Ethos - “The distinctive character and atmosphere of a school”
The ethos of Belmont Primary School is characterised by :-
- good relationships;
- a safe and caring environment;
- equality of treatment for all;
- empathy with parents and with their aspirations for the education and well-being of their children
- a strong team spirit amongst the staff.
Pupils and staff will be encouraged to develop:-
- a sense of belonging to our school community;
- respect for each other and for other’s ideas, opinions and property;
- a caring attitude towards each other;
- confidence, self respect and independence;
- a belief in their personal worth within the school and beyond.
We will support and encourage this development by providing:-
- a welcoming atmosphere;
- appropriate teaching about values and behaviour;
- regular opportunities for discussion reflection and communication;
- a safe building and grounds in which pupils are protected from harm;
- a stimulating learning environment in which it is safe to learn from mistakes and successes;
- a positive approach to behaviour in which there are more rewards than sanctions.
The school will promote the moral, intellectual, personal and social development of all its pupils.
Bullying can be defined as deliberately hurtful behaviour, repeated over a period of time, where it is difficult for the victim to defend him/herself. It can take many forms - physical, verbal or indirect. If unchecked, it can be damaging to the victim in both short and longer term and can disrupt or impair the capacity to learn and develop. Schools have a basic responsibility to keep their pupils safe from harm and provide a secure learning environment. It is the policy of this school that all staff should be vigilant and intervene promptly when there are signs of pupils behaving unkindly towards each other. Teaching about appropriate behaviour, modelling by adults, themes in assembly and praise for kind and caring behaviour create a positive ethos within the school. High levels of supervision in the playground and games which encourage co-operation reduce opportunities for unacceptable behaviour. Where staff detect early signs of this behaviour they will
- react promptly and withdraw the child to talk the situation through explaining why the behaviour is unacceptable;
- reassure and comfort the other child and ensure that s/he is placed with another supportive child or an adult;
- withdraw the first child from the situation and monitor behaviour
- refer the matter to the principal or vice-principal;
- inform parents and agree a strategy if necessary;
- take advice from outside agencies if necessary.
In the experience of the school it has usually been possible to intervene at an early stage and prevent further incidents. The open and positive ethos within classrooms, the use of circle time and the good relationships between parents and teachers have allowed both children and parents to talk to the school about these difficult situations. Follow-up work during RE, circle time and assembly has reminded the children of the type of behaviour towards others that is expected of them.
Opportunities For The Development Of A Positive Ethos
- Assemblies - pupils take part in assemblies sharing ideas and their achievements
- Classroom activities are appropriate to pupils levels of development ensuring success. Mistakes are regarded as “learning opportunities”
- Marking is done soon after the completion of work and suitable remarks/stamps or stickers are awarded
- Pupils take work to other pupils, teachers, the principal and the school secretary for praise
- Pupils are praised for behaving well and keeping class and school rules
- RE, assembly themes and structured play activities are used to encourage kind, caring behaviour.
- Pupils are encouraged to keep the school tidy and to care for their books and toys.
- Work is displayed in public areas for others to see
- Photographs of pupils working, playing and on school trips are displayed.
- Primary threes celebrate their three years in the school with parents and teachers through their prizegiving.
- Teachers use circle time to encourage the sharing of ideas and to give children an opportunity to listen to and appreciate each other.
- Big books, stories and the Church’s Peace Education Project are used to explore feelings and emotions.