Our school values will drive the character traits we want our children to develop and use as members of our community:
St Benedict’s School values : Kindness, humility, respect, integrity, resilience and confidence.
- Resilience, perseverance and motivation to make progress and to understand that when things get hard there are ways to overcome them.
- Ensuring the development of positive moral attributes: kindness, respect, confidence, courage, honesty, generosity, integrity and a sense of justice, alongside others;
- engage confidently and show the ability to be able to listen to another person’s point of view in order that viewpoints are heard respectfully and constructively and speak persuasively to an audience
- behave with courtesy and good manners
- never giving up on their long term ambitions and hopes, developing a sense of vocation to their families, the local community, to their faith and values.
The benefits to the child:
Research suggests that there are enabling character traits which can improve educational attainment, engagement with school and attendance.
- High self-belief, is associated with better performance, more persistence and greater interest in work;
- Highly motivated children (linked to tenacity) driven internally and not by extrinsic rewards show greater levels of persistence and achievement;
- Good self-control is associated with greater attainment levels; and
- Having good coping skills (part of being able to bounce back) is associated with greater well-being
In addition other studies suggest schools which develop character will help drive equality and social mobility for the children.
How we achieve it
As a school we believe that education goes beyond the pursuit of academic attainment in subjects.
We have a duty and a vocation to prepare our pupils for opportunities, responsibilities and the experiences of later life. We believe that we form lives ready to face the future. It is important that our children develop a good mental well-being so they can fulfil their potential at school and in adult life.
Providing a stretching, challenging academic curriculum with excellent personal development is central to our aims.
We achieve this by providing opportunities within a well sequenced curriculum to academically challenge our pupils. We design the curriculum so they have experiences and opportunities in all aspects of their learning to develop into the people we aspire them to be.
We achieve this in several ways:
The words of our school song ‘to be the best that we can be’ show how committed we are to ensure the values and aspirations for our pupils are part of the education we provide for our children. This is shared and known by all our school staff. We are clear that we want to provide an ambitious and challenging curriculum but also opportunities to develop our children with values and ethics. Our values are rooted in the Gospel and are lived out and modelled by staff and governors so they are role models to our community. This is why pupils and parents are proud to belong to St. Benedict’s community – they share our values.
Our expectations are modelled and owned by all members of the school community and governors. Staff model manners, courtesy, pride and mutual respect from the moment children enter the school site to when they leave. We work in partnership with parents so these are developed in our children.
We are clear to all as to our expectations for behaviour for both staff and pupils. We have clear policies and these are lived out daily in our school.
Resilience and Confidence
At St Benedict’s our curriculum, which builds upon key knowledge to ensure children know and remember more, is clearly sequenced to challenge. We have clear approaches to teaching to enable teachers to teach well and pupils to learn.
Our curriculum is challenging and requires resilience, determination and commitment from pupils if they are to achieve all they are capable of.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced so pupils develop in a variety of ways: artistic, creative, ethical, sporting, to listen to others, to share their views, to work alongside others.
We link our curriculum to our local area so the children gain a sense of community.
We provide opportunities for our children to be active within the local and national community. We develop our careers programme through working alongside local companies so our children have aspirations. Our curriculum also creates the next generation of innovative, inspirational environmentalists, who care for our common home and are encouraged to protect the world we live in.
Our pupils experience residential visits structured in a way to broaden their experiences and character as well as a rich enrichment programme of local visits and visits outside of the local area. All of these develop resilience, broaden experiences and develop self confidence in our pupils ready for secondary school education.
Our PSHE and Relationships Education provide a structured sequence to their character development so our children are prepared and skilled with good mental well-being. Our planned approach is also supported by our responsive approach where our pupils discuss, debate and engage in topical issues so they develop as responsible, informed citizens with good values and ethics.
Supporting others in our community
At St. Benedict’s, we instil a sense of belonging to our local community. Being part of a community is known to all the children and we provide opportunities for them to serve and support their communities. This is enhanced with acts of service throughout the year in our community such as beach litter picks, food bank collections, CAUSE hampers, and with visitors to the school such as Legion of Mary from our parish and our Local MP.
We pride ourselves on responding as a school to where there is need, such as gathering food for our local food bank and our commitment to and support to charities. Locally and internationally. Again, we use our responsive approach to PSHE to reflect on how we can serve others and learn from events across the world.
Equality for all
We are an inclusive community and because of our approach to our curriculum and to our co-curriculum a strength of the school is inclusion. Pupils leave our school with a sense of justice, fairness and have a strong sense of what is right and wrong. We encourage all pupils to pray for themselves, for each other and for others so their actions bring hope, love, joy, justice and peace to the local community. We have strong links with local disability groups, such as Accord, local nursing homes and other faith groups. Our children value all and they clearly live out inclusive values
It is important that all children gain an understanding of the world they are growing up in, and learn how to live alongside, and show respect for, a diverse range of people. We achieve this through living out these values and modelling them, but also by incorporating them into our curriculum plans.
We closely monitor pupil participation in enrichment activities and inclusion and identify any barriers eg cost, family logistics and safety so all can be included in order that all pupils benefit from our wide-ranging approach.
We comply with the Equality Act and ensure that we develop character education and co-curricular provision so that pupils are not unfairly inhibited from benefiting from this aspect of education on the basis of the protected characteristics.