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Forest Row Church of England Primary School

TREAT OTHERS JUST AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED / LUKE 6:31

Head's Welcome

 

A warm welcome to Forest Row Church of England Primary School

 

I have now been Head of Forest Row Church of England Primary School for two years and what an interesting period of time it’s been! I certainly didn’t expect I’d be leading a school during a pandemic. However, despite its challenges, the last 18 months have shown the strength of the school community with children, parents and staff coming together to make sure that school continues to be an environment where the well-being of the children is paramount and where they can aspire to be the best they can be, both socially and academically.

 

During the lockdown period, our school development journey (understandably) slowed but we are now very much back on track. Our school vision drives everything we do and is the foundation on which the children develop as people and on which our new curriculum is built. Our Golden Rule:  “treat others just as you want to be treated “ (Luke 6:31) is not just represented in displays and posters but is modelled and practised throughout the school. Of course, there are times when children need to be reminded about making the right choice but our approach to behaviour is to be positive and ‘catch children doing something good’ rather than being overly reliant on sanctions and rewards.

 

We have started our new curriculum journey by replacing topics with projects. Projects begin with big questions, such as: What makes a community? Is the impossible possible? What makes a superhero? These questions become the drivers for learning and provide opportunities for children to explore areas that interest them, to be creative and debate issues that matter to them. We have created a curriculum that is relevant to our children and both inspires and engages them. We link different areas of the curriculum by exploring concepts such as: democracy, empathy, happiness and sustainability. It is also important to us that the role models we choose when teaching represent world wide diversity.

 

Our vision is to prepare our pupils for life beyond primary school. As a church school, we prepare our children so that they grow to be loving adults who show kindness to all. We also want them to be inspired to keep learning beyond their school years and develop the resilience to be able to cope with life's ups and downs or as we say at Forest Row, 'life's adventures'.

 

High aspiration is crucial for our children to have as many life opportunities as possible and the continual professional development our teachers and teaching assistants have access to is very much focused on raising expectation for all, alongside scaffolding the learning for those children who experience barriers to their learning. It is important to me that both children and adults in our school aim high.

 

Finally, I would like to say that we welcome visits to our lovely school and we are now very happy to say that you will be invited inside the building! You will also see how fortunate we are to have extensive fields, our own designated Forest Schools area, a stream and several playgrounds. It is a beautiful place to learn and play and I am fortunate to be a head teacher within such a warm and supportive community.

 

Sean Smith