Booker Hill Primary and Nursery School

Booker Hill Primary and Nursery School

"Learning Without Limits"
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Character Education at Booker Hill

In November 2019, The Department for Education released new non-statutory guidance to schools on character education and development for pupils. Staff at Booker Hill wasted no time in evaluating our own work and planning for development against the 6 character benchmarks listed within the guidance.

The 6 character benchmarks that we have been studying

Staff gathered together and brainstormed how we address each benchmark through our curriculum and other opportunities available to our pupils. During the summer break, senior leaders collated the staff responses and created a set of statements that detail our Character Education provision. 

View document general/curriculum_documents/character_education_overviews_complete.pdf

A. What kind of school are we?

Booker Hill Primary and Nursery School is a thriving one form entry school where staff, parents and governors work together to ensure that every child develops the ambition, drive and determination to develop essential skills, necessary for life-long learning, success and happiness. Our proactive and forward-thinking educational setting is made up of a highly skilled team of professionals, who continue to dedicate themselves to improving the life chances of all members of the school community. The value of respect permeates through all aspects of school life and results in a highly inclusive and tolerant school community where everyone’s unique qualities and talents; life experiences; cultural and religious beliefs are celebrated.

The school enjoys an excellent reputation best known for its ability to put children at the heart of everything it does enabling pupils to develop a genuine sense of self-worth and pride. Booker Hill strives, by continually pushing the envelope of current educational thinking, to create a bespoke child centred education for its pupils ensuring that they have the opportunity to reach their full potential and highest possible standards of academia - preparing them for life in modern day Britain. 

B. What are our expectations of behaviour towards each other?

 At Booker Hill, our behaviour ethos is fully amalgamated into our school ethos of ‘Learning without Limits’ with high expectations being at the heart of all aspects of school life. Whether it is expectations of conduct around the school environment or of attitudes towards learning, all pupils are encouraged to demonstrate ambition and positive self-discipline. The Booker Hill environment is designed to place emphasis upon creating a community where children can feel happy and secure, are assured of their own worth, develop self-confidence and achieve their full potential. We aim to develop in pupils independence and an acceptance of responsibility for their own actions within an environment where mutual respect is key.

We recognise that it is the relationships between pupils and their teachers which contribute to a culture and ethos of strong behaviour for learning. If a pupil feels confident and has a selfview that they are able to succeed, they are more likely to engage in learning and to become enthusiastic learners. We have high expectations of what our pupils can achieve and instill in them high expectations of themselves, therefore fueling a passion for learning that nurtures greater success.

 C. How well do our curriculum and teaching develop resilience and confidence?

The Booker Hill School curriculum is ambitious and designed to focus on the child as a life-long learner who challenges themselves with confidence. Through our Learning without Limits ethos and a progressive and well-designed syllabus, teaching intentionally inspires children learn to make links between new and prior learning, thus creating knowledge and skill pathways that encourage reflection and give them the confidence to discuss and to understand learning as a progressive and exciting concept. Children’s resilience is developed through being encouraged to strive for the next milestone and our roller coaster analogy provides a visual representation of perseverance as a driver to success and what can be achieved when determination is sustained. High expectations of personal conduct complement our broad curriculum with carefully selected links to all areas of citizenship; cultural capital is at the heart of our school community and children are nurtured to become active and confident members of society.

D. How good is our co-curriculum ?

 Booker Hill’s co-curriculum covers a wide range of artistic, creative, performance, sporting, debating, team and individual challenges to stimulate and develop both new and existing interests. All aspects are led by passionate staff who enthusiastically share their skills in different areas with children through clubs, pupil leadership opportunities, drama, sport and events organised to provide challenge and develop resilience. School leaders actively seek opportunities to further enrich learning through the employment of peripatetic and specialist staff to deliver music, sport and modern foreign languages. Educational visits, residentials and visitors to the school provide further enrichment and complement our broad curriculum. Children’s personal development is enhanced through individual and team challenges that build expertise and encourage commitment over time with success and dedication celebrated for both in and out of school activities. Co-curricular and enrichment opportunities are extremely popular as a result of Booker Hill’s unwavering commitment to a child-centred curriculum; our pupils feel a sense of belonging, know we understand them and what fires their imagination, and that we value them and their ever evolving talents, talents which inspire staff to not be content to stand still but to look for ways to improve year on year.

 E. How well do we promote the value of volunteering and service to others?

Booker Hill is permeated by an ethos of cooperation and respect with all stakeholders contributing to a community where reciprocity and equal opportunity prevail. Children are encouraged - from a very early age - to consider others both within and beyond our school community. A comprehensive programme of school and Key Stage assemblies identifies local and global social and economic events and issues on a whole school level, with children developing an expectation and a broad appreciation for their roles within society. Within classes, community projects instill a personal sense of citizenship with children being encouraged to support and serve charities and others within wider society through a variety of means. On an individual level, children have the opportunity to hold various positions of responsibility with Pupils as Leaders being a growing initiative that promotes service to others; a strong sense of inclusivity and equality ensures that our Pupil Leaders are not simply academically centred – various roles draw on the interests and enthusiasm of a wide variety of skillsets within out pupil community. Cross curricular links, whole school awareness and days of celebration and the skilfully managed inclusion of debating of topical issues all combine to make citizenship, social awareness and the appreciation of every individual’s potential to make a positive impact a driving force for our harmonious and active young community.

F. How do we ensure that all our pupils benefit equally from what we offer?

At Booker Hill we have a strong proven track record of deploying highly effective strategies to enable equality for all. Teachers and educational support staff work collaboratively to creatively deliver the full educational entitlement (The Booker Hill curriculum). Staff use their comprehensive understanding and intimate knowledge of different groups of pupils, which make up the school community, to refine their quality first teaching practice ensuring that learners are able to overcome their barriers to learning. In addition, staff readily seek pupil’s opinions and their interests in order to provide an effective co-curricular provision. This often includes themed days, educational visits; personalised sessions or projects for identified groups of pupils. Leaders on all levels systematically and critically review resource allocation with success being based on clear criteria and impact measures. Often this results in the creation of new bespoke initiatives and interventions that are carefully crafted to enable all pupils from different background to be successful with their learning. Success is always celebrated through class rewards, headteacher stickers and celebration assemblies resulting in pupils feeling valued.