Our School Values for Teaching and Learning
Our School Values for Teaching and Learning
Perseverance, Passion and Purpose are three of our six Ps that we feel underpin the values of our whole-school learning ethos.
Perseverance – We believe that if we give-up and stop trying when things get difficult, then our prospects will be limited. In one of our spring term Personal Development assemblies, we discussed the quote ‘Get comfortable being uncomfortable.’ We want our children to know that life throws challenges our way and if you can persevere, show resilience and keep trying, then success and prosperity will come.
Our focused legendary figure for perseverance is Thomas Edison who when a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."
Perseverance also ties in with one of our GOLDEN RULES (or Golden ‘Roots’). Jude from Year 6 summarised nicely, “If something is hard, you just have to push through it and try your best.”
Passion – We are very grateful at St Newlyn East for our amazing teaching and support team. Every teacher and TA in our classrooms is unique but they have one similar characteristic – they are all passionate professionals who love their job. It is due to our team’s passion and happiness at work that they are able to offer our children such rich and diverse learning experiences; they all go the extra mile.
A prime example of this in our curriculum is our focus for improving children’s passion for reading. We believe that whilst the children are at school, we have an opportunity to ignite children’s interest in reading for pleasure. Whether it’s our adults reading daily to the children, having engaging, diverse literature to share in literacy or hosting reading clubs at break times, all the teaching staff at school lead by example in all we do and our passion for reading demonstrates this beautifully.
Purpose – This is a huge focus for us in 2022. Without purpose and a goal then there is little point in doing it. We will learn about Abraham Lincoln who once said, ‘You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.’
Maya Angelou’s quote – ‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you’ - is one that we aim to instil in our children and staff – we truly believe that each and child (and adult) has a song to sing in them – it is our job to give them to strength and confidence to move toward this purpose.
Pace, Participation and Praise are our three other Ps which we also value highly. When the teaching team move at the correct pace for the individual child and for the specific learning task, then children have the engagement and enthusiasm to learn. This will not always mean teaching the children at a high speed, often, our skilled team will slow things down in order for information and ideas to have time to flourish and ‘stick’. This is all part of our inclusive classrooms where all children, particularly those with specific learning need, are supported and nurtured in order to achieve success.
We have re-energised the 4Bs. The 4Bs – as seen in the poster – encourage independence and full participation in all lessons. We aim to instil in our children a belief that if they are KIND AND HELPFUL in supporting their friends with their learning (whilst also LISTENING WELL to their teaching team), then learning can become independent. ‘Grappling time’ will be seen upon visiting our classrooms – here, children will be participating fully in their learning by supporting one another before seeking support from the teaching team.
Praise, but more importantly, specific, earned praise is also key to our teaching and learning philosophy at school. We aim to not be general with our positive feedback, but to really focus in on the praise-worthy event that has occurred; this often can be linked back to our Golden Rules. This is also reinforced with our Class Dojo system.
As a staffing team, we also are positive with each other, often praising and supporting colleagues for successes they have achieved both in and out of school. This also links to our 2021/2022 teaching and learning strategy of supporting one another in the classroom to become better practitioners: by empowering our support staff to work with their teachers and spot or notice small improvements to really make a difference for effective teaching. This leads to a united, empowered teaching unit in each classroom, where each member is happy in their job and who then, ultimately, are happy to help inspire their children.
OUR GOLDEN RULES (OR ‘ROOTS’)
Our six Golden Rules are crucial to the success of the school and often tie in with our British Values assemblies. We often discuss them in our Monday assemblies, for example how ‘Good listening’ is one of our own ‘Rules of Law’ and therefore forming part of our ‘Democracy.’
We are starting to build these in a 'Behaviour Curriculum' rather than stand alone rules that have no meaning. Regular termly assemblies that discuss our Golden Roots and the 'Why?' behind them are now key principles. Our aim for anyone visiting or joining the school is to get a real feeling that good behaviour is at the root of all of our development and happiness. There is an example below of an assembly from May '22 which talked specifically about the reasons for our Golden roots.Particularly in the lower school, these six rules are the building blocks which lead to effective teaching and learning, and happy children.
- We are gentle
- We are kind and helpful
- We listen
- We are honest
- We work hard
- We look after property
Our School Values for Teaching and Learning – The Apple Tree Image
When working on our revised teaching and learning values, we wanted an image that would encapsulate our school community and curriculum. This led to us discussing the fruitful apple tree we are lucky enough to have on our grounds. By the tree you will eventually see a polytunnel from which we hope to grow and sell our own produce as a small business enterprise. We feel the children, as part of their personal development curriculum, need to be taught the importance of business and how we all need to work hard to earn money and prosper in life.
Furthermore, one of our unique selling points is our commitment to outdoor learning – at St Newlyn East, the teachers are often planning topics around the outdoors – we have spacious school grounds which we utilise as often as we can; we also take advantage of our wonderful local area: we have strong links with the village church and often have field trips locally to help bring topics to life. We also learn through Beach School as we feel this aspect of the curriculum is crucial when we consider we live in the best place in the world – Cornwall. All of these factors drew us to a ‘nature-themed’ information poster which you can see below. This forms a central display in the school where children can sit, reflect and have quiet times as and when needed. The apple tree holds our precious 6Ps, with our Golden ‘Roots’ anchoring the tree down and providing the structure and strength needed for the children to grow spiritually and emotionally.
We are passionate towards our curriculum and we hope, when you visit our school community, that you will see happy children who are inspired to learn by an inspirational whole school teaching team. Many thanks for reading about our values – we would love to show you around our school if you would like to visit.