Our vision and values are at the core of everything we do. They underpin our teaching and learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils as confident, happy citizens.
Our vision statement is:
'Achievement, respect and care in a happy Christian community'.
Our values are:
spirituality - creativity - perseverance - thinking - working together - independence
As a Church of England school, Gospel values also support every aspect of the life of the school. Children say 'Grace' before lunch and will end the day with a prayer. Children participate in an act of worship every day. Whole School worship takes place on a Monday and Thursday. Lower/Upper school singing worship takes place on a Tuesday/Wednesday and on the other day each class has class worship. Friday is a Phase Celebration worship.
Building Learning Power is about helping young people to become better learners, both in school and out.
It is about creating a culture in classrooms - and in the school more widely - that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable young people to face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively.
Evidence shows that students who are more confident of their own learning ability learn faster and learn better. They concentrate more, think harder and find learning more enjoyable. They do better in their tests and external examinations. We believe this initiative will encourage our children to take further ownership of their learning and behaviour in lessons whilst at St Mark’s and will help them become even better equipped for the challenges they face after they have left us.
As a school, and as one of our Ofsted targets from our 2013 inspection, we are passionate about increasing the independence of our learners so that they can take their own learning forward. We want them to be equipped with strategies to help them make choices and try new approaches which do not always include going straight to a teacher for help. We have enlisted the help and support of schools which have already successfully used Building Learning Power, and by including the children and whole staff in every decision made, we have renewed our commitment to our core Values. We expect that children will be using some or all of them in every lesson.
We have begun likening the brain to a muscle that needs training in order to develop, and using our Values stretches and builds different aspects of it. The Lower School (reception and years 1 and 2) ran a competition to design characters for the Values and the winning entries have been incorporated into our Values posters around the school. Click on our friends below to meet them.
We are also encouraging the children to think of different ways they can overcome being “stuck” and trying at least 3 of these strategies before they ask a teacher for help. Key Stage 2 have been looking at some of the vocabulary which describes successful learning behaviour and these will now form part of their Signs of Success in lessons.
Key Stage 2 vocabulary includes: