At Hook Junior School we strive to create a learning environment which promotes respect, diversity and self-awareness and equips all of our pupils with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values they will need to succeed in their future lives. The curriculum provides a wide range of artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities that encourage pupils to work together and use imagination in their learning. Activities are planned that require pupils to reflect and empathise with others as well as giving them the confidence to provide their opinions and develop their own view points.
The ethos of our school is such that all people who come into our school, whether staff, pupil, parent or visitor, are valued as individuals in their own right. They should set, and be entitled to expect from others, good standards of behaviour, marked by respect and responsibility.
A strong emphasis on whole child development means Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) understanding drives the values-led concept-based curriculum at Hook Junior School. The School Value model integrates school values and British Values to provide 6 core overarching values (Excellent learning behaviours, Responsibility, Respect, Empathy, Inclusion, Freedom) which then provide the framework for core concepts as themes for all cross-curricular subject planning. In this way, SMSC is embedded across the curriculum as well as being taught explicitly.
Planned opportunities for spiritual development in all subjects can be seen across the school. Children are given opportunities to reflect upon the meaning of spiritual experiences.
Examples of experiences commonly regarded as spiritual include:
- Curiosity and mystery
- Awe and wonder
- Connection and belonging
- Heightened self-awareness
- Prayer and worship
- Deep feelings of what is felt to be ultimately important
- A sense of security, well-being, worth and purposefulness
We promote a climate or ethos within which all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected; accommodating difference and respecting the integrity if individuals. These can occur during any part of the school day, e.g. when listening to music, discussing the care needed for animals, exercising empathy or creativity, how we live, contemplating the future, etc.
We believe that a morally aware pupil will develop a wide range of skills. These can include the following:
- Distinguish right from wrong, based on knowledge of the moral codes of their own and other cultures
- Develop an ability to think through the consequences of their own and others’ actions
- Have an ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements
- Ensure a commitment to personal values
- Have respect for others’ needs, interests and feelings, as well as their own
- Develop a desire to explore their own and others’ views, and an understanding of the need to review and re-assess their values, codes and principles in the light of experience
Our school develops pupil moral development by:
- Providing a clear moral code as a basis for behaviour which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality
- Giving pupils opportunities across the curriculum to explore and develop moral concepts and values – for example, personal rights and responsibilities, truth, justice, equality of opportunity, right and wrong
- Developing an open and safe learning environment in which pupils can express their views and practice moral decision making
- Rewarding expressions of moral insights and good behaviour
- Recognising and respecting the codes and morals of the different cultures represented in the school and wider community
- Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their actions, for example, respect for property, care of the environment, and developing codes of behaviour, providing models of moral virtue through literature, humanities, sciences, arts and assemblies; reinforcing the school’s values through images, posters, classroom displays, etc. and monitoring in simple ways, the success of what is provided
Teachers always discuss with their classes a code of conduct for the classroom based on the values held by the school. We teach the children to be aware of their own actions, take responsibility for their own bodies and encourage independence. We will help the children to identify their feelings and think these through so that they are expressed in behaviour that is socially acceptable.
We recognise that pupils who are becoming socially aware are likely to be developing the ability to:
- Adjust to a range of social contexts by appropriate and sensitive behaviour
- Relate well to other people’s social skills and personal qualities
- Work successfully, as a member of a group or team
- Share views and opinions with others
- Resolve conflicts maturely and appropriately
- Reflect on their own contribution to society
- Show respect for people, living things, property and the environment
- Exercise responsibility
- Understand how societies function and are organised in structures such as the family, the school
- Understand the notion of interdependence in an increasingly complex society
Our school develops pupil social development by:
- Identifying key values and principles on which school and community life is based
- Fostering a sense of community, with common, inclusive values
- Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality
- Encouraging pupils to work co-operatively
- Encouraging pupils to recognise and respect social differences and similarities
- Providing positive experiences to reinforce our values as a school community – for example, through assemblies, team building activities, residential experiences, school productions
- Helping pupils develop personal qualities which are valued in a civilised society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference, moral principles, independence, interdependence, self-respect and an awareness of others’ needs
- Providing opportunities for engaging in the democratic process and participating in community life
- Providing opportunities for pupils to exercise leadership and responsibility
- Providing positive and effective links with the world of work and the wider community
- Monitoring in simple, pragmatic ways, the success of what is provided
Confidence in social development is promoted through collective worship, circle time, nurture groups and links within the curriculum. We are interested in the development of the whole child and will endeavour to raise their self-esteem through praise, certificates, Star of the Week and other means that highlight both academic and social achievements (please refer to our Behaviour Policy).
Children should be made aware of the diversity of other cultures both within modern Britain and throughout the world. This can be done through music, PE, art and many other curriculum areas.
Pupils who are becoming culturally aware are likely to be developing some or all of the following characteristics:
- An ability to reflect on important questions of meaning and identity
- An interest in exploring the relationship between human beings and the environment
Our school develops pupils’ cultural development by:
- Extending pupils’ knowledge and use of cultural imagery and language
- Encouraging them to think about special events in life and how they are celebrated
- Recognising and nurturing particular gifts and talents; providing opportunities for pupils to participate in literature, drama, music, art, crafts and other cultural events and encouraging pupils to reflect on their significance
- Reinforcing the school’s cultural links through displays, posters, exhibitions, etc. As well as developing partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupils’ cultural awareness, for example, theatre, museum and gallery visits
- Auditing the quality and nature of opportunities for pupils to extend their cultural development across the curriculum