Ethos & Vision
As part of Academies Enterprise Trust, Westerings Primary Academy is a very morally driven academy where we follow the newest thinking in education to ensure our children and staff receive the highest quality provision. We are an academy that actively encourages new thinking and fresh approaches.
Foremost in our thoughts, we are aware that we provide a service to families, our local community and to the wider society including the business world, to help educate our children so they become global citizens in an ever-changing and increasingly digitalised world. We want to equip our children with the skills and attitudes to succeed in their future careers and personal lives, and yet retain the highest moral values.
At Westerings Primary Academy, we share many of the views of the Expansive Education network, focussed on‘expanding goals for learning, aiming beyond academic success.’ There are many universities, schools, colleges, industries and individuals who share this view that children can learn far more than knowledge and skills at school. Aside from achieving academic success, at Westerings we strive to educate our children in dispositions and attributes (often called ‘Habits of Mind’ ) that can be used in a variety of situations. Acquiring and developing these dispositions, not only develops character of an individual but further improves academic success.
These are some of the attributes promoted by the Expansive Education network:
• creative thinking
• emotional self-management
• finding humour
• intuitive thinking
• reflective practice
• responsible risk-taking
• thinking interdependently
To educate our children for their future careers, we follow the ideas in the world of business where we can. The Confederation of British Industry or (CBI), in its report, First steps: a new approach for our schools, also suggests that education should go beyond the merely academic, into the behaviours and attitudes that schools should foster in everything they do.
These are the Habits of Mind that the CBI suggests schools should focus on:
• Good manners
• Sensitivity to global concerns.
A similar approach can be found in the Impetus research document: ‘Ready For Work’ in which six vital capabilities or attributes are identified by employers as key skills to access and succeed in the workplace:
The Six Vital Capabilities to be Ready For Work (impetus-pef.org.uk/ReadyForWork)
1. Self Aware:
Takes responsibility for themselves and others, exhibits self-control, accountability for one’s actions, does not shift blame and recognises their own strengths and weaknesses
Willing to address weaknesses, takes feedback and advice, open to new ideas and working in different ways, open-minded, patient and flexible
Displays a positive attitude, applies oneself consistently, reliable, motivated, punctual,
well-organised, hard-working and goes the extra mile
4. Self Assured:
Has good levels of self-esteem, willing to ask questions and seek more information, can work alone without clear direction, displaying physical signs of self-esteem, such as a firm handshake.
Copes with rejection and set-backs, learns from mistakes, open to constructive criticisms, determined to overcome obstacles, perseveres and does not panic under pressure.
Has an understanding of the job market, able to search for job vacancies, does background research, understands office etiquette, well-presented, can effectively describe their achievements verbally and has a representative CV.
The British Academy for Engineering has identified that ‘there is continuing and increasing demand in the UK for the skills and attributes that engineers develop through their education and training. These skills are in demand not just in engineering industries but across the whole economy, in sectors as diverse as healthcare, media, entertainment and sport.’
The Engineering Habits of Mind include:
• 1. Systems thinking
• 2. Adapting
• 3. Problem-finding
• 4. Creative problem-solving
• 5. Visualising
• 6. Improving.
At Westerings Primary Academy, we believe that an individual’s intelligence is expandable, not fixed. Success comes from learning, practice and effort. We want to help our children to have a ‘Growth Mindset’, i.e, to:
- embrace challenges
- persist despite struggling or coming across obstacles
- see effort and hard work as a way to improve
- appreciate and learn from feedback, including constructive criticism
Our children can take inspiration from many successful Olympic and World Class Sportspeople, Business CEOs, Scientists and Creative Artists, all who promote Growth Mindsets.
‘Educating Ruby’ by Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas promotes all of these ideas and suggests 7 C’s of Learning:
Confidence - Curiosity - Collaboration - Communication - Creativity -Commitment - Craftsmanship
Parents/Carers can find inspiration to help their child at home on their website:
So what does this mean for us at Westerings Primary Academy?
At Westerings we are keen followers of current thinking and research, joining the exciting global movement focussed on the education system being fit for purpose and helping to develop learners of the future with the habits, character and disposition to build the future.
How do we use these ideas?
- We bear all of these ideas in mind when planning our lessons, extra-curricular activities and our whole school approach
- We aim to develop character and these dispositions through modelling by our own behaviour and having high expectations of ourselves and others
- We encourage courage and calculated risk taking, promoting failure as a means to learn.
- We plan problem solving, collaborative activities that promote awe and wonder, moral purpose, deeper thinking, questioning and reasoning
- We promote high moral values and the importance of democracy, equality and justice
- As a staff, we continue to learn and develop our own knowledge and skills
At Westerings Primary Academy, we want the best for each of our children and strive to prepare them well to succeed in every aspect of their future lives.
At Westerings, Every Child really does Matter.