Mr Atkinson's blog -… | Independent Primary School Buckinghamshire

Mr Atkinson's blog - Excelling beyond the classroom

We all want our children to excel whether it be in the classroom or further afield. Achieving this is a team effort between teachers, parents and the children. At Gateway we work hard to help our pupils find an area of strength and arm them with the skills they will need to work towards achieving excellence.

The first thing we need to do is to provide our pupils with a wide range of opportunities. Our curriculum is wide and varied, it allows pupils to experience a range of activities in the classroom. For the sporty children we have an amazing amount of fixtures for them to participate in. Our clubs programme provides a plethora of opportunities for children to search and develop areas of interest. Last term there were over 60 clubs running a week. These clubs cover the arts, sports, chess, computing, environmental issues and even magic tricks!

Once a child has found a particular area of interest they would like to develop our role is to help prepare them for success and of course the trials and tribulations that come with ‘striving’. Our ‘Learning for Life’ curriculum teaches children how to set short and long term goals that they can work towards. Our ‘ASPIRE’ values teach the children the values that they will need to work towards these goals. These values are embedded into our curriculum, form the focus of our mentoring sessions and are regularly talked about in assemblies. The senior children also complete a course in ‘Mindfulness’ which helps them to train their minds, gives them practical techniques to help them cope with difficult situations and it also helps them to understand how their mind works. These experiences help to develop resilience amongst our pupils which is essential when pursuing ones’ goals.

The final area that I believe Gateway does very well at is recognising effort and achievement. It is important that a child is recognised for ‘striving’ towards their goals. We do this through Celebration Assemblies, My Best certificates, merits, standing up in assemblies, Facebook posts, Tweets as well as verbal feedback. Over the last few weeks we have celebrated children’s achievements in reaching national competitions at football, cross country and swimming. We have also recently celebrated our older children’s achievements for the Primary Maths Challenge. In our House Meetings this week we celebrated results of various house competitions and we praised the children for working so hard to earn merits through their effort and behaviour.

Mr Adam Atkinson, Head of Pastoral

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Gateway Pupil in music lesson