Our Vision and Values
Creating a positive learning environment, ethos and embedding school values is essential if we want our pupils to flourish both as learners and as members of a community.
Our vision statement is:
Grow Learn Persevere Succeed
Our school values have been drawn together by the staff, children and governors:
We believe that in engaging children in their learning they will have a stronger desire to want to learn and make greater progress as a result. We do this by:
- Selecting inspiring topics linked to the New National Curriculum
- Linking subjects together where possible within topics studied
- Using a variety of different learning styles: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic
- Teaching and learning in different ways: independently, in pairs, in small groups and as a class
- Encouraging children to share their own/their group learning with others and presenting their learning in a variety of ways
- Expecting that children have ownership of their learning and independently use appropriate apparatus and tools to maximise their learning
- Expecting that children mark their learning and that of their peers against success criteria, enabling them to identify next steps for their learning
- Expecting effort and high standards in all areas of learning and praising children for enthusiasm and personal progress
Great Leighs is a small village school with a largely white British intake, although the school greatly values the contribution from its small ethnic minority groups. School values underpin the way in which the whole school works; respect, understanding and working together enable our community to facilitate the best possible learning environment. In all that we do we aim to establish an understanding of democracy, the need to follow rules in society, respect and tolerance for all through learning about different cultures and traditions and an understanding of the importance of individuality and liberty within a safe environment and structure.
The importance of pupils’ thoughts and opinions are high within the school. Classes vote annually for their School Council representatives and work fortnightly with their representatives in discussing areas for improvement in terms of opportunities and learning. The School Council has been responsible for the introduction of a tuck shop, a new school uniform, Forest School days for KS2 pupils and judging our annual cake competition. Family Captains are also voted for annually by their families and these captains are responsible for arranging/picking teams for the school half termly sporting competitions. All Year 6 pupils have the opportunity of being a School Prefect, whose role includes working with and supervising classes during wet play times, monitoring the corridors at lunch and break and buddying up with our Foundation Stage pupils particularly for reading. Volunteers from Year 6 are trained to be Peer Mentors – and work with children who have play time issues. Volunteers from each class also lead our Keep Healthy Crew who meet regularly with staff, parents and governors to discuss ways of teaching and informing the rest of the school about healthy living.
Through assemblies, annual class/school rule discussions, PSHE sessions and adult role models, pupils at Great Leighs are clear about expected behaviours. Positive behaviour reinforcement is the main path followed by staff and discussion with pupils regarding unacceptable behaviours takes place when appropriate. Children are aware of sanctions used in their class and the use of white and red slips home to parents should they be deemed necessary. Visitors such as our local PCSO and fire brigade and visits such as Year 6 to Crucial Crew, enable our pupils to see the need for rules in society and the consequences of breaking these rules.
Centrally we aim to teach our pupils the importance of respect and tolerance for each other and members of their local, national and world wide community; only through teaching of different cultures, traditions and religions will pupils understand difference. Assemblies, RE teaching, cultural days, a variety of musical, art and dance experiences, visitors from other faiths and visits to a variety of places of worship as well as the study of life in other countries throughout our curriculum enables our pupils to have a broad understanding and tolerance of diversity. Our Multicultural Assembly every Tuesday teaches important celebration and festival days; visits to our local church and to the Hindu Temple at Neasden broaden our pupils’ understanding of a variety of faiths. Pupils in school share their personal faith, traditions and cultures where possible and the school community as a whole has a better understanding of life in other cultures through its partner school in Ghana.
Bullying is not tolerated in school and through PSHE lessons, listening to children’s concerns via the School Council and in some cases parents, issues arising are dealt with quickly and effectively. Annually pupils take part in Anti-Bullying Week and Safer Internet Day when issues around bullying and cyber-bullying are shared and guidance for prevention is given.
Each year our pupils take part in the Chelmsford Junior Music Festival, the Infant Music Festival, the Barnardo’s Carol Service and regular enrichment days with children from our local cluster of schools enabling them to integrate with children from other places and cultures. Within our local community our pupils have the opportunity to take part in the church’s Christingle Service, Medieval Day, and Village Carol Celebrations. In school our School Council suggests charities to support which has included: Chelmsford Homeless (Harvest time), Christmas boxes for Samaritan’s Purse, Farleigh Hospice, the Royal British Legion, Comic Relief and Red Nose Day.
As a British village school certain traditional aspects continue within our school: annual recognition and understanding of Remembrance Day, Christian Festivals of Christmas and Easter (through productions or school assemblies), celebration of Mothering Sunday, traditional maypole dancing in the summer term along with a celebration of music, dance and gymnastics in our Proms in the Playground. Fundamentally as a school we promote the value of kindness to all regardless of background, culture or faith and encourage all to draw out the best from each other.
All about British Life and culture – how much do you know?
British customs and traditions are famous all over the world. The British Life and Culture website will tell you some of the fascinating facts and information about our beautiful country, in a way that is easy to read and to understand. When people think of Britain they often think of people drinking tea, eating fish and chips and wearing bowler hats, but there is more to Britain than just those things. Click here to find out more.
At Great Leighs Primary school we are organised into five very special families. Each child and member of staff is in a family, which is the name of a tree.
We meet twice per term in our family to share ideas and fun activities. We collect family points each week for excellent work, being respectful and good behaviour. A cup is awarded in Achievement Assembly each week for the family that has collected the most points.
Check the foyer display for this week’s winner.
In each family group, the Year 6 children gave a presentation on why they wanted to lead the family and the skills they had to do this. Following the presentations the other family members voted for their leaders.
Positive reinforcement of good behaviours and positive attitudes towards learning are very important at Great Leighs. As part of our marking process positive comments regarding children’s learning are made either by staff or pupils themselves, either verbally or written. Stickers, smiley faces and family points may be given for effort, attainment or progress by members of staff. Family points are also given to pupils for care, kindness, helpfulness or solving friendship issues. Children collect family points in their classes and these are added together weekly and a trophy is awarded to the school family with the highest number of family points.
Many classes also award a ‘Star of the Day’ within their class, again for the person who has either shown an excellent attitude to their learning or put in a great deal of effort or been helpful or kind. Sometimes classes may be offered ‘Golden Time’ as a reward for effort or progress.
In Achievement Assembly on Fridays each class teacher will nominate three members of their class for the following awards:
- Golden Award: for outstanding achievement or effort
- Spelling Award: for improvement in or excellent spelling
- Reading Award: For reading a wide range of literature during the week
Click here to see this week’s stars.
During Achievement Assembly children may also be given certificates for mental maths, musical achievements, sporting competitions and anything achieved in extracurricular activities.
We have high expectations of the behaviour of our pupils both in conduct and in learning. We promote courtesy, respect and manners. We discuss our expectations at the beginning of the academic year so pupils are clear about how they should behave both in school and on the playground. We also discuss with our pupils the learning behaviours they need in order to learn most effectively e.g. looking at adults and children when they are speaking, listening carefully to instructions given so they know what to do and how to work well in group situations.
We reinforce good behaviour and praise pupils who show good behaviours by awarding family points or stickers. Time out is given to those children who need to reflect on their behaviour and we expect apologies to be given where appropriate. Children may be kept in for poor behaviour or poor learning behaviours. White slips are sent home if staff consider that parents need to know about poor behaviour and red slips are sent home for more serious incidents. The red slip indicates a detention when a pupil needs to miss half an hour of their lunch time. Both the white and red slips need to be signed by a parent and returned to school. This enables parents to discuss issues with their child and supports our desire to have good behaviours at all time in school.
The Learning Council are an integral part of our school. They work with staff, governors and their peers in a variety of ways to help continually improve the school. Each class has two Learning Council representatives who speak to their class regularly and report back to the Council with any issues and ideas. The Council representatives then speak to the necessary adults to resolve any problems and put forward new ideas. The Learning Council promote and organise events for different charities throughout the year, for example the Braintree Food Bank, The Poppy Appeal and Children in Need. They are also responsible for promoting healthy lifestyles through assemblies, newsletter articles and displays.
Peer Mentors have completed their training and are now qualified to help their peers and fellow school mates resolve issues.
They have taken over the role of ‘play leaders’ and their duties will include helping to organise and run family sports competitions, develop games and activities at break times and encouraging physical activity across all year groups.