Welcome to the first post from West Barns Primary School in East Lothian. The school community will be telling their story via monthly posts on the Primary section of the Learning Blog. They will be describing the process they are using to develop their curriculum together…
West Barns Primary School is a small village school situated on the outskirts of Dunbar. We have 71 primary pupils split between 4 classes and 13 children in our Nursery. The school is well supported by our families and the local community. Our pupils enjoy the wonderful school grounds and the opportunities offered by the outstanding local environment.
This year the school has been working with the whole school community to build a curriculum that provides our children with relevant, motivating and challenging experiences that meet the needs of all our learners. Children and their families, staff and the wider community are helping us create a new vision for West Barns Primary School, identify what we need to do to get there and plan how we are going to bring this about.
Together staff, children and their families have begun to examine the different elements of the curriculum and have embarked on a journey to find out how we would like it to look in our school.
We used a button vote to find out the views of parents and carers.
Some of the questions and statements the children used with the parents included:
- My child enjoys learning at school.
- I feel encouraged to be actively involved in my child’s education.
- I receive clear reports about my child’s learning and progress.
The results gave us a clear picture of what we were doing well and the areas we needed to improve.
From the start we wanted to encourage our children to contribute more to the life and work of the school and exercise their responsibilities as members of our learning community. We began by involving our children in a series of workshops designed to build a picture of how they saw our school. All pupils filled in an ’ How good is our school?’ survey. Older pupils supported younger children by explaining the questions and helping them traffic light their answers.
The children analysed the results and collated them so that everyone could see what was working well and what needed to be improved. We used this information to help us develop our School Improvement Plan.
To help develop our next steps we also asked all our children some important questions, including:
- What makes a good learner?
- What makes a good teacher?
- What makes a good school?
Pupils from across the school worked together to gather their ideas.
You can see what came out as important in the Wordles pupils created with the results.
We thought it was great that the words ‘good’, ‘helpful’ and ‘responsible’ came out as important for both our teachers and our learners.
Pupils, parents and staff then worked together by using a button vote to choose new values for our school.
It was interesting to see that respect, happiness, confidence, responsibility, safety and friendliness were our outstanding choices. This has given us a clear direction for the future and has informed our health and wellbeing programme for this year.
Come back in October to see what the West Barns school community do next as they develop their curriculum together.