Our Vision and Values are at the core of everything we do. They underpin our teaching and learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils to be confident, happy citizens. The following statement summarises our school core purpose.
Nansloe Academy Core Purpose (Ethos)
We can all learn and improve, regardless of our differences. We can learn skills to help us to be more effective learners and citizens. These skills help us throughout our lives, not just in school, and enable us to make a positive contribution to society. Our attitudes and behaviour now affect our future success.
At Nansloe Academy we believe that our most important role is to prepare children for life. Since teaching and learning is the vehicle for this, the quality of lessons and learning experiences on a day-to-day basis is vital. However, we also recognise that:
· Much of each child’s learning takes place beyond the formal classroom situation and occurs during all of the activities and experiences of the school day and through the “Hidden Curriculum”.
· A child’s time in school represents only a fraction of a child’s life and learning experiences.
· Children will need to continue to learn throughout the whole of their lives.
Consequently our fundamental aim is to equip children with skills, strategies and attitudes which will enable them to access and benefit from new learning at any moment and at every stage of their lives.
The Nansloe Learning Powers provide a framework for talking about learning. They are:
Build Relationships! Be Ready! Be Resilient! Be Resourceful!
Always Reflect! Take Responsibility!
The Nansloe Learning Powers are referred to throughout the school day in all contexts and are celebrated through displays and rewards for good learning. They form the basis of on-going conversations about what it is to be a good learner including a weekly learning assembly which all staff attend.
We aim to model and promote positive relationships between all members of the school community including staff, governors, parents and children. We use the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) materials as a foundation for classroom teaching to promote emotional intelligence.
As a school we believe that children need to have a positive image of themselves as individuals and as learners and to feel safe and secure if they are to achieve their potential. This is a vital element of being “Ready” to learn and we work towards this through our assertive approach to discipline, the use of rewards and positive praise and through our pastoral care system. Children also learn about the 5 things their brain needs to learn well - water, healthy food, exercise, challenge and plenty of sleep. To support this, we strive to be a Healthy School, for example, we have provided free fruit and water bottles for all children. The value of being well-prepared for school is stressed, and children are encouraged to ensure homework and reading tasks are completed well and to come to school with the necessary equipment for the day. The value of good talking and listening to learning is reinforced through agreed “talk rules” in each class. These enable talk sessions to be productive and allow for thinking and reflection about learning to take place.
We aim to create a “can do” culture where children see new learning as a challenge and view difficulties as opportunities for new learning. Children are taught to encourage others through the use of praise or practical advice or help in order to support resilience. They are encouraged to persevere, and to develop strategies to manage distractions so that they can remain focused.
Learners are encouraged to ask questions, use imagination, develop curiosity and identify links between new learning and previous experiences. They are taught to use a range of resources including other people to help them learn. At Nansloe Academy, we feel that the physical environment of the classroom has an impact on attitudes to learning, the quality of learning which takes place and learners’ resourcefulness. We strive to maintain high quality interactive displays and learning walls with visual resources which are used actively to support learning.
The ability to reflect and identify strengths and areas for improvement is a key learning skills. Teachers use higher order, open-ended questions at different points in each lesson to encourage and enable pupils to reflect on their own learning and progress. This skill is nurtured and explicitly taught eg pupils are taught to refer to success criteria, teachers’ written feedback, tool kits, learning targets and supporting resources to enable them to assess their own progress and next steps. The aim is that this “self-checking” will become an engrained part of the process of learning which learners start to do independently and continue throughout their lives.
Through the use of explicit talk and thinking about the process of learning we strive to develop children’s awareness of their own learning and the value of that learning to their present and future lives. Children discover that learning is something that they must do for themselves – it doesn’t just happen.