At Oakthorpe we always strive to be a centre of excellence. We are at the heart of the community, preparing children for their future lives as successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. We maintain a positive, celebratory and inclusive ethos; sustain trusting and supportive teams and relationships; and uphold our high standards and expectations, while not being afraid to take risks and be innovative and creative. Ensuring that we give all children the opportunity to succeed and enjoy learning is our overriding priority.
In our multi-cultural school we aim to:
- Support and encourage all children to fulfill their true potential and to achieve the highest possible standards in all they do
- Provide a happy, caring and stimulating environment where everyone is respected and children enjoy learning
- Ensure all children feel safe and are able to make safe choices now and in the future
- Encourage good manners and courtesy, and consideration for each other
- Value every member of our school as an individual whilst learning to live in a community
- Recognise the contribution that each of us (adults and children) makes towards the success of the school and to involve everyone who has an interest in decision making
- Promote true partnerships between staff, children and parents
- Build strong partnerships with members of the wider community, playing an active role within our local community and the wider global community
- Provide a broad, creative and innovative curriculum enhanced by experiences beyond the school environment which develops enthusiasm for learning and meets the needs of all our children
- Help each child to develop an enquiring mind and be confident and secure in their own abilities, taking risks with their learning and pride in their achievements
- Encourage independent, collaborative learning
- Encourage children to take responsibility for their own behaviour, learning and development
Our children, staff and governors, in consultation with parents, have agreed 22 values. One value is assigned to each month on a two year rota so that over a child’s time at Oakthorpe, they will focus on each value three times.
We have identified 5 core values which relate to each of the others.
Our Core Values are:
excellence * confidence * respect * responsibility * creativity
Our values underpin our ethos and support us in raising standards and developing the whole child as confident, independent and responsible people in a caring, happy, safe and purposeful environment. To raise awareness of our values and develop them in our children, we:
- Introduce two in assembly each half term so children become familiar with the language and ideas.
- Inform parents of our values so they can reinforce them at home.
- Have a clear set of class rules decided with the children: the rules are then real and meaningful for the children
- Teach children good manners and how to manage their emotions
- Have high expectations and clear boundaries: the foundation of good values require good discipline.
- Give children opportunities to reflect on their behaviour and their learning to help them take responsibility for themselves and others
- Reward children for developing and demonstrating the values, for example, in our Child of the Week assemblies
- Take opportunities to discuss values within the curriculum.
- As staff, try to live the values in the way we work and communicate with each other, with children and with parents…children learn best when they see behaviours modelled by adults
In our school we actively promote the British Values, as defined by the Government, in order to prepare all children to be responsible and respectful members of the community. Examples of this are explained below.
Pupils have the opportunity to share their views, opinions and suggestions through our School Council, our annual Speech Competition, election of house captains, inter school debating and making decisions about the curriculum. Pupils contribute to school evaluation and development through questionnaires.
The Rule of Law
Children are introduced to our 5 Golden Rules from the Early Years, developing an understanding of the importance of laws in a fair and just society. Rules are discussed both in class and assemblies and the concept of fair play is promoted in PE lessons. Children understand that they have a responsibility to follow the Golden Rules and that there are consequences when rules are broken.
Children are encouraged to have high aspirations, to make choices and to participate fully in the opportunities that our school offers. We strive to ensure that children can enjoy and achieve in all aspects of school life regardless of any barriers that they may face. Children are regularly taught strategies to keep themselves safe.
To ensure that children understand how to show respect for themselves, for others, for the rules of the school and society, respect is one of our core values. It is important that our children show respect for all members of their community, including these who are different to them in terms of age, needs, beliefs, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and culture. Children are introduced to role models from a range of backgrounds.
In our multi-cultural school children learn about and celebrate different cultures and faiths through Heritage Week, Black History Month, Languages day, Assemblies and RE lessons. Opportunities to learn about the lives and beliefs of other cultures and faiths are taught through the whole school curriculum. Assemblies, Anti-bullying week and Holocaust Memorial Day are opportunities to address prejudice and its effects on society and individuals.