VALUES AND ETHOS
Beaconsfield Primary School (BPS) is a very successful community school which seeks to educate all pupils to the highest possible educational standards.
Our Values and Ethos are summed up as:
B - "BELIEF" → Belief in one's own talents and abilities.
P - "PERSEVERANCE" → Perserverance and resilience for all learning.
S - "SUCCESS" → Success for learning, Success for life.
Teaching and Learning at BPS
Educational research has led us to draw the following conclusions about how our pupils learn:
- Learning is a change to long-term memory
- Knowledge is vital as it facilitates thinking and improves memory
- Children learn best when they are able to make connections
- Repetition is required for long-term retention
We believe that the best way to achieve a change in long-term memory is to develop conceptual systems for understanding knowledge known as schemas. Our curriculum is designed to ensure children can organise their knowledge in a meaningful way by frequently revisiting key concepts in the context of a broad and balanced curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to appreciate how facts are connected and the ways in which they are connected. We aim to ensure that our pupils experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.
Our curriculum is designed to develop pupils’ subject schemas through:
- Using concepts (known as ‘Threshold Concepts’) as the basis for the schema in each subject. These are the ‘big ideas’ which are explored in multiple ways in different contexts as children progress through the school.
- Strengthening schemas through the use of ‘Knowledge Categories’ which are the facets of each threshold concept.
- Further deepening connections through tasks which allow children to demonstrate their understanding of the key concepts.
The vast majority of our pupils speak English as an additional language and therefore opportunities for children to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills are fully embedded across the curriculum. We have embarked upon the Voice 21 Oracy project in order to further improve opportunities for pupils to learn to talk and through talk. Whilst we recognise that our pupils often need additional support to develop their English skills, we ensure that this does not come at the expense of the broad and balanced curriculum all our pupils require and deserve in order to become fully rounded learners.
We believe that developing a love of reading is crucial to future academic success. Reading is promoted in our school in a wide variety of ways across the curriculum including daily story times in every year group, our ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ reading challenge and regular workshops for parents and carers. Our pupils often come to school with lower levels of vocabulary. Vocabulary likely to contribute to academic success (known as tier 2 words) and topic specific vocabulary (known as tier 3 words) is explicitly taught in every year group in order to close any gaps in vocabulary knowledge and ensure our children can access the curriculum appropriately.
Whilst we fully appreciate and value the importance of developing pupils’ understanding and appreciation of their own culture, we also recognise the need to ensure our pupils are fully prepared to become global citizens within the framework of British Values.
These core values are:
We ensure our pupils have regular opportunities to experience cultures which are different to those they are likely to encounter in the local area. This is achieved through the topics and key texts we have selected for our curriculum and the experiences we provide our pupils both in school and beyond.
Our children’s global outlook is further developed through our work as a Rights Respecting School and we develop pupils’ understanding of environmental issues in a variety of different ways such as our Edible Gardens project and our status as an Eco-School. Promoting gender equality is also a key focus for our school. Through our curriculum and the learning experiences we provide, we ensure that both boys and girls are exposed to a wide variety of positive role models to ensure that their aspirations for their future are not limited by gender stereotypes.
Our school ethos of ‘Belief, Perseverance and Success’ reflects the key attributes which we believe the children in our school require in order to meet their full potential. Children throughout the school are explicitly taught to develop a ‘Growth Mindset’, to value the importance of effort, hard work and determination and to view feedback and learning from mistakes as an essential part of the learning process. This ensures our children develop the resilience needed to deal with challenging activities and therefore make sustained progress regardless of their starting points.
Termly assertive mentoring meetings which take place between all KS1 and KS2 pupils and their teacher are also a key element of our drive to develop pupils’ learning skills and emotional intelligence. These meetings give pupils ownership over their own learning by ensuring they have a clear picture of where they are now and what targets they need to achieve to move forward.