The school has at its heart the desire to provide a first class education for children and excellent opportunities for their personal development. All adults in school are united behind the same goals and contribute positively and professionally to the ethos. The “Values and Vision” statement continues to be a significant document - this encapsulates what makes The Priory such a unique place to learn and to work. This document underpins our statement of British values and can be found under the Information tab on the school’s website.
We hope that as well as being at the heart of our local rural community, our much loved village school will be the school of choice for many parents in North Hampshire.
At The Priory, we recognise the multi-cultural and multi-faith nature of the United Kingdom and we understand the crucial role of schools in promoting the following key British values:
Children are involved in a democratic voting process to elect members of the School Council. 2 members of each class from Year 2 upwards are elected members of the school council and their photographs are displayed on the Council’s notice board. The meetings are chaired by a member of Year Six and notes are taken by a secretary, also from Year 6. The minutes are posted on the board and are discussed by the staff at their staff meetings. Once a year, the school council meets with the Governing Body.
At the beginning of each year, children from each class discuss appropriate behaviours and draw up a short class charter of agreed rules.
All children learn to have respect for themselves, other people and the world around them. We foster a positive attitude to life and work and we value politeness and good manners. Our aim is that all children will leave the school as happy, confident, articulate and numerate individuals who are well equipped for life in the 21st century. We are proud of all our children and encourage them to achieve their best academically in a safe and caring environment
We believe that all the children should take pride in their school. Although not compulsory, all children wear a traditional uniform with a tie and many items bear our school crest of the Priory church. We encourage the children to remain smart throughout the school day, giving gentle reminders that shirts should be tucked in and ties and top buttons fastened up. Our distinctive blazer and tie makes the children instantly recognisable both in the school grounds, when visiting other schools and when out with staff or parents in the local community. The blazer is worn by the majority of children and it acts as a constant symbolic reminder of the values of the school.
Children have key roles and responsibilities in school and there are a number of highly important systems that underpin our ethos.
The House System
On entry to school, the children join one of three houses, Kestrel, Hawk or Falcon. Each house has its own captain and vice-captain, annually selected via an interview procedure by the staff. Each week, the children earn house point tokens for good behaviour, manners, effort and attainment. The children are proud to be a member of Kestrel, Hawk or Falcon and there is friendly rivalry between the houses. Occasionally, the children work in house groups rather than year groups, providing useful opportunities to work not only with their peers but with those older or younger than them. Children in Year 6 are appointed to House and Vice House Captainship following a short interview with staff.
There are 6 Sports Captains, 2 for each house. Any child in Year 6 interested in being a Sports Captain is required to submit a letter of application which is reviewed by the Year 6 teacher and Head Teacher. The captains are then chosen on merit and are in post for a year. They are responsible for ensuring that all our children have an equal opportunity to access sport at lunchtimes and they assist the PE coordinator with tasks relating to sport.
Prefects and Buddies
Year 6 children are proud to be prefects for a variety of duties around school. They have the opportunity to experience prefecting in all areas during the course of the year. Year Five are buddies to the children in the Reception class. At the beginning of the new school year, a Year 5 child is paired with a Reception child - not only does this help the older children to be responsible, it also ensures that the younger ones settle quickly into school. Children in Year 1 retain their buddies, now Year 6 as reading partners.
Each class has its own system for carrying out simple everyday tasks such as returning the register to the office; collecting and distributing books etc, enabling all children to be helpful members of the school community.
Making choices is a fundamental part of “individual liberty” and children are required to make choices throughout the school day, from what to eat at lunch time to what club to attend. We have a creative curriculum which encourages children to use their first hand experiences and simple information sources to answer questions; to know where to find information using strategies such as scanning, skimming and using an index to locate information and to record this information in a given or devised format. It helps children to develop reasoning skills; to predict and anticipate events; to use the language of sequence, similarity and difference, cause and effect and to recognise and challenge assumptions. It encourages children to express their own views, opinions and preferences; to justify them; to develop their own criteria and use them to make judgements and to evaluate the quality of an outcome.
Our overall aim is a to develop the children’s personal, social and citizenship skills; to empower them so they have control over what they choose to do; to increase their knowledge; to promote their self-esteem and self-confidence; to help them value themselves as worthy citizens contributing positively to their community; to raise awareness of their own feelings, attitudes and abilities and to prevent harm to themselves and others.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We believe that it is important that the children understand not only the context of the school but also appreciate how they may contribute to society and to the world beyond school. We hope that the skills children will acquire include decision making; communicating; building self-esteem; developing relationships; dealing with conflict; problem solving; self-awareness and assessment; pressure resistance and critical thinking.
We have a strong focus on Christian values and we follow the Hampshire “Living Difference” RE syllabus. In recent years, our children’s artwork depicting various World Religions has been selected for inclusion in the Hampshire County Council Inter Faith calendar.
We encourage the children to be tolerant of difference; we value each child equally and encourage them to do the same. We consider this is a strength of the school. All children learn to have respect for themselves, other people and the world around them. We foster a positive attitude to life and work and we value politeness and good manners. Our aim is that all children will leave the school as happy, confident, articulate and numerate individuals who are well equipped for life in the 21st century.
The Rule of Law
Knowing the difference between right and wrong is fundamental to the teaching in any primary school. We have clear guidelines for children’s behaviour and these are fairly and consistently applied. We will always speak courteously to children and we reserve raised voices for emergencies only. We listen to what children have to say and take their opinions seriously. There is an emphasis on politeness and good manners; children’s eagerness to hold doors open for their peers as well as for adults was noted by Ofsted!
A usual feature of the school day is the relaxed banter between staff and children. Children are clear where the boundaries are and know not to overstep them and as a result, the atmosphere that pervades the school, whilst purposeful, is also relaxed.
We work hard to maintain our reputation as an outstanding local primary school and we believe that excellent relationships form the foundation of a successful school.
We have a good relationship with external agencies such as the local police and the school nursing service whose input helps children to make the right choices in life. We encourage children to develop leadership skills and to learn how to cooperate as a group. Children experience feelings of awe and wonder and develop confidence through the acquisition of new skills and the consolidation of old ones. They have a positive attitude towards learning new skills; they enjoy coming to school and this helps with their classroom learning.
We encourage all children to “have a go” – the skills they learn and the experiences they have will provide a great basis for a lifelong love of learning.
There is a short weekly assembly on a Friday afternoon that explicitly celebrates and reflects upon these core British values, which are intrinsic to our school.