St. Christopher’s ethos highlights its commitment to encouraging pupils to fulfil their potential and for them to be valued equally. We place particular emphasis on a balanced, all-round education. Our pupils are happy and confident, eager to learn and to help others.
The Independent Schools Inspectorate praised the quality of care for the children’s well-being and academic success, highlighting it as a particular strength of the school, adding: “Pupils demonstrate a delight in learning and a very strong desire to produce the best quality of work that they can”
The inspectors also commented on the way we develop children’s characters in the widest sense, saying: “Pupils across the school demonstrate notably high levels of self-confidence and self-awareness. Pupils’ exhibit deep spiritual awareness and demonstration of their appreciation of the non-material aspects of life”
Our approach is to cherish the individual, to catch them being good and to build on their strengths while supporting them in overcoming areas in which they perform less well. We do this through our weekly ‘Star of the Week’ awards and in our friendly but competitive House System in which children are allocated to houses (Cornwall, Edinburgh & Kent).
The Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme, from Reception to Year 6, not only reinforces these good attitudes and behaviours but also broadens children’s outlook on world events and history. We introduce them to the democratic process through visits to the UK Parliament and through holding our very own election days, with older pupils developing their own parties and manifestos, choosing candidates and delivering campaigns.
Our House system offers the chance for children to work collaboratively across age groups. Likewise, we structure our break and lunch times so that older pupils are able to interact with younger children. This provides positive role models to our younger pupils, and importantly gives older members of the School an opportunity to be responsible. All of our children interact incredibly positively, but it is a wonderful example to see our Year 6 pupils reading to our Reception children in the afternoons, break and lunch times, emphasising the family feel that we enjoy at St Christophers’.
Jigsaw scheme of work (PSHE)
At St Christopher’s school, we follow the Jigsaw PSHE Scheme of Work. Jigsaw PSHE is a comprehensive Scheme of Work for the whole School from Nursery through to Year 6. It brings together PSHE Education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in a comprehensive scheme of learning. SMSC (Spiritual, Moral Social and Cultural development) and Rights Respecting Schools (learning about United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child) are also a key part of the scheme. All of these pieces of learning are brought together to form a cohesive picture, helping children to know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people in the world.
Jigsaw PSHE is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time. This enables each puzzle to start with an introductory assembly, generating a whole school focus for adults and children alike.
The Jigsaw Recovery Curriculum (COVID 19)
As the children return from the COVID lockdown and the summer break, we as a school shall follow the new recovery programme outlined by the PSHE scheme of work.
What modules will be covered?
- Welcome back and establishing the safe environment (including new COVID safety rules and routines)
- Understanding the coronavirus and how to stay safe and well
- Reconnecting with friends
- A sense of belonging and feeling safe at St Christopher’s
- Managing worries and fears
- Being positive and looking forward to learning
- Gratitude and appreciation
- Loss and bereavement
The three ‘R’s’
There are three R’s that sum up a healthy, positive approach to returning to St Christopher’s school.
The Jigsaw scheme embodies these through its explicit teaching, predictable structure, safe learning environment created by the Jigsaw charter and the relationships built, and its attention to building social skills and to developing mindfulness.
St Christopher’s have embedded some of the original Jigsaw music and songs in our teaching of lessons, aiming to lift spirits by sharing music, singing together and by allowing the lyrics to support the positive learning messages.
Re-establishing old routines and establishing necessary new ones e.g. frequent hand sanitisation.
Learning itself provides security for many. Concentration and focus, being ‘in flow’ and absorbed in new learning can be very therapeutic and exciting in equal measure.
The Jigsaw recovery sessions give safe and structured opportunities for all children to talk about their lockdown experiences. Its will help them to deal with the emotions they may have experienced and need to express and understand.
The lockdown experiences and its impact on children needs processing, and a re-focus on the positive and the things we are grateful for supports a return to the school community and learning. A focus on good deeds and successful operations during this time will provide a positive angle on the pandemic.
All the above, however, needs underpinning by quality of relationships between the adults and children, children and children and adults and adults across our school community. We may need to consciously make more effort than normal with this, re-establishing relationships after absence.
With varying levels of isolation during lockdown, relationship building may need conscious work. In this Jigsaw recovery scheme, there are an abundance of lessons and activities to help with this in every year group.
Every lesson encourages a circle time, and whilst this will be done in a slightly different way while social distancing, it is an essential part of building confidence, self-esteem and trust in self and others. The jigsaw friends, integral to Jigsaw, will offer a comforting hug during these activities but at the moment have their own seats and participate with virtual hugs.
Our core values
We believe that values are principles that guide behaviour. At St Christopher’s school, adults are encouraged to model values and to give time for reflective practices. We believe that this empowers individuals to be effective learners and good citizens.
Our Values- based education philosophy underpins our work to actively promote fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those from all faiths, backgrounds and cultures. A rounded programme of assemblies and events promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, enabling them to develop their own moral and ethical compass to guide what is right and what is wrong.
To support and further develop our children’s strong sense of belonging, we introduce a core value every half term. Last year, our core values were:
Friendship, Honesty, Kindness, Trust, Courage and Happiness.
This year, our 6 values are Moral conduct, Communication, Resilience, Cooperation, Independent learning and Self-esteem.