At Clatford we have a strong vision which is underpinned by our spirituality and our core Christian values of Love, Respect and Belief. Through them we provide children, staff and our school community with a code to live by. Our shared values are at the centre of our school's Christian ethos, curriculum and policies and permeate our day to day interactions, relationships and decisions. These alongside our ‘Learning Friends’ help to inspire our children towards a lifelong love of learning and provide them with a secure foundation on which to build.
Our holistic and broad curriculum strives to develop the whole child through opportunities to learn creatively and explore ideas, our children are encouraged to think about their learning and whole wellbeing. With our Philosophy 4 Children skills underpinning each area we actively seek to nurture creativity and expression, develop a language for learning and lifelong resilience through reflection and exploration, as well as create high purposeful engagement throughout the curriculum with opportunities for enriching activities for each and every child. We want our children to feel engaged, excited, challenged and supported in their learning.
High quality teaching and learning is at the heart of everything we do. We constantly strive to ensure that we maintain and develop teaching skills through team teaching, focused professional development and sharing expertise. All staff have high aspirations for all children and work hard to create pathways so that every child can succeed. Excellent teaching and learning gives children opportunities to be successful in a creative, safe, calm environment.
Being motivated is an essential part of learning; all learning at Clatford is set within a context or theme with a ‘hook’ to engage all learners. This can be in the form of a problem to solve, an event to host, a visit, trip or creative theme day. In that way children have a real context to give their learning purpose and to help them see links. Themes are planned in detail across the school to ensure differentiation and progression. They have been chosen to deliver the key objectives within each subject and to recognise that the vast majority of our children are well travelled and will have employment within a national and international context. We therefore want to give them opportunities to explore not only regions of the world but develop a global awareness and understanding of issues facing the planet and be a good global citizen.
Activities are designed to excite children about their learning and include open-ended tasks that promote extended thinking and allow for different learning styles so that all children can access the learning. Children generate key questions to personalise their learning journey. All themes are enriched and supported by education visits and visitors to school such as theatre groups, authors, musicians, wildlife experts and the local community. First hand experiences are an essential part of what we offer our children. Throughout, children are supported in identifying their personal targets and are encouraged to understand their next steps of learning. We do everything we can to ensure our curriculum is accessible for all and enables all our children to take pride in their learning.
At Clatford we believe that an understanding of what learning is, and how it happens, develops a lifelong love of learning with the children. With that in mind we have created our learning friends to help the children here talk about how they learn with regards to their learning relationships (sharing); meaning making; learning resillience (perseverance); creativity; curiosity; spirituality and creative thinking. Lancelot the learning Lion loves it when children get better in any of these areas. Early on in the school we also have our phonics frog, who really loves it when children get better with their phonics. They are all part of the family here at Clatford and if you have anything to do with the school, you'll soon get to know them all!
Philosophy for Children (P4C)
What is Philosophy for Children?
P4C is an approach to learning and teaching, now a recognised worldwide movement. It improves children’s critical, creative and rigorous thinking. It helps to develop higher order thinking skills, improve communication skills and helps children learn to co-operate with others. Children are taught how to create their own philosophical questions. They then choose one question that is the focus of a philosophical enquiry, or dialogue. The teacher, as facilitator, supports the children in their thinking, reasoning and questioning, as well as the way the children speak and listen to each other in the dialogue.
Benefits for Children
There are many benefits of using an enquiry based approach to open up children’s learning through the exploration of ideas.
- Gives children the possibility of seeing that their ideas have value, and that others have different ideas that have value too.
- They realise that they don’t always have to be right.
- They have the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.
- All learners (including teachers) have opportunities to genuinely enquire.
- They have a chance to speak and be heard without fear of getting an answer wrong.
- Intelligence grows.
- It gives all children a voice and a chance to flourish.
- It gives children a chance to think outside the box.
- It provides a language structure.
- They learn respect and negotiation skills.
- They learn not to be fearful to have a try at something.
- Most importantly it helps all children feel valued
Impact beyond P4C
It is well documented that P4C has an impact on children's cognitive, social and emotional development. P4C is about getting children to think and communicate well; to think better for themselves. It
- Creates an enquiring classroom in all areas of the curriculum.
- Affects positively personal skills, and behaviour in the playground.
- Develops skills necessary for positions of responsibility (school council, worship leaders).
- Develops listening and reasoning skills.
- Promotes independence.
- Develops the ability to concentrate, to think beyond the obvious, to listen and evaluate and to form their own opinions have extremely beneficial consequences
Within the Curriculum it has many benefits.
- In Mathematics, for example, children are required to discuss their work and explain why an answer is correct. And as they progress they need to begin to explain their thinking and to give examples.
- In Science, children are required to respond to suggestions and put forward their own ideas about how to find the answer to a question.
- In English, pupils talk and listen confidently in different contexts, exploring and communicating ideas. In discussion they show understanding of the main points. Through relevant comments and questions they show that they have listened carefully. They are able to vary their use of vocabulary and level of detail. It gives lots of ideas for writing.
- In History, children are required to understand how the past has been interpreted and represented by different people. They need to demonstrate an understanding of the results of change and how it affects us now.
- In Geography they need an understanding of environments and cultures and be able to make reasoned judgements and views on the implications that these have in the world.