At Essendon, we value:
the ethos of the school based on key Christian values which make it the inclusive, tolerant, welcoming and caring place it is;
the warm relationships between all members of the school community, built on mutual respect and trust;
the individuality of each child within the school community;
the close relationship with our Church and local community;
the right of every child (irrespective of ability, gender, race, culture, religion, Special Educational Needs and disability or social circumstances ) to the best quality education within a safe, secure and supportive learning environment; and
the importance of teaching children to become resilient, independent, responsible and caring citizens in the 21st century.
Following the hard work of the whole school community to summarise what makes our school special back in Autumn 2016, we came up with the strapline, Caring and Learning Together. However, we are never complacent about the need to continually strive to improve, to challenge one another to be the best we can possibly be in terms of both our academic endeavours but also in being loving, caring and happy citizens. In 2018, we asked parents, pupils, staff, governors, our friends from church and members of the local community "What next?" We considered how we should move forward, what each of us would hate to lose about our school as well as what we aspire to next. The pupils chose the following bible verse which summarises our challenge to ourselves ...
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works
This vision statement, rooted in Christian theology, drives everything we do. We are continually looking for ways to "stir" up ourselves and one another. It informs our school policies and decision making and our curriculum.
Having stirred ourselves up, reflected on our ethos, values and vision, staff and governors have considered how to continue to develop a broad and balanced curriculum for our pupils which is engaging and promotes the five key criteria we have determined to be the most important for our pupils ...
CURIOSITY ♦ WELL-BEING ♦ RESPECT ♦ INDEPENDENCE ♦ SPIRITUALITY
"The strong Christian environment of this school develops in pupils a positive attitude and helps them become confident learners keen to achieve their best." SIAMS 2015
We follow a values curriculum. Pupils are taught about the importance of the Christian values (such as Love, Joy, Respect, Hope, Peace and Forgiveness) and all members of the school community, both adults and children, are encouraged to live out those values. The successful living out of our values is celebrated. As such, the learning and working environment is caring and supportive.
We work closely with St Mary the Virgin Church and take regular opportunities to visit the church, whether for an end of term service of for other learning opportunities throughout the year. We said a sad goodbye to Revd. Pauline Higham on 20th April 2018. We miss her regular support in school, leading collective worship, giving pastoral support to pupils, staff and families and supporting the teaching of RE. However, we continued to work closely with the church during the vacancy and enjoyed many joint projects and ventures. We delighted that a new incumbent, Revd. Theresa, was licensed on 5th September 2019 and we look forward to working closely with her over the coming months and years.
"Pupils ... are thoughtful, kind and generous with their time and support. In lessons, pupils are eager to learn ... Pupils challenge and support each other very well in their learning. They are diligent in completing the challenges that they select for themselves and excited about gaining new skills." Ofsted 2017
Pupils learn from and support one another (peer support and learning partners are used powerfully in all classes). They recognise the achievements and qualities of their classmates (whether academic or otherwise). Pupils are given daily opportunities to reflect on our school values and to worship either as a whole school or in their classroom.
"You have ensured that pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, including opportunities to learn about the outside world through daily discussions about topical news stories. Pupils I spoke to were very thoughtful about the ways in which they engaged in democratic processes in school. Pupils talked about the prestige of standing for election to be team captains and vice-captains, as well as running for membership of the student council." Ofsted 2017
More detailed information about the many and varied ways our curriculum intent is delivered in practice can be found in our: (i) Teaching and Learning Policy; and (ii) Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Policy.