The adults in our school go over and above to get to know every unique child. With an in depth knowledge of each child they are able to make reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning to engage, support and challenge.
To enable pupils to feel valued in our school community we go out of our way to provide pupil voice opportunities. These are delivered through curriculum subject reviews, School Council and Rota Kids. As appropriate, the information provided by our pupils informs the strategic development and operational decision-making of our academy.
In addition to pupils being inspired by their teachers and other adults within school, we know relationships with peers can also impact learning. We closely supervise relationships to guide children to maintain positive interactions. Through activities such as, play leaders and peer mentoring, we are able to model the expectations and further strengthen positive relationships between pupils.
We know that the relationship between home and school can significantly impact children's achievement. We strive to build positive relationships with parents and carers through the following ways:
Informal opportunities at the beginning and end of the day for parents and carers to share messages with the class teacher, teaching team and leaders.
Written reports and progress updates
The opportunity to book additional appointments with teachers and leaders by prior arrangement through the school office
Habits of Learning
We pride ourselves on our ability to support every child to develop habits of learning that enable them to discover, think, create, solve problems and self-regulate their learning. In the early years, this begins with a focus on promoting strong habits through the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
Playing and exploring
Finding out and exploring: showing curiosity about objects, events and people; using senses to explore the world around them; engaging in open-ended activity and showing particular interests.
Playing with what they know: pretending objects are things from their experience; representing their experiences in place; taking on a role in their play and acting out experiences with other people.
Being willing to ‘have a go’: initiating activities; seeking challenge; showing a ‘can do’ attitude and taking a risk, engaging in new experiences and learning by trial and error.
Being involved and concentrating: showing a deep drive to know more about people and their world; maintaining focus on their activity for a period of time; showing high levels of involvement, energy, fascination; not easily distracted and paying attention to details.
Keeping on trying: persisting with an activity or toward their goal when challenges occur; showing a belief that more effort or a different approach will pay off, and that their skills can grow and develop.
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do: showing satisfaction in meeting their own goals; being proud of how they accomplished something – not just the end result and enjoying meeting challenges for their own sake rather than external rewards or praise (intrinsic motivation).
Thinking creatively and critically
Having their own ideas: thinking of ideas that are new and meaningful to the child; playing with possibilities; visualising and imagining options and finding new ways to do things.
Making links: making links and noticing patterns in their experience; making predictions; testing their ideas and developing ideas of grouping, sequences, cause and effect.
Working with ideas: planning, making decisions about how to approach a task, solve a problem and reach a goal; checking how well their activities are going; flexibly changing strategy as needed and reviewing how well the approach worked.
As children graduate from the early years, we reference the Characteristics of Effective Learning through our Kelvedon 6Rs. The Kelvedon 6Rs represent habits that we actively encourage our pupils to adopt so that they will be successful learners during their time at Kelvedon and beyond.
Good learners at Kelvedon are:
Responsible - learners who they give 100% effort
Resourceful - learners who are imaginative and find new ways to do things
Reflective - learners who are proud of their accomplishments and know what they need to do to keep getting better
Resilient - learners who persist even when difficulties occur
Reasoning - learners who give reasons for their thinking and test their ideas
Risk-taking - learners who seek challenge and explore the world around them
Enabling environments at Kelvedon St Mary’s describe what and how we use key physical spaces to enable our core business of learning.
Academy life can be busy and it is important for children to have time and space to reflect on their own beliefs and values. Within all classrooms and in designated areas around the school we have reflection spaces that are changed and added to regularly. They are a place where our pupils can go to wonder, reflect and pray. These areas may include artefacts, prayer books, pictures and verses to engage children in thought and prayer. They enable our pupils to deepen their understanding and thoughts linked to their own Christian and personal development.
Our classrooms are glorious learning spaces that are warm and inviting. They are purposeful with considered seating and resource arrangements that best promote learning and accessibility for all. Displays are purposeful and relevant. Most displays within the classroom are working walls that support deliberate practice and retrieval linked to current learning. The use of colour is carefully considered to promote a calm and focused learning environment.
Our teachers are leaders of their classroom environments, they can describe the choices they have made to enable learning, accessibility and achievement for all.
We deliberately maintain a minimal list of consistent practice that we expect to see within all classrooms to maximise the potential for each teacher to make carefully considered choices about how they make their classroom an enabling learning environment.
Consistent classroom practice:
A reflection space that is changed and added to regularly to enable children to wonder, reflect and pray.
Updated visual daily timetable
Correct head count number on the whiteboard to aid safe emergency evacuation
Working walls linked to English, maths, RE and other relevant areas of the curriculum.
School vision and values display, with our whole school simple code for behaviour
A deliberate intention to promote language and literacy as the cornerstones of learning. This includes where possible maximising opportunities for language, vocabulary and comprehension development.
We are fanatical about promoting a love of reading and show this by providing a meticulously curated selection of books aimed to spark children’s interest and imagination.
Pupils workbooks are organised carefully and well-presented
Every classroom has a culture that lives our remarkable mindset where every child and adult can grow their capacity to learn and solve problems.
Each of our classrooms is home to a delightful collection of children’s workbooks. At Kelvedon St Mary’s all parts of the learning process are valued and as appropriate captured in children’s workbooks.
We give priority to instant feedback as we understand this to be the most beneficial to the learning process. However we always value children’s effort in their workbooks by ensuring an adult or peer reads a child’s response and at the very least provides a light annotation.
Following this initial stage of feedback teachers then have the autonomy to plan how to follow-up to best support the learning process of the unique child and the class. Feedback may take the form of:
Individual written or verbal feedback to a child which the child has the opportunity to respond to
A targeted intervention activity led by the teacher or LSA to address a learning need shown by one or more pupils
A whole class feedback session
Feedback is always underpinned by our remarkable mindset where every child and adult can grow their capacity to learn and solve problems.
Our shared spaces, including corridors and school halls, showcase children’s learning to promote celebration and spark interest from pupils in other classes and year groups. We may include artefacts, books, pictures, questions, quotes, key vocabulary and verses to prompt thinking and extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom and core curriculum. At each point in the school day we want our children to be thinking and questioning to truly promote an environment that is always enabling learning.
Everyone has a responsibility to ensure our simple code to be ready, respectful and safe is always adhered to within our shared spaces.
Books, Reading and Libraries
To reiterate - we are fanatical about promoting a love of reading. Our classrooms, displays and shared libraries offer a considered selection of books. They reinforce the learning theme, signpost to the hinterland and generally create a buzz of interest and excitement.
Generally, every child in the school has access to at least two books at any one time. One book is carefully matched to the child’s reading development needs to provide just the right level of challenge for decoding, fluency or comprehension. The second book is a free choice book, chosen by the pupil purely because it has sparked their interest and imagination.
Academic Success, Christian and Personal Development and Experiences and Enrichment
Influenced by the Church of England’s vision to educate for ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10), our focus on wisdom prioritises the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, moral, and social development of our children. With a golden thread of deep knowledge, critical thinking, strong communication and exciting learning opportunities running consistently throughout our curriculum we set children on a pathway that sees them gain experience, knowledge and good judgement. This enables every child to not only achieve highly but also equips them with the cultural capital required to add value and thrive in our evolving world and society.
In order to achieve this, academic success, Christian and personal development and enrichment and experiences are all important strands of our curriculum:
With learning set as our core business at Kelvedon St Mary’s we are committed to achieving academic success at a supportive and challenging pace that is right for every child. We have an in-depth understanding of how children learn and use this to enable children to progress and attain highly in the areas and subjects set out in the EYFS Framework and National Curriculum.
Spiritual and Personal Development
The spiritual and personal development strand of our curriculum ensures we teach beyond the academic to provide learners with a broad development. This enables them to develop their character - including resilience, confidence and independence - and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy.
As part of our focus on spiritual and personal development, we prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain by: equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society; developing their understanding of fundamental British values; developing their understanding and appreciation of diversity; celebrating what we have in common and promoting respect for the different protected characteristics as defined in law.
We are proud to be a Church of England academy with a Christian ethos and strong partnership with our local church and the Chelmsford Diocese.
Enrichment and Experiences
We are only too aware that knowledge is vast, some needs to be gained first hand and much cannot be taught within the primary phase time frame. For this reason, we actively encourage pupils to go beyond our core curriculum by promoting opportunities for enrichment and experiences through our Inspire Curriculum.
Some of the ways we choose to do this include:
Planning for experiential knowledge through our subject and topic planning by asking - what is the knowledge that can only be gained first hand by experiencing or doing certain activities?
Keeping our curriculum fearlessly flexible so that we can make the most of opportunities that may come along, such as sports tournaments, local events and historical milestones.
Encouraging children to delve into the hinterland through structured research tasks that add depth to our learning by telling stories, responding to events and sharing ideas as they come up.
Providing a breadth of school clubs and societies that enable children to apply and connect their knowledge and understanding from our core curriculum to wider opportunities.
Make the Impossible Possible!
Our Kelvedon Way provides the starting point to achieving greatness but it is the people within our community that make the impossible possible!
We are clear that we will have achieved our desired impact if we flourish together to:
Recognise each child is unique and make every effort to support and challenge them to be the best version of themselves. Our pupils demonstrate they have achieved highly with deep knowledge, critical thinking, strong communication and an excitement for learning.
Grow a remarkable mindset where we learn and support each other to keep getting better at giving every child the very best education possible. We continually strive for excellence.
Build positive relationships, habits of learning and enabling environments. We demonstrate this through our daily practice.
Be a brave and ambitious community who genuinely live the vision - to inspire wisdom and possibilities. This means we enable every child to gain the experience, knowledge and good judgement required to add value and thrive in our evolving world and society. We continually reflect on our curriculum to ensure it is well-planned but with a fearless flexibility. It is this fearless flexibility that enables children and adults alike to flourish and make the most of every opportunity that comes along.
Nurture our Christian ethos and values to create a community which gives each individual a sense of purpose, awe and belonging so individuals can’t help but succeed.
‘Show love and compassion for others by truly helping them, and not merely talking about it.’ (1 John 3:18) This ensures Kelvedon St Mary’s remains a happy, ambitious and successful school. Our pupils, parents, staff and governors work hard and support each other to sustain a professional and positive learning community.