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Strand 1

Impact of actions taken in this area

 

The process of deciding our school Vision and Values has been a well-developed process working across the school community to ensure our Vision and Values aligns with not only the Christian Values of the school but also the wide variety of other faiths and beliefs that our community hold.  The process involved our school council, who worked closely with the SLT, acting as an Ethos Committee to ensure our values optimised our hopes for our school, our community and the world beyond our school whilst encompassing our unique Methodist culture and the work of John Wesley.

 

Through a complete process of consultation, most importantly working alongside the children in school, the Values chosen by the school work for members of all faiths but go hand in hand with Methodist beliefs.  We have ensured that our Methodist culture is clearly running through the process and this has been done through the close working partnership between school, the school governing body and the church which has ensured the Methodist voice is heard.  We have consulted fair and wide, including Barbara Easton and other members of the Methodist School Trust, ensuring we have a Vision and Value culture that fits our truly distinctive and diverse community.  Our values are closely supported by passages from the bible which support the meaning of each value whilst being accessible to all members of our school family.

We recognise the importance of a continued and central focus of collective worship and RE throughout school and this is a focus given to every day through collective worship, class worship and lessons taught,   The vision of the school is ‘Within this truly distinctive Methodist School, our common purpose is to enable every child to thrive academically, emotionally and spiritually and to become the person God intends them to be. We will be a school of which the local community and the Methodist Church are justly proud.’  Our school lives this vision each day in everything we do. this may include:

Academically:  As we are developing our new curriculum, we are looking for ways to embed our Values into all aspects of our learning opportunities, as the golden thread running through the teaching and learning activities across school.  Our learning will be both academic and aspirational whilst encompassing passion for the world around us, and a strong desire to impact on the world around us.  A perfect example of this was the visit from Onjali Rauf, the author of ‘The Boy At The Back of the Class.’  We were blessed to receive a visit from Onjali, who spent the day talking to our children about refuges, their current plight and what we can do as individuals or as a community to help.  The children were incredible inspired by this message from Onjali, and have been considering how and what they can do to help.

 

Emotionally:  As a school we invest a huge amount of our school resources into the development of emotional Wellbeing for our school community.  This included support groups for our family, school counselling for our children and staff, Supervision sessions for members of staff dealing with safeguarding cases as well as work such as Kidsafe.  Alongside this, our school is committed to the development of the emotional wellbeing of the children and all children in school have access to our Family Support worker or Learning Mentor.  Those children who need a little more TLC have access to our Hub which provides emotional support in a smaller setting.  Staff have regular training on meeting the needs of the children including, managing behaviour to provide appropriate support for children with complex needs with our goal to enable all children to feel safe and learn.

 

Spiritually:  As a school we are committed to the development of and meeting the spiritual needs of our school community.  Whilst over 50% of our school community are Muslim, with a smaller population of Hindu and Sikh families, we are conscious of meeting the spiritual needs of our whole school family in a Christian way, putting our values at the heart of all we do.  We provide diversity in our approach by including celebrations of all faiths within school.  In our commitment to the spiritual development of our school community, we join to celebrate, Eid, Christmas and Easter, Diwali etc to give our children, their families and our staff a sense of belonging in our school.  We explore other cultures and invite speakers from other religions to share their practices with us; this enables us to build tolerance and our children’s confidence to be who they are and to believe in themselves.

 

As a school, leaders are committed to their continued development to enable the school to be the best it can be.  Collectively, the Governing body and SLT in school attend local training as well as National MAST trust events.  Where appropriate, leaders attend training provided by the diocese however the subject leader for RE attends all local training including local cluster meetings to ensure that school are at the forefront of all local and national information.  To ensure that all staff are then fully aware of the expectations within the RE curriculum, training is disseminated through whole school training, To develop this further, further training slots have been allocated during the school day to support the leadership team to develop the whole school staff team.  To build confidence across school, staff are taking a more active part in the delivery of worship at whole school level to help develop our own Christian leaders of the future.  This extends even further in the development of the students supporting with and leading on the development of worship with a focus of developing the leaders of tomorrow. 

 

 

The close working relationship between the SLT and governing body ensures that the development of the school is a whole process involving everyone.  The use of clear data presentation included in the Headteacher report, alongside informal meetings where governors and SLT meet to discuss the whole school picture and the journey we are going on, ensure that everyone is up to date with where we are and we are going as a school community.

 

The following recommendations were made in our previous inspection and have been worked on in the following ways:

Areas to improve as identified in our SIAMS inspection September 2014

  • Ensure that the learning about the life and teaching of John Wesley and the way in which this influences the lives of people today takes place throughout the school.
  • Extend the age appropriate learning about the Trinity to all year groups so that their understanding develops as they move through the school.

 

The story of John Wesley starts each academic year, underpinning who we are as a Methodist school and why it is important to our school family that we recognise the work John Wesley undertook and how that has influenced modern day life.  We use his work as a way of life that we are aspiring to live ‘Doing all the good we can’ for our school and our school community.  To add greater depth to this, we link our school values to the work of John Wesley and make relevant and real-life examples for the children to follow.  Singing has taken a stronger focus as a way of singing the word of God through school and this is something the children greatly enjoy.  With the new development of our vision and Value culture, we are developing our own song that will be our school anthem for being the best we can be, and the person god intended us to be.  To raise the profile of John Wesley throughout school, children have been designing posters for our John Wesley competition with the winning design being professionally printed to be displayed as part of our Vision and Values boards which will take pride of place in the hall. (See  School Website/News letter)

School have worked hard to develop a whole school understanding of the Trinity and this is work that is ongoing.  To act as a reminder to the children, work displayed in the hall links to this, at a child led understanding, to act as a continual reminder of what the Trinity is, what it means to Christians and what it means to our school family.  Many Philosophical discussions have taken place surrounding the Trinity and the understanding our children have of the Trinity and over time, their understanding has deepened.  This understanding is modelled in our school hall, taking pride of place as one of our key displays.

Covid Reflections:

The national lockdown brought many challenges for the leadership and development of the school with constant changes that were reactive to the situation.

In the first lockdown, the Junior school and the Infant school combined and established a joint KW/V provision for children.  This was to allow staff to be placed on a 1/14 day rota for time in school.  Both headteachers remained on site during this time to support with the day to day management of school including opening up and locking the site, providing Eden Red food vouchers / food parcels to the free school meal families, wellbeing support for children and staff.

We made the decision to offer provision to other schools where support was not available and as a result welcomed 2 children from different schools onto site.  The collaborative approach helped to establish new relationships with the staff from both schools which has continued to develop the culture and ethos of the site when working on joint approaches.

To support staff wellbeing, supervision and counselling has been increased as the leadership are aware that the increase

As a result of the constant changes brought about by Covid, the HT is undertaking a Masters in Leadership and looking about ways to bring about sustainable change to support the progressive development of the school as a result of the uncertainty that Covid has brought.

 

Next steps:

  • Embed fully the new Vision and Values of the school, promoting them fully throughout our school community to ensure they become the roots of all we do in school.
  • Look for further Christian Leadership opportunities for aspiring school leader
  • Consider expanding the links between school and the diocese
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