Character Education Statement

Why do we value Character Education?
At Orchard Primary School we acknowledge that the experiences provided for children in their primary years has a major impact on their future wellbeing and success. It is for this reason, we have made a whole school commitment to the teaching and development of character traits, attributes and behaviours which underpin achievement and success; endeavouring to ensure that developing ‘character’ goes hand in hand with high educational aspirations and achievement.

 

Character through the Curriculum
Through our rich and exciting creative curriculum, we focus on teaching pupils to be their best selves, to take pride in their work, and to be positive members of the school, and greater global communities.

We want to create children who thrive on challenge, love learning, respect each other and have attributes that will ensure that they will be valued members of our society.

We also create a culture where staff are empowered to take risks and be inventive with the curriculum and learning, where mistakes are seen as a valuable part of the learning process, where all staff and governors support each other and the ethos of the school and most importantly where the relationships in the school between all stakeholders provides a secure foundation for skill development.

 

Our Values
Inspire - Create - Achieve

At Orchard Primary School, we have the highest aspirations for our children.

Deeply committed to providing the best possible education for all pupils, we place a child’s happiness and excellent standards of teaching, learning and leadership at the heart of all we do.

We believe that time in school should be rewarding and fulfilling. We, therefore, pride ourselves on creating an exciting and inspirational learning environment, through the implementation of a wide-ranging and challenging curriculum that meets the needs of the whole child and enables each individual to develop high self-esteem and experience success in both education and in their personal growth. 

Through our caring and inclusive learning environment, we aim to nurture and develop mutual respect, tolerance and teamwork - encouraging pupils to embrace diversity and value one another equally.

We are dedicated to promoting in pupils: resilience, a positive learning attitude and independence. We place a huge emphasis on the importance of kindness, consideration and good manners.

Determined that our pupils leave Orchard, as confident, responsible, life-long learners able to make a positive contribution to society, we strive to create a learning community, rich in opportunity, where everyone is valued, empowered and challenged to achieve their potential and excel in their achievements.

 

Areas of Responsibility
Pupils throughout the school are offered opportunities to take responsibility, to show initiative and to extend their social and cultural experiences.

These roles include: Classroom Monitors; School Council Representatives; House Captains; Anti-Bullying Ambassadors (ABA); Librarians; Playground Pals/Play Coaches and Hall Monitors.

 

Values Assemblies
Values Assemblies teach pupils about the personal qualities valued in society e.g. honesty, consideration, independence and self-respect. Assemblies also enable pupils to explore issues relating directly to rules, behaviour and bullying.

 

DFE Character Education Benchmarks
A new set of “benchmarks” for schools to rate their character education against has been published by the Department for Education

As a school, we evaluated our provision in February. To view our evaluation, click on the link below.
 Character Education Benchmark Report 2020.pdf

 

Character Education Highlights 2021-22
Happy Lunchtimes – Friendship, Respect & Kindness

We had an awesome day when Steve Harris visited school to help staff and pupils improve the lunchtime experience.  He ‘taught’ us all about the Happy Lunchtime system which we have now introduced in school. 

The School Council worked with Steve to help set our goals for lunchtimes, these are:

  • For pupils to show respect to staff, equipment and each other.
  • For pupils to play with kindness and consideration
  • For a quieter, pleasant dining hall.

Everybody is really enjoying the new system, especially the different activities in the Play Zone. The Pom Pom reward system is also proving to be very popular!

Sports Ambassadors
Our Sports Ambassadors do a superb job and always really impress staff with their responsible attitudes each year. The job of a Sports ‘Leader’ requires pupils to act as a ‘Playground Pal’ to play a leadership role at break and lunch times; organising play activities for our younger pupils and ensuring that all children are being kind and considerate towards one another.

Their in-school training allows them to think about and prepare for their leadership role, helps to boost their confidence in working with others, and enables them to understand how to be an effective leader of others through the development of skills relating to organisation and communication.

The younger children benefit too by having older pupils lead their games, and help to solve problems if any should arise.

Learning how to Learn – Character Muscles
We always pump up our Character Muscles big time in the Autumn Term, focusing on developing the following:

Enthusiasm: Ready and keen to learn all there is to know, and to contribute and enjoy.
Concentration: The act of focusing your attention.  The art of not being distracted.
Curiosity: A strong desire to know or learn something.  Asking questions to learn more.
Self-Control:  Restraining yourself from doing something that may not be appropriate at the time.  Involves self-control.
Creativity: Forming new ideas, images, or concepts.
Co-operation: The ability to work together. May involve compromise or self-sacrifice.
Teamwork/Inclusiveness:  Allowing others to join in and not limiting yourself to certain people.
Friendship: Involves trust, generosity, sharing, empathy and more.  Shouldn’t be treated lightly or traded away.
Kindness: Being generous, thoughtful, and friendly.
Resilience: The ability to recover from difficulties.
Listening: Listening politely and respecting other people’s ideas.   

Leadership Councils
Members of our varied Leadership Councils are always an absolute credit to the school and are such a huge help. We’re very proud of our young leaders - well done!

Well-being and ‘Values’ Assemblies
All of our assemblies have a ‘message’ – values, character, morals. We love learning about how to be a brilliant citizen through stories, such as The squirrels Who Squabbled and You Be You, and have also explored films that raise philosophical questions, such as Pixar’s The Birds.

Happy Lunchtimes
We’ve made sure that pupils in KS1 have a chance to take part in mindfulness activities, meditation and creative projects linked to character education qualities such as teamwork and creativity.

Medical Mavericks – Curiosity & Questioning
To help pupils to discover amazing opportunities in the world of health, medicine and STEM, children in Key Stage 2 take part in a special ‘Mini-Medics’ workshop. Their curiosity is well and truly sparked as they take part in a range of exciting activities, including using an ultrasound machine to see inside their body, recording and printing their own ECG, seeing inside their eye with an ophthalmoscope attached to an iPhone and experiencing keyhole surgery using a keyhole training device used by real surgeons.

Y5 Residential to Whitehall – Determination, Perseverance and Team Work
Year 5 pupils always have a wonderful time at Whitehall. Whilst their organisational skills need a bit of work (who knew you could lose so many socks!) the children prove themselves to be fantastic team-mates, friends and outdoor adventurers. Moreover, they are so enthusiastic about giving all of the challenging activities a go.

Y3 Residential to Beaumanor Hall– Determination, Perseverance and Teamwork
Year 3 pupils always have such a wonderful time at Beaumanor. The children prove themselves to be great outdoor learners and fabulous teammates!  They give every activity a really good go to strengthen the muscles needed to tackle extra challenges!

World Religion Day – Respect for different cultures and faiths
We are very big on tolerance, harmony and respect at Orchard and so enjoy celebrating World Religion Day by having a special themed afternoon every January.

Through a variety of activities, pupils are encouraged to acknowledge the similarities that different beliefs have, and to explore some of the key beliefs and practices associated with either Judaism, Hinduism or Islam. 

Diwali Day – Respect for different cultures and faiths
To help them to understand the importance of ‘The Festival of Light’ to people of the Hindu Faith, pupils in EYFS always take part in a special Diwali Day. As well as creating beautiful rangoli patterns, mendhi patterns and making barfi, pupils learn about the story of Rama and Sita.

Well-being Day
Pupils in KS2 had a super day learning all about how to be their best selves. After an inspiring assembly, Paul Griffiths, a motivational speaker, then helped our Y5/6 children to learn more about Growth Mindset, aspiration, the power of teamwork and how to set yourself goals in life.

Rainbow of Hope
To show our compassion, we had a Ukrainian fundraising appeal. It was a very poignant moment when we created our ‘Rainbow of Hope’ and held a minute’s silence as we wished for peace.

Remembrance Day – Gratitude & Courage
Pupils take part in a special day of gratitude and remembrance to mark Armistice Day.

Kindness & Anti-Bullying Day
Pupils across the school join in the ‘Big Anti-Bullying Assembly’, sponsored by The Diana Award and Nationwide Building Society.

Via a virtual assembly, pupils are reminded about the need for mutual respect in our school and communities. Together, we pledge to put an end to bullying, to celebrate diversity and to create communities of kindness. We take part in a range of activities to help us learn more about friendship during national Anti-Bullying Week.

Curiosity – British Science Week
Pupils participate in a carousel of activities for a whole day where they explore the current theme. We certainly strengthen our curiosity muscle!

Respect for the Environment
As well as doing lots of outdoor learning and taking part in ECO Club, all of our classes brave a very cold and windy February week every year to undertake the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Pupils have a great time completing the survey.

Our ECO Club also do litter picking and look after our wildlife areas. Under the watchful eye of Mr Owen, they are working really hard to ensure that our school grounds look good.

Fundraising
To demonstrate kindness, compassion and empathy, we like to take part in fundraising activities to help support a range of charities. We’ve supported Macmillan, Children in Need, Save the Children, the WWF and Atoll Nature Reserve to name just a few.

We’ve also continued to run our Food Bank.

Charactermas
Our Christmas activities have a Character Education focus, with pupils exploring a range of activities designed to help them improve teamwork, problem-solving and creativity. The UKS2 enterprise scheme is always a huge success – great use of teamwork and creativity.

Gardening Club Pop-Up Stall
We are so proud of the Gardening Club for running their very own plant sale after school. Having grown everything from seed, they create labels and a poster for their very own ‘pop-up stall’.

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors
We are so proud of our Anti-Bullying Team. As part of their role, they runs campaigns and help Mrs Wood to lead assemblies.

WOW Week
What an amazing week Wow Week for Y5/6. Taskmaster, food tech, archery, martial arts, team building, den building, multi-sports, games throughout the ages, Rebound, Escape Room…the trip to Alton Towers was a big hit!

Y5/6 Enterprise Scheme
Year 5 & 6 pupils run a fantastic enterprise morning every Summer. We are always blown away by their high levels of creativity, teamwork and entrepreneurial skills.

Turtle Fundraiser
As well as hearing all about ocean life and the impact of plastic pollution, pupils have learnt about two very special Sea Turtles, Hope and Donatello - through the story. We sponsor the turtles and raise funds for Atoll Marine Conservation based in the Maldives through our special ‘wear blue’ non-uniform event!

Cake Fundraiser
We raise money by baking cakes. One of the charities we have supported recently is the WWF.  After hearing about the plight of some endangered species, notably ‘The Big 5’, pupils were keen to raise money for the conservation of these animals. They devised the event, advertised it, got their friends involved and raised £535! Absolutely brilliant!

Wombles in Litter Assembly
Thank you to Geoff and Keith from ‘Wombles in Litter Education’ for a super assembly which raised awareness of the harm litter causes for our environment and wildlife.

 

Children's Mental Health Week

To acknowledge Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 (6-12 Feb) pupils took part in a variety of activities to fit in with this year’s theme of ‘Let’s Connect’.

Pupils were helped to understand that when we have healthy connections – to family, friends and others – this can support our mental health and our sense of wellbeing. When our need for rewarding social connections is not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely – which can have a negative impact on our mental health.

The week ended with a fun ‘Dress to Express’ non-uniform theme.

Respect for the Environment
As well as doing lots of outdoor learning and taking part in ECO Club, all of our classes braved a very cold and windy February week to undertake the 2023 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Pupils had a great time completing the survey.

Thanks also to our ECO Club for litter picking and looking after our wildlife areas. Under the watchful eye of Mr Owen, they are working really hard to ensure that our school grounds look good.

Fundraising
To demonstrate kindness, compassion and empathy, we like to take part in fundraising activities to help support a range of charities. This year we’ve helped support Macmillan, Children in Need, Save the Children, the WWF and Atoll Nature Reserve.

We’ve also continued to run our Food Bank.

Charactermas
Our Christmas activities once again had a Character Education focus, with pupils exploring a range of activities designed to help them improve teamwork, problem-solving and creativity. The UKS2 enterprise scheme was yet again a huge success – great use of teamwork and creativity.

Gardening Club Pop-Up Stall

We were so proud of the Gardening Club for running their very own plant sale after school. Having grown everything from seed, they created labels and a poster for their very own ‘pop-up stall’. Thanks to Mr Owen for supporting the children. 

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors 2023

We are so proud of our Anti-Bullying Team this year. They had completed their final ‘Diana Award’ training session, and are now ready to apply for their ‘Respect’ badge. As part of this, they will be running a campaign over the next couple of weeks, and making a video for the website.

WOW Week 2023

What an amazing week Wow Week for Y5/6. Taskmaster, food tech, archery, martial arts, team building, den building, multi-sports, games throughout the ages, Rebound, Escape Room…the trip to Alton Towers was a big hit!

Y5/6 Enterprise Scheme 2023

Congratulations to Year 5 & 6 pupils for running a fantastic Enterprise morning. They raised £650 by ‘growing’ their £1 loans. We were blown away by their high levels of creativity, teamwork and entrepreneurial skills. Thank you so much to parents for sending children in with money to spend. They had a great time! All of the money raised will go towards enrichment activities for all classes.

Turtle Fundraiser

As well as hearing all about ocean life and the impact of plastic pollution, pupils learnt about two very special Sea Turtles, Hope and Donatello - through the story.

They even found time to raise funds for Atoll Marine Conservation based in the Maldives through their special ‘wear blue’ non-uniform event!

Cake Fundraiser January 2023

Well done to pupils in Classes 8,9 & 10 who brought in cakes for a whole school fundraising initiative, led and organised by a group of Year 6 pupils. After hearing about the plight of some endangered species, notably ‘The Big 5’, pupils were keen to raise money for the WWF. They devised the event,  advertised it, got their friends involved and raised £535! Absolutely brilliant!

Wombles in Litter Assembly

Thank you to Geoff and Keith from ‘Wombles in Litter Education’ for a super assembly which raised awareness of the harm litter causes for our environment and wildlife.