St Thomas CE (VC) Primary School
8.30am - 4.30pm
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Our school works closely with the other schools around us to provide additional opportunities for our children. To find out about who we work with, and what we do click here...
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We have a very clear and simple approach to enabling our children to develop good habits for life. Our intention is to build on the expectations set within their home and to work together to offer a school culture that holds effort, consideration and self-awareness in high regard. To put it simply, we begin with relationships and knowing each other well. We believe that this is the most significant aspect of each school day, underpinning everything else. We believe that good old fashioned manners and good humoured interactions foster mutual respect. We share the expectations with the children in a way that enables them to act positively and to help them to understand how their actions can directly effect others and themselves, developing a sense of personal responsibility.
We focus on effort in all aspects of the school day and the recognition given from each child trying hard. This means that we place less emphasis on rewarding achievement as research shows that this can create worry or low self-esteem. Rewarding effort engages the children and motivates them to do their best in all aspects of the school day, without the possibility of failure.
Our children know that a safe, calm and happy school is everyones responsibility.
Step 1 'WHAT' - This is 'What' we think is important in our school
Quite simply effort means everything. From an early age our children are given recognition for their efforts. This means that they can approach all tasks, and all relationships in a positive way. It really helps them to know that it's that simple. There are many opportunities to do something great each day at school, all of which require individual effort, no matter how challenging it may appear. When our children step into the big, wide world, it will be their work ethic and their interactions with others that will help them to be happy and successful.
Step 2 'HOW' - This is 'how' you can do it!
Our St Thomas Top 10 is displayed in every classroom and around the school. This poster offers the children 10 great ways to have a good day. They're very simple and they add value to some very simple behaviours that can create some very positive outcomes. As you will see, the reference to effort threads through. This helps our children to develop good behaviours and habits. When we share this with our children, we offer them the opportunity to take responsibility. Putting these behaviours into place at a young age can ensure that the children grow older with a sense of identity, pride and responsibility.
Step 3 'IF' - This is what happens 'if' you don't get it right.
Rules are important in society for all of us. It would not be fair on our children if we did not ensure that they had a realistic understanding of the negative outcomes related to anti-social behaviour. We focus initially on the 'what' and 'why' and finally on the 'if' so that we put the emphasis on the positive behaviours. If a behaviour is not good enough then we can use our policy, to manage pupils in the right way. This enables children to reflect and evaluate their own behaviour. This may result in a pupil being withdrawn from their class so that they can understand how their behaviour effects others. At this point we can discuss any concerns directly with the family. This process relates to persistent or more serious incidents and not simply mistakes.
ClassDojo is a digital classroom management tool designed to help our teachers promote positive behaviour. Each student gets an avatar, which the child can personalize, and teachers create goals or behaviors to track, such as completing homework, participating in class, staying on task or demonstrating effort. In our reception and year one classes we use class dojo to acknowledge when a child has completed one of their independent challenge activities, ensuring that our children engage in their own learning when not directly supported by a teacher. Teachers use their ipads or computer in class to give points. Each student’s points can be displayed via a smart board and shared with the children or families. Every point earned contributes to the children's house point scores, promoting great teamwork and collaboration across the whole school. We can show you your child's dojo on parent's evening, celebrating their attitude and efforts. Most importantly, the children really like it because it's fun.
All of our children have a 'Freedom Pass'. This is in recognition of honesty and trust. This helps our children to understand the value of being a good person all of the time, making the right choices in and out of school. With a Freedom Pass our children have additional opportunities within the school day to be more independent and to access additional opportunities. For example, a pupil with a pass may be able to have lunch outside or to access the computer suite without close supervision. They may also represent the school in sporting events or be involved in extra-curricular activities.