Just over one year ago we celebrated the opening of a new primary school when the infants and juniors became one. Last week, a child in year six recalled cutting the ‘long, red ribbon’ from which he still has a piece at home, which for me, says it all; we each have a piece of the primary school. We each are a piece of the primary school. I’ve heard from the local residents who watched out of their window to see people lining the pavements as Councillor Edgar opened the school and now see staff members coming and going along the pavement between campuses each day. The children who are monitors at lunchtimes and classes that routinely share each other’s learning also move between campuses. There is of course the daily flow of parents who take their children to school at each end of the ‘long, outdoor corridor’ as I call it.
Inside the buildings themselves and on the playgrounds, I can see children growing into Rights Respecting citizens. I am really pleased to see and hear the common language of ‘respect’, ‘resilience’, ‘resourcefulness’, reflection’ and’ reciprocity’. I am convinced that children like to become more independent as people and the use of the ‘R’s’, as we call them, is the way it works at Brockhurst. I am very aware also, that parents can see the growth in their children and experience a mixture of emotions as this happens; pride at their child ‘growing up’ and perhaps a little awkwardness at their child not needing them in the same way anymore. The staff understand this, not least because many of us are parents too.
I am very much of the opinion that children are in a society where they are exposed to all sorts of things that previous generations were protected from, and that are not always in the best interest of children. I know that parents and staff think similarly. This in itself justifies our core belief that the growth of the ‘R’s is a crucial tool for children for them to survive and thrive, and at Brockhurst we spend a lot of time and energy ensuring it happens in a caring and gentle way. We teach the ‘promotion of alternative thinking strategies’ (Paths) so that children will thrive not only in today’s world but to learn, grow and cope in the ever changing Britain and the world of the future. The continual quest for teaching staff to educate children in the curriculum that is more traditionally associated with schools, like English, maths, PE and Geography etc, is also central to what we are doing. Staff are continually reflecting on how effective they are and adapt ways to suit the children-both as a group and as individuals. Making little changes to suit individuals is a big part of what we do and what is appreciated by children and their parents alike.
The curricular outcomes of the children who left us in year 6 last year were very impressive. Reflecting on the educational challenges that Key Stage 2 children experienced in the years prior to the amalgamation of the schools highlights several things for me. The children illustrated the incredible resilience within themselves. The skill and resilience of the staff shone through. The relationships and teamwork of their parents and the staff made sure that although they were a single group, they were in fact young children with individual talents, interests and needs which were met.
This successful growth in citizenship and learning was replicated for each child in each class last year. This is our daily mission-to get to know, understand and care for each child as an individual so that they thrive. It is why we can say ‘the child is at the centre of all that we do’ and why we are proud to be employed to serve the Brockhurst Primary School community.
I have written this letter to offer you my perspective and would be pleased if you can read it alongside the other information you can glean from the photos and text elsewhere on the school web site, including the monthly newsletter I write.
With my best wishes,
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