We joined the Faringdon Academy of schools in November 2013- working together to build a better future for the children in our community. Our umbrella Academy vision states:
"Our Academy will create a seamless educational experience for our students across all key stages to develop responsible, capable and confident young people who are active citizens in the 21st Century. We will achieve outstanding progression and maximise pupil achievement in all Academy schools through a rich and motivating curriculum. The Academy will be recognized by our staff, parents and the local community as providers of a safe, creative and ethical environment reinforced by a vibrant Community Dimension. Overall, we will ensure that the Academy proactively adds value to each partner school so that the sum is always greater than the individual parts."
We have extended this, and created our own mission statement:
We create, through our bright and welcoming environment, an inspirational place for our children, staff and parents to be. At John Blandy we believe children are challenged and supported to reach their full potential, creating inquisitive and resilient life-long learners.
John Blandy Primary is a hub of the community, where people feel welcome and able to contribute. As we grow to support the extending village, we further enhance our grounds and outcomes for our children.
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated in 2014. At John Blandy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter.
Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school. The council members for each year group are voted in by their class.
Children have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
John Blandy is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and values teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
Values Based Education
A focus on Values sits at the heart of our school. We have developed a values garden in the centre of our school- an outdoor area that is visible from all corridors. Our children use this area for reflection and small group work.
We have eight core values:
We focus on these values in assemblies, in classes and at home. We display our Values everywhere, but our main display in the hall shows our Values as jigsaw pieces. We slowly build our jigsaw together, displaying how the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.