“At Christ Church we aim to make the time our children spend at school a creative and fulfilling learning journey. Through our exciting curriculum and Christian values we aim to help them identify their strengths, excel in the basic skills and become confident and caring future citizens.”
- School with a Christian ethos.
- 48% children eligible for free school meals.
- The school to be a “haven” for the pupils, allowing them to be a “better them”.
- Pupils need aspiration (think, know, believe).
- Pressure on CC primary pupils to leave the area.
- Transient families.
- Some parents-very childlike, put themselves first.
- Would like to increase pupil numbers.
- Want to strengthen community involvement.
- School performance improving-including SATS after a “hiccup”.
- Giving children wider experiences (e.g. nights away from home).
- Nurture base for children struggling in the classroom.
- Learning improvement
- Speech and language (including parents involvement)
- Giving children experiences of what’s out there’
- Increasing aspiration
Christ Church’s staff identified their initial needs as:
- help in raising the children’s imaginations about the huge range of lifetime possibilities open to them.This project became known as the “Aspiration Project”.
- They also wanted help in improving their communications with parents and the wider community.
We have developed a format to engage the children’s interest and imagination, working with the class teachers. We wanted to do more than deliver potted histories of OBs wide range of careers.
Each session begins with a guessing game for the children. Two adults stand before them, one man and one woman. We males call ourselves “dinosaurs”. The women refer to themselves as “diamond dames”.
On the projection screen are some ten-or-so pictures of five-year old children from the childhood days of the dinosaurs and the diamond dames. The children are invited to guess which photos are of the now-adults standing before them.
The children are asked to guess what the background of the adults were, and their careers subsequently.
The children then go back to their classes. Each child then produces words and drawings to capture what they heard.
After that, the dinosaur and diamond dames join the classes for a question and answer with the children. The children then produce further words and pictures reflecting what they have learnt.
The pictures are then displayed in the school dining hall for all to see. Because each session produces so many individual pictures, they are rotated in the displays. This means that every child will keep looking at the pictures to see when theirs is displayed. As a result, they will get repeated reminders between sessions of the very many opportunities before them.
Two sessions have been held in the Spring and Summer terms of Christ Church. Two sessions per term are planned for the years to come.
Christ Church understood the key role parents play in supporting the learning of their children. This key role is enabled by communications between parents and the School and its staff. The School in turn recognized their need to improve the quality and timeliness of their communications with parents.
We have therefore developed a plan for the sequence of useful communications with parents, covering pre-term and over each of the terms. This has enabled prioritization of individual communications.
Standards of good and effective written communications have been developed. These are being used for the first priority messages.
They will be applied by an increasing range of the School’s staff. As a result of that experience, a house-style will be codified – again with the objective of deepening the relationship of individual parents with Christ Church.