Academy Ethos & Vision
At Herons’ Moor Academy we aim to:
- Provide an environment in which everyone feels secure, valued and happy.
- Develop each child so they become a responsible citizen who will contribute positively to society.
- Develop a culture of respect through an awareness, understanding and acceptance of others.
- Provide a supportive and positive learning environment.
- Value and promote honesty, trust, openness, tolerance, consideration and kindness.
- Provide appropriate learning opportunities so each child can become responsible for their own learning and work to their maximum potential.
- Recognise and celebrate all achievement.
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 Herons’ Moor Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways.
Herons’ Moor is a Values-based Education school. Each year the children decide upon their class contract and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the contract and sign it.
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. Two members for each class are voted in by their peers.
Each week, some children in years 1-6 are able to nominate and vote for children to achieve a “star of the week” certificate” or “special star chair” for younger children.
Each year staff are given a questionnaire (which can be anonymous) to air their point of view about all areas of school life. Points raised are brought up in staff meetings and addressed. Key stage meetings are also a good opportunity for teachers to feel able to discuss issues about life here. We also have union representatives that can support us if needed.
Parents/carers are also given questionnaires to fill out about how to improve life at Herons’ Moor. These issues are then discussed with staff and governors. There is an open communication link between the school and parents/carers – we have a pupil and family liaison team dedicated to ensuring all needs are met.
Children are given a questionnaire to voice their opinions about school life. Staff are given time to address any issues that may have arisen from these.
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 Values 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. Our Values assemblies (held once a month) also encourage children to understand choices and boundaries and this message is delivered in a child friendly manner.
As a Values-based Education School, mutual respect is at the heart of our values and is the first Value in our two-year cycle. 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. We share our school facilities with a special needs school who educate children with a wide variety of additional needs. Herons’ Moor children work regularly with these children and are very accepting with children with different disabilities. They enjoy doing linked work together such as country dancing, making Christmas and Easter decorations as well as holding joint assemblies.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Herons’ Moor 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. We also hold an International week every year with our partner school to encourage children to learn and celebrate different cultures.