Pupils are confident, self-assured learners. Their attitudes to learning have a positive impact on their progress. They are proud of their achievements and of their school. We know this because children are able to articulate the enjoyment of learning, and their learning journey using the language of ALP and Learning Without Limits. 92% of children at Ashcombe agree that they feel happy at school. Children display their pride in their achievements through themed weeks and days (where parents are invited to attend and observe outcomes), head teacher awards, the school house points system and pupil voice.
Pupils discuss and debate issues in a considered way, showing respect for others’ ideas and points of view. This is because of the wide ranging themes pupils are actively encouraged to discuss in frequent forums, such as weekly house family assemblies and Jigsaw PSHE lessons. Pupil voice is highly valued within the school and sought regularly.
Pupils understand how their education equips them with the behaviours and attitudes necessary for success in secondary education and beyond. We have a strong partnership with our closest secondary schools, with visits for sporting activities and drama productions. We also provide our most vulnerable pupils with additional visits during transition periods. Pupils are also given the opportunity to visit University of the West of England and Weston College during upper key stage 2. We regularly offer pupils the opportunity to share their future dreams and ambitions for adult life.
All pupils value their education and 33% rarely miss a day at school (166 children have 98% or above attendance during 2014-2015 academic year). Weekly monitoring of class attendance occurs with weekly, monthly and termly prizes. We also give bi-termly and an annual reward to individual pupils for 100% attendance. Pupils with low levels of attendance have support from Parent Support Advisors and attendance clinics are held for the few families with persistent absenteeism.
Pupils conduct themselves very well throughout the day, including at lunchtimes. This is because systems and procedures are highly effective at minimising any misbehaviour. Ashcombe’s Golden Charter’ is displayed in all rooms including in the school hall to ensure consistent messages and behaviour. Staff and pupils engaged with generating and implementing the Golden Charter and the schools behaviour management system.
Pupils’ good conduct reflects the schools’ efforts to promote high standards. There are marked improvements in behaviour for individuals entering the school with high levels of need. The small number of pupils with significant emotional and social needs are very well managed; this can be seen in the low level of exclusions. The school is very socially inclusive of a very small number of children with very high level of need. These children are very well supported by a dedicated pastoral team, on an individual case by case basis. We endeavour to ensure that the impact for the vast majority of pupils’ learning is negligible.
Pupils work hard with the school staff to prevent all forms of bullying, including online bullying and prejudiced-based bullying. This is endorsed by the views of parents in which only 2% disagree with the statement that the school deals with bullying. Staff and pupils deal effectively with the very rare instances of bullying behaviour and/or the use of derogatory or aggressive language. We educate children in the definition of bullying and how they should respond if they feel like they are being bullied, including a specific anti-bullying week and pupil well-being survey which identifies children who should receive extra support from an adult. Developing high levels of self-esteem and ensuring emotional well-being in all pupils is a key part of the schools work.
The schools’ ethos actively promotes all aspects of pupils’ welfare. Pupils report in an annual questionnaire that they feel safe (92%) and well looked after (93%) and parents agree with this (100% of parents agree with both statements on parent view). Pupils trust adults to listen to their concerns and report any worries readily, knowing that they will take rapid and appropriate action. All children are actively involved in hazard identification at all times within the school premises.
Children understand and make positive choices towards healthy eating. The school provides many opportunities throughout the week for sustained physical activity, positive energetic playtime, 2 hours of quality PE per week, increasing inter-school and inter-county sport tournaments, and a wide range of after school sporting activities. Through the REAL P.E. scheme we are teaching children the essential skills needed to develop a healthy lifestyle with a focus on self-improvement and sportsmanship. Adults in school are positive role models, therefore, encouraging children to participate fully. Children demonstrate confidence in dealing with relationships, abuse and exploitation during discussions in Jigsaw and RSE lessons.
Pupils take part in units of work about Digital Literacy and staying safe online. Our school’s commitment to this has been recognised by the ‘360° Safe’ e-safety mark award. Children are aware of the dangers of misuse of technology and the consequences of doing so. The school responds quickly and decisively to any misuse, and takes seriously its responsibilities to pupil welfare beyond the end of the school day. E-safety tips are shared regularly along with relevant literature with the school newsletter and on the school website. An Appropriate Use Policy is signed by both adults and children at the start of the school year with clear rules.
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development equips them to be thoughtful, caring and active citizens. Further information about the school’s SMSC provision can be found on the school’s website.
Fundamental British values are promoted at all times, making it a welcoming and responsive learning community that children and adults are proud to be part of.