- SCHOOL ORGANISATION
- KEY PARENT INFORMATION
- KEY PARENT INFORMATION
- STATUTORY INFORMATION
At St. Monica’s School, we foster pupils’ development in SMSC and PSHE through our school ethos, ‘Let Trust, Respect and Love Live Here’ which underpins our rich curriculum across the whole school, including PSED through the Early Years Framework.
We fully promote core British Values as defined and set out by the DfE in the 2015 Prevent Strategy, ‘To create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’ (Ofsted Inspection Guidance July 2014).
Our school ethos also encourages pupils to demonstrate good morals and follow Gospel Values, which is acknowledged through the award of our ‘Help not Harm’ cup every week in assembly. We use a programme of ‘Statements to Live by’ and advocate the St. Monica’s School Rights, to enable pupils to thrive, pastorally.
Our Whole School Three Rights are:
• We have the right to be safe
• We have the right to be respected
• We have the right to learn
The examples presented below are not exhaustive, but serve to provide an example of the types of opportunities offered at St. Monica’s School for all pupils.
At St. Monica’s school our pupils quickly learn how they can influence decision making through democratic processes.
At the start of each academic year, pupils work together to draw up their own set of class rules and expectations.
Our School Council is directly involved in decision making across the school and council members share issues raised with their peers, taking votes on proposed amendments. Our School Council is advised by and takes part in community actions leg by Citizens MK (www.citizenmk.org.uk). The school council is made up of elected pupils from Key Stage 2 classes. They also meet annually with other councils from across the Local Authority, including councillors from other Catholic schools. Outgoing Y6 pupils are actively involved in decision-making in this process.
Our Children’s Chaplaincy Team contribute ideas to support the Adult Chaplaincy Team’s efforts. We support a range of charities throughout the year. The Children’s Chaplaincy Team communicate this to their peers. Each class then arranges their own fundraising events, deciding how best to go about it, so all children have a say and feel happy about their charitable efforts.
Pupils’ views are regularly sought via the School Council, class discussion, “Pupil Voice” sessions and questionnaires in order to support the school self-evaluation process and to inform future decisions around development of provision. This is often done through surveys, to evaluate individual thoughts and ideas, as well as those of class groups.
To promote equality within the classroom environment, teachers often randomly select pupils to contribute ideas during discussion and to make groupings. Named ‘lolly sticks’ are anonymously drawn, to show that all pupils’ voices are valued and therefore give equal opportunity for all pupils to contribute and work with a broad range of peers.
Our pupils recognise their right to positive social interaction and we have several strategies to promote positive playtimes: Our Y6 Restorative Friends, led by Y6 senior members, support the play and social interaction of the younger pupils, providing a wide range of activities each day. They also use Restorative Practice strategies to help resolve conflicts initially, before flagging potential children in need of further support to appropriate adults.
Our Learning Mentor has a weekly special lunch, where nominated pupils join in a small group to share their meal in a pleasant, calm and social environment. To develop social skills in particular groups of pupils, the Learning Mentor uses the ‘Friendship Matters’ programme, allowing children to voice how they feel, when resolving emotional issues and nurturing new friendship circles. Our Treasure Box nurture group works with children on developing social skills, including listening to the views of others and turn-taking.
In times of need, pupils are encouraged to use our school Prayer Room for quiet reflection and prayer at lunchtime. They are also supported in developing their spiritual self, through prayer and quiet contemplation in our Prayer Garden, with adequate adult support.
There are also a range of additional weekly clubs which are run at lunchtime, before school and after school that pupils can sign up to join – eg Minecraft Club, Pokemon Club, Arts & Crafts Club, Homework Club, Choir, Football Club and other assorted sporting clubs etc.
Our pupils appreciate that the laws of our country, as well as our school rules protect them and others. The pupils appreciate that the laws and rules are essential for their wellbeing and safety.
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, school or country, are consistently reinforced at St Monica’s School.
Pupils are taught the school rules from an early age. Our Golden Rules are:
• We are gentle (we don’t hurt others)
• We are kind and helpful (we don’t hurt anybody’s feelings)
• We listen (we don’t interrupt)
• We are honest (we don’t’ cover up the truth)
• We work hard (we don’t’ waste our own or others’ time)
• We look after property (we don’t waste or damage things)
Children are taught the values and reasons behind the rules and laws – that they govern and protect us and all members of the community. They are taught about the rights that these rules provide, alongside the respective responsibilities that they entail and are linked to the school’s Three Rights – to feel safe, to be respected and to learn. Visits from the community police and fire service help to reinforce this message.
If a child exhibits inappropriate behaviour which contravenes the school rules, they are required to complete a “What would Jesus do?” form which entails restorative reflection on the rule they have broken, what the Gospels reveal Jesus would do in such circumstances and what they would do next time. Restorative Practice underpins our school Behaviour Policy to strengthen the understanding of the importance of the law and rules in society. We want children to understand the reasons why we need rules, as well as complying with them.
If a child’s behaviour has negatively impacted upon others or on the school environment, they are required to carry out restorative practices which may entail activities such as litter picking.
Positive contributions to our school community are openly rewarded and celebrated. Pupils are nominated weekly from across the school for the ‘Help not Harm’ cup and it is awarded to children identified as living within our school mission and promoting school values.
Every week, during assembly a Golden Achiever is chosen from each class, from Nursery through to Year 6 for achievement, which is shared with everybody and afterwards they celebrate success with peers in a special ‘Golden Teatime’.
Dojo points are awarded to pupils for academic and behavioural achievements both in and out of each class, across the school. Certificates of merit are often presented for a range of academic or pastoral attainment and praise and encouragement are also used liberally, reinforcing our positive learning environment at St. Monica’s School.
At St. Monica’s School, our pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive learning environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make informed choices, through a safe setting and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise them safely through, for example SRE and e-safety lessons.
Our children are encouraged to recognise that the choices they make regarding their own behaviours impact on other people. They are encouraged to make positive choices that impact positively on others. When pupils are observed or reported to be living by our school values, they are rewarded with a “Dojo Point” in line with our Behaviour Policy, where pupils aim to achieve set goals to earn elected rewards within each classroom. Certificates are also awarded to pupils who collect set numbers of Dojo Points.
Positive, healthy living and healthy, safe relationships are promoted and modelled to our pupils through positive role modelling and through our Science, RE and SRE curricula. Our designated safeguarding officers and our Learning Mentor work diligently with pupils, families and external professionals and organisations to ensure that we support the well-being of any vulnerable pupils in our care.
Our pupils are taught a healthy attitude towards money and recognise their right to grow into independent adults, who can earn a living and contribute positively to the economy of their country. Through the Mathematics curriculum and on-going charity fundraising, which focuses on how money is spent, our pupils learn about inequality across society and the world and their responsibility as citizens of God’s world to work for equality. This is linked with our association with CAFOD fundraising events, when we dedicate a ‘CAFOD Day’ to support the Catholic charity. Our Year 6 pupils assist the running of a regular Tuck Shop, developing their responsibility with handling money on behalf of the Friends of St. Monica’s, with guidance from appropriate adults.
Our pupils are not afraid to speak up for what they believe in. They know they will be listened to and respected, even if others have a differing opinion. The courage to speak out is fostered through regular Circle Times, Talk Partner work, regular debates through curriculum work and our termly speeches from our Junior Park Rangers, advocating the work they are doing to support ongoing care for our local community and wider environmental issues.
Mutual respect is one of our core school values. Our children learn from the earliest ages that their actions impact upon others, affecting their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect; all staff and volunteers sign a Code of Conduct and our children and parents/carers sign a home-school agreement. All of our Golden Rules tie into respect for others (see above). Mutual Respect forms a significant part of our school motto: ‘Let Trust, Respect and Love Live here’ at St. Monica’s School.
Charitable living forms a crucial part of life at St. Monica’s School and this also feeds into promoting respect, compassion and empathy. Annually we all actively participate in a Lenten Project to fundraise for a nominated charity, such as MoPSA, to support Catholic aid around the world. In addition to the fundraising work carried out by all of our pupils, we also support the local foodbank by both providing regular food parcels and by arranging for our older pupils to spend the day working for this vital local charity. We also celebrate the Harvest Festival, gathering food to donate to worthy recipients. Our pupils who are members of St. Monica’s School Choir also make regular visits to the local care home, especially around the Christmas period, which has been very well received. Community links foster respect across a wide age range of people and our pupils learn to appreciate their elders. Community cohesion is therefore enhanced.
Respect for our environment (God’s Creation) is very much encouraged through attendance at Forest School, and by our team of Eco-monitors, Gardening Club and Nature Club.
Reconciliation is an important aspect of our values driven curriculum. We have an annual penitential service during Lent and also study the value of “forgiveness” as part of our RE curriculum. Irrespective of their own faith background, all pupils are encouraged to view Jesus as the perfect example of how to live life of respect, forgiveness, love, compassion, tolerance and service to others – values which are both Christian and British values.
St Monica’s School is a culturally diverse school with 28 different languages represented. Whilst we are a faith school, many of our pupils are not Catholic and a number are of other faiths. Every pupil in our school is valued as an important member of our school community.
Our school mission statement reinforces the requirement to love and serve others and our RE, Values and cross curricular links reinforce the message of tolerance and respect for others. Through the ‘Come and See’ programme, our RE curriculum introduces pupils to the faiths of Islam, Judaism and Hinduism in addition to our focus on Catholicism. We visit other places of worship and invite representatives of other faiths to present assemblies and support class based learning. Members of our staff also represent other faith groups and add a richness, diversity and authenticity to our studies of other religions. Our RE curriculum, coupled with our Christian Values introduce pupils to consider and discuss a wide range of ethics, morals and live lives of empathy, compassion and tolerance.
Many of the topics we cover through our rich, broad and balanced curriculum encourage pupils to recognise injustice in the world and to draw inspiration from people who have taken steps to address inequality and discrimination. For example, Nursery children learn about Fairtrade and Reception Class learn about ‘People Who Help Us’ as part of Topic work as well as Democracy issues through the PSED curriculum. Year 1 explore access to schooling through the charity CAFOD and Year 3 learn about Churchill and the War through debating related issues. In Year 4 the children also learn about issues around inequality in access to clean water and related diseases. In Year 6, the children discuss democracy, elections and voting when they elect the Head Girl & Head Boy and House Captains, at the start of each academic year. They also explore the life of Mary Seacole and associated racism, through history while they explore Victorian life. Across the Key Stages, our pupils learn about both world wars, Remembrance Sunday and the legacy of these wars.
Through our Christian ethos, clear policies (equality, anti-bullying, behaviour, online safety and safeguarding), e-safety sessions and work on anti-bullying, our children are expected to live as responsible members of society and to identify and report any examples of inequality or discrimination they encounter. They know that verbal or physical aggression, behaviour of homophobic, racist or gender biased nature, or any other form of discrimination will be dealt with and tackled directly by the school’s Senior Leadership Team.