On 19th January 2022, St John’s Church of England Academy hosted a virtual event as part of our Leading a Whole Education at Primary (LAWEP) programme.
This event was a chance to find out more about the provision of a high quality whole education at one of our member schools.
St John’s is a one form entry school based in Coventry with pupils from Reception through to Year 6. They describe their vision for their school as:
“We are a family with a strong set of shared values. These values enable all members of our school community to ‘shine’!”
The day started with an introduction to the school by Head boy Toby and Head girl Molly, who were asked to share with leaders from across the country the things that make their school special. They spoke about the school’s motto being “I Will Shine”, which means they shine through everything they do: at home, at church and at school.
Head boy and Head girl are sharing how amazing our school is as part of our Whole Education event today. @WholeEducation sharing and celebrating our bespoke curriculum.#excellence pic.twitter.com/cm8kauF0dG
— St John’s C of E Academy (@Stjohnscoventry) January 19, 2022
Toby and Molly also highlighted the school’s core values of:
After this short introduction to St John’s, Acting Headteacher Sarah Smalldon and Assistant Headteacher Sarah Henderson spent the day sharing their journey to best practice in three key areas:
- Leadership culture
- Curriculum design
- Teaching and learning
Here are some of the key takeaways from the event:
St John’s actively promotes positive mental health and wellbeing for the whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers). In order to support their staff they initially consulted them around their needs both as members of staff and as individuals who have lives beyond the classroom. They then created an offer that not only supports the staff mental health and wellbeing, but also their ongoing professional development.
- Child leadership
Children across St John’s have the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of leadership roles. As well as traditional roles like Head Boy and Head Girl, the children can also take part in other roles within the prayer garden team, spotlight team, news team and even the chicken farmers team.
St John’s consulted children, parents, staff and governors through a questionnaire about the school’s curriculum. They were asked what their thoughts were on the current curriculum and the topics covered and then asked what they would like to see in a revised curriculum. From this, St John’s set out a curriculum vision to excite, engage and inspire pupils with a relevant, inclusive and memorable curriculum that makes learning irresistible.
- Embedding knowledge
St John’s has numerous strategies to ensure new knowledge is captured and revisited. Each week, children are asked to identify key knowledge and put it in the contents and glossary of their workbook. Children are also asked to complete ‘knowledge pitstops’ regularly. After a topic has been taught, these workbooks are kept on display within the classroom to act as a point of reference for the children.
At the end of the day, the participants were asked about the stand out features of a high quality whole education St John’s had shared with them that day. See their responses in the image below:
Thank you to St John’s Church of England Academy for hosting such a fantastic and inspiring day. One of our attendees had this to say: