The wellbeing of children is important to everyone, and Clive’s visit has been a great opportunity to take time to focus on this; to remind ourselves that helping children flourish is, and must be, one of the core purposes of our school.
We know that children learn best when they are confident, feel excited about their learning and are proud of their accomplishments. We also know that they make better progress when they are engaged and take responsibility for their learning.
In the past academic achievement was prized as the most important factor for future success and the school curriculum was designed to prepare children for a life of study and knowledge acquisition. And very important that is too. However, employers now report that they need more. They want not just ‘clever’ people, but people with particular attributes. They seek people who are positive, secure and resilient; people with good communication skills, who are self-starters and most importantly who know themselves and can work proactively to their strengths and address their weaknesses.
At school we work to create an environment that supports academic achievement but where also the children can ‘flourish’ and grow in these attributes. We model and build positive relationships with children, use challenge and praise to inspire them, and demonstrate and encourage a ‘can do’ attitude. We are a school that recognises children as individuals and helps them get to know themselves. We value effort, creativity and accomplishment. Most importantly we want children to be resilient so they can face whatever challenges they meet in the future. That means in the playground, for example, we support them to make good choices and take time to teach them if they don’t. Rather than protecting them, we encourage them to take risks, considered risks of course, and learn from their mistakes. Then they can reflect on their decisions and make better choices next time.
In short we value the positive learning of our children and care about their wellbeing. And you can see the effect of this every day; confident, happy children with a love of learning and an energy for life.
Eleanor Jess, Head of Primary