Pupil voice is used at Birchington CE Primary School to ensure that children are fully engaged and valued within their school environment. From School Council Representatives, to class questionnaires and Collective Worship monitoring, our children have opportunities to have their opinions heard and influence aspects of their school day. The way that children and adults interpret experiences can often differ and therefore pupil voice helps staff to bridge the gap and tailor school routines to suit the needs of our children. As a result of championing pupil voice, our pupils feel confident to have open discussions about their views, listen to others and justify their own opinions. Children demonstrate an understanding that compromise is essential when working within a larger community and that problem solving is a team effort. Our School’s Values are promoted through pupil voice and each child’s personal development is enhanced through their participation in discussion and feedback.
The voice of our parents and carers is really important to us. We want everyone to feel valued and are interested in their ideas and suggestions. We gather these informally as well as formally in a range of ways from a leader being on the gate each morning to annual questionnaires, feedback forms and reply slips.
Within our school many children hold specific responsibilities. This means that other pupils and adults rely on them. Whether these are roles within their own classroom or jobs that affect a larger population of the school, our children are given a sense of purpose within their school community. The personal development of pupils is enhanced through being trusted with a responsibility and they show commitment and pride in what they do. These responsibilities prepare them for later in life. Our children realise the importance of fulfilling tasks to the best of their ability as well as the importance of seeking help, driving them to be positive contributors to society with an understanding of personal accountability.
Birchington CE Primary is an extremely active participant within the local community. Our school maintains positive relationships with a number of local organisations such as care homes, charities, churches and sports organisations. Through our pupil’s involvement with such organisations, they are exposed to a larger community than that of just their school; bringing them into contact with a variety of people with vast knowledge and experiences to share. These varied experiences not only promote personal development but also academic and physical development, giving children ideas for their writing or research. Our children are also developing a sense of how their contributions affect the experiences of others throughout life.
Values are important within our school community and will continue to be important for our pupils throughout their lives. Pupils and staff are committed to promoting British Values through discussions, displays and lessons as well as through behaviours and actions. Democracy plays a key role in pupil’s personal development by giving them the opportunities to have their opinions heard and influence aspects of their lives however small. Our children’s behaviour and conduct is positively influenced by the rules and laws in place at our school thus preparing them to take part in society in a respectable and accountable manner. Personal responsibility is actively encouraged within our school community so that our pupils know, understand and exercise their rights within safe boundaries showing them that they can impact both positively and negatively on others. Mutual respect is modelled by everyone within Birchington CE Primary to encourage pupils to go forward in their lives treating others with respect and courtesy. Pupils at Birchington are inclusive and welcoming to others of different faiths and beliefs due to their well-rounded understanding of diversity. This understanding prepares our children to enter communities across the country and around the world with respect and with open mind. Further information regarding British Values can be found on other areas of our website.
Our 5 School Values encompass the British Values and promote what is important to the pupils and staff at our school. These values were chosen through discussion with children from every year group and represent our whole school ‘voice’. Our School Values are firmly embedded within our school community and their impact is seen on a daily basis through our pupil enjoyment in learning and extracurricular activities and through pupil and adult discussions in lessons and playtime. Through the use of our School Values our children are given the opportunity to be heard, to understand and experience consequence and to take an active role in decisions. Pupils also value one another and learn to appreciate diversity. As our children grow and move on, their understanding and skills develop and this assists them in making valuable contributions to society in the future.
Birchington CE Primary has a strong transition process from nursery moving into EYFS, transition from class to class and those who are moving on from Year 6 to their Secondary School. This process ensures our children possess the skills that are necessary and are prepared and confident to take their next steps in education. Our initial intake of children into Reception begins with taster days in the summer term prior to them starting school. Reception teachers have transition meetings with nursery staff to ensure that the gap between establishments is bridged. Home visits and a phased entry process also contribute to a smooth admission into school. As our pupils progress through the school cross phase moderations take place to ensure that all staff know each child as an individual and have the appropriate data to support and challenge them as they move through their education. PSHE topics ensure that children are given the opportunity to reach out for further support if needed and voice their opinions or concerns. At the end of every academic year, transition meetings are held so that parents and carers are given the opportunity to meet with new members of staff who will be working with their children. This ensures that any queries or concerns are dealt with early and smooth transition takes place. Our pupils are grouped into Early Years, (EYFS) Years 1 and 2 (KS 1) and Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (KS 2). As children are nearing the end of Year 6, pupils have the option to go on an exciting activity week. These opportunities promote independence and assist them in moving on to Key Stage 3. Transition meetings are also held with secondary schools to allow the opportunity for concerns to be addressed and key information to be passed on.