to plan a worship session at least every term in school, for sharing in St Mary's Church - bringing the community together
Our pupils were asked 'why do we have collective worship?'
- to build your connection with God
- to be close with God
- to have respect for other people's beliefs
Pupils tell us that collective worship in school has inspired them to worship 'alone', 'at home', 'in the attic' or 'on my bed'. Also, pupils say that they 'like worshipping in church because of the atmosphere'.
Recent worships that have impacted our pupils are linked to the plight of refugees - pupils spoke of them being separated from their families and this 'made them feel empathy'. They had 'an admiration for the strength needed' by the refugees. To access this worship please click on this link
In worship, our pupils say that they 'particularly enjoy singing and hymns and the Bible stories too'.
Our pupils tell us that they like to have music as part of our collective worship, but that 'quiet times' are also important too, for the following reasons :-
- when it's quiet, I can talk to God more
- Quiet time helps me to listen and talk to God
- I can think more about what I've learnt and reflect
Over the course of the academic year (2021 2022), our school is working with the pupils on creating a quiet space in school where pupils can go to reflect and pray, because this is something that the pupils have said they would like. The children said they want that because 'at really sad times they want to be alone'.... they want some 'slow down time'. We shall bring you news of how this is developing soon!
Our Pupil Worship Group has made a Prayer Box
The Effectiveness of Religious Education
Our RE curriculum enables our pupils to acquire a rich, deep knowledge and understanding of Christian belief and practice. Pupils are challenged through the exploration of core concepts and questions. We involve the children in meaningful and informed dialogue with a range of religions and worldviews. The RE curriculum is intrinsic to the 'living out' of our school's Christian Vision in enabling all pupils and adults to flourish. The RE curriculum also contributes to British alues and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Central to our RE curriculum, is the study of Christianity as a living and diverse faith, focused on the teaching of Jesus and the Church.
RE lesson evaluations show that :-
'there is abundant evidence of very thoughtful questioning from the teacher to clarify and extend the children's knowledge'
'The RE lesson linked in with the vision and the Christian values, even though the pupils were learning about the Hindu Religion, since it embedded kindness, strength and wisdom'
'The children asked excellent questions'
'The lesson was based on the new RE Curriculum, aiming to develop mutual respect for different beliefs'