Purpose: To prepare pupils for lifelong success
At Godwin Junior School we firmly believe that “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” (Chinese proverb)
Evidence shows that children who leave primary school having attained at least the national expectations in reading, writing and maths are far more likely to be successful at secondary school and beyond. For us, that is why it is vital that we do everything that we possibly can to ensure that our pupils have solid educational foundations, the desire to learn and the self-confidence to know that they will continue to be successful.
Vision: At Godwin Junior School we:
Instil a love of learning
Seek and encourage talent
Inspire resilient learners
Open minds to develop responsible global citizens
Nurture confident, articulate individuals
Our Vision is apparent in everything that we do: within the priorities we set, our curriculum design and delivery, the opportunities we provide for our pupils, the way that members of our school community treat one another and the manner in which we celebrate successes. This Vision forms the spine on which the ethos of our school is built.
Value Everyone (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 2 and 3)
“When we see the Earth from space, we see ourselves as a whole. We see the unity, and not the divisions. It is such a simple image with a compelling message; one planet, one human race.” (Stephen Hawking)
For us to support our children shape the future, it is our responsibility to help them learn about the contributions made by others so that they can appreciate why diversity is something to cherish. We also want our pupils to understand that we all have different skills and abilities and that these are equally valuable in an equitable society. This is vital so that our children realise that through respecting the effort made by others, we develop our own knowledge and beliefs.
Some of the ways in which we Value Everyone are:
Through a curriculum which develops our children’s awareness of particular cultures, periods of history and individuals which/who might otherwise be underrepresented.
Through assembly and celebration themes which celebrate or commemorate key events and individuals of cultural significance whom we believe our children should learn about.
Through ensuring that through our awards and work displayed we genuinely acknowledge and reward effort, rather than solely attainment.
Instil a love of learning (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 17, 28 and 29)
“Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their minds. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.” (Marva Collins)
At Godwin we believe that it is our duty to make learning engaging so that our children enjoy lessons, want to learn more and are able to successfully make links between different curriculum areas. Although we use extrinsic rewards to help motivate, the intention is that through piquing their interest and sparking their curiosity, we develop within our pupils a genuine desire to find out more – both within the school day and also in their own time. In doing this we aim that, over time, the reward becomes less central to the child’s desire to apply themselves to their learning, our pupils develop greater independence and become more self-motivated.
Some of the ways in which we Instil a Love of Learning are:
Through ensuring that our integrated curriculum reflects the diversity of our school community and presents opportunities for children to make connections between different areas of learning.
Through providing educational visits, visitors, artefacts and activities which allow our pupils to learn in different ways.
Through planning a wide range of creative opportunities for children to research and present their learning in a variety of ways.
Seek and Encourage Talent (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 29)
“Everybody has talent; it’s just a matter of moving around until you’ve discovered what it is.” (George Lucas)
We are deeply committed to providing opportunities for all of our children to discover their talents, to find out what they are passionate about and to experience the self-confidence which follows when they find an area they excel at. We appreciate some children may find learning in traditional academic subjects more challenging; it is our responsibility to support our children to identify what excites them, to provide excellent teaching in this area and help them to develop this strand whilst also supporting them to succeed academically.
Some of the ways in which we Seek and Encourage Talent are:
Through ensuring specialist teaching in National Curriculum subjects such as music, French, art, DT and computing which supports children with talents in these areas to develop their skills to a higher level.
Through providing enrichment activities beyond the National Curriculum within the school day, such as gardening and chess, which allow our children to experience a wider range of opportunities in which to further advance their talents.
Through working with outside agencies to provide extension opportunities in which our children can receive specialist input in areas in which they have an identified talent.
Inspire resilient learners (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 2, 3 and 29)
“You can have all the talent in the world, but without determination, you won’t get very far.” (Malorie Blackman)
We aim to develop our children’s confidence so that they are prepared to take risks with their learning – to not worry about making mistakes, but to be willing to try something new and reflect upon and learn from the experience. Our pupils understand that mistakes are an essential part of making progress and that, as such, they should be embraced.
Some of the ways in which we Inspire Resilient Learners are:
Through championing the Learning Power of ‘Embracing Mistakes’ – acknowledging and rewarding this through our awards system.
Through developing children’s ability to orally explain their reasoning to their Learning Partner as a way of rehearsing, consolidating or adapting their thinking before sharing their ideas with a wider group. This encourages our pupils to be prepared to express their ideas without worrying that these will be considered ‘wrong’.
In their interactions with adults in the school, our pupils are always told what they are doing well, in addition to how they can develop further. This supports our children to have a positive self-image and thus be more confident with their learning and less concerned about making mistakes.
Open minds to develop responsible global citizens (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 14, 17, 29, 30 and 31)
“I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls.” (Malala Yousafzai)
As a UNICEF Rights Respecting school, we are committed to Godwin being a safe and inspiring place to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive. Our Rights Respecting Schools Award embeds these values and gives pupils the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens. Our pupils learn about their rights, they promote and realise these by putting them into practice every day.
Some of the ways in which we Open Minds to Develop Responsible Global Citizens are:
Through embedding the Articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals in our curriculum and referring to these throughout teaching and learning. This links global issues to curriculum learning.
Through planning assembly themes which support children to develop an awareness of global issues and giving them the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their views on these.
Through each year group raising awareness of and fundraising in support of a charity.
Nurture confident, articulate individuals (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 12 and 13)
"Self-confidence is a super power. Once you start to believe in yourself, magic starts happening." (Anonymous)
At Godwin, children are listened to and their views are taken seriously. Our pupils know that they have the right to have an opinion and to be able to communicate this clearly. We support them to develop the confidence and vocabulary to be able to put across their perspective and to be able to respectfully provide counterarguments to points of view expressed by others.
Some of the ways in which we Nurture Confident, Articulate Individuals are:
Through structuring lessons to include numerous opportunities for children to discuss their ideas with a Learning Partner. This ensures that all children have the opportunity to actively participate and means that they can orally rehearse their thoughts, and hence become more confident in their explanation, before sharing more widely.
Through our use of sentence stems and the Agree, Build, Challenge approach in order to develop oracy throughout the curriculum. This scaffolds less confident speakers to organise their responses and encourages children to link their contributions to those made by their peers.
Through our targeted questioning during lessons, rather than relying on children to put their hand up to answer questions. This means that all pupils are actively engaged in their learning as potentially they may be asked to respond. Children may well be asked to further develop their initial answer using key vocabulary which is displayed in the classroom.