School Development Plan
Every school can become better!
What our are priorities this year for the next few years?
1. Ripple Kindness Project
We are still delivering this curriculum this year, alongside our PDMU lessons. We now have a kindness tree in the entrance hall and we are excited to see the names of children appearing who show exceptional acts of kindness this year.
How can parents assist?
Teach our definition of kindness below and talk about it often with your child and as a family.
The 3 biggest things you can do to teach kindness as a parent are:
- Lead by example
- Plan deliberate acts of kindness as a family
- Most importantly, recognise when your child does something kind and praise, praise, praise. Often we are too busy to recognise the kind things our children do!
Self-Management is the ability to recognise your emotions, regulate your behaviour and be organised. In the Parental Questionnaire, you asked us to help your children to be better at this skill.
- We will be limiting the number of phone call home for pupils who have forgotten their PE or swimming kit. This does not mean we are not empathetic as we all forget things sometimes but it is the only way to teach responsibility and organisation, especially in P5-P7.
- Part of Self-Management is also about regulating our own behaviour and emotions. We know that children (an adults!) are learning this every day but we want to have clearer sanctions for unacceptable behaviour. However, we also know that children are individuals and whilst a policy is in place we want to treat children in line with what works for their personality and age group.
3. Mental Wealth Journals / Care & Welfare Chats
This is something we are implementing with our older pupils as we believe they need some time and space to record their feelings and think about their mental health. We have called the initiative ‘Mental Wealth Journals’ as we believe that our focus should be on helping children to the good things!
CWC’S (Care & Welfare Chats)
We have also allocated some time in school for Miss Manson to spend some time with pupils who are struggling with an issue at home or at school. The class teacher is always the first point of contact for this but some pupils may need a little extra time. This idea is very much in its infancy but we hope it will help some of our most vulnerable pupils. This is not a counselling session, simply a safe place to talk.
4. JASS Programme
This year we are continuing the JASS Awards for our Primary 7 pupils. JASS (Junior Award Scheme for Schools) is an accredited learning programme to support individuals through the transition from primary to secondary school. It is based on the very popular Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and we are very excited to the first school in N. Ireland to implement the programme. JASS is consistent with the National Curriculum whilst being flexible to be tailored to the interests and abilities of individual, ensuring it is achievable by all participants. We are aiming for the Gold Award for all our pupils. We believe that JASS will give our Primary 7 pupils a real focus, especially post-AQE examination.
JASS develops the whole individual by offering recognition in 4 key areas:
- My Interests (developing an interest or learning a new skill). 18 hours over 2 school terms.
- Get Active, Stay Active (taking part in sport and physical activity). 18 hours over 2 school terms.
- Me and My World (contributing to the local community). 18 hours over 2 school terms.
- Adventure (outdoor activity and learning, including team work and problem solving). 8 hours.
You can learn more about the programme at www.jasschools.org.uk. We will be using the e-jass version.
Pupils can also gain accreditation for activities, clubs and interests outside of school. Participants who successfully complete all 4 sections will receive their Gold Award.
As a school we are always working on this core subject. We continue to work hard to raise the profile of reading in our school, especially within the realms of comprehension. This year we are continuing to work on guided reading, our introduction of AR in Primary 3 and differentiation within Literacy so that all children are working at the correct level.
As a school we are always working on this core subject. We continue to work on problem solving as many children find this a hard skill. We also continue to work on children’s recall of basic number facts, multiplication tables and maths facts. Mathematical language is also an element that we are promoting. Learning home works are a vital part of this.
7. Monitoring & Evaluating
We continue to monitor and evaluate how we are doing as a school by observing colleagues and learning from one another. Data analysis is a big part of assessing children’s learning and measuring the success of new interventions in place. Co-ordinators and senior staff will also be monitoring children’s books to check for differentiation and consistency of practice.
8. Outdoor Learning Area
We are very excited about this and much progress has been made in developing the area. We will be putting some photographs on our App soon and we
can’t wait to see the children using it. We will continue to fundraise for this area as we are determined that it will be the best Outdoor Learning Area in Carrickfergus. It is also important to note that the area has been made for everyone and we have some exciting new resources for our older children too. Watch this space!
“Outdoor Learning like all other aspects of learning, needs to be a vehicle for what we are trying to accomplish for our children overall – real progress in the whole of their education – but real progress, not just in accumulating information – real progress for the head and for the heart.” (Craig Taylor: Advanced Outdoor Learning: 2015)
9. Fab Fridays
We recognise that the most important part of our job is to teach our pupils the basics of Literacy, Numeracy and ICT and give them a solid foundation for future learning. However, we also agree that we want to educate the heart as well as the mind. We continue to make every Friday a ‘Fab Friday’ where we concentrate on our Ripple Kindness Programme, STEM activities, Joint Year Group Learning, Art and Golden Time.
Aims of ‘Fab Fridays’:
- To encourage active learning across the curriculum.
- To engage with our pupils in a fun and interactive way.
- To provide opportunities for children to put their learning into real-life contexts.
- To allow children who struggle with certain concepts to gain hands-on experience, particularly in Numeracy.
- To provide opportunities for discussion, pair and group work, particularly in Literacy.
- To inspire creativity within the Arts across the curriculum.
- To promote the teaching of PDMU and ensure this subject is taught every week in every classroom.
- To encourage more opportunity for outdoor learning in all year groups.
- To encourage classes to join as a whole year group in the hall for joined learning activities.
- To finish the week with Golden Time to reward children for their efforts in school that week.