The 'Stokie' Cornerstones
Our Mission Statement is “By growing together in faith, hope and love, Our Lady's is a place where children are cherished and challenged to achieve.”
At Our Lady’s Catholic Academy, we encourage our children to believe that 'Anything is Possible' aiming to provide the best primary education in a stimulating environment, so that every child realises his or her potential. We in still a love of learning inspired by quality teaching, nurturing and developing individual strengths and talents whilst providing ‘Opportunity for All’ through enrichment. We believe every child is entitled to enjoy his or her childhood, whilst preparing pupils to become world class learners. We encourage and celebrate creativity, original thinking and imagination as well as effort and achievement. We teach the importance of moral values and showing consideration for others.
‘Anything is possible’ and ‘Opportunity for All’
We firmly believe that all children deserve an outstanding education and the same level of experiences no matter what your social background. When planning our curriculum, Our Lady’s has recognised the very wide social and economic strengths and challenges of our city which have a significant impact on the families in our school.
In response to the circumstances of our local community, we have been teaching ‘The Stoke Curriculum’ since the start of 2018. Inspired by the City of Culture 2021 bid, the senior leadership team and governors worked closely with local businesses to explore ways of allowing the children to fully embrace their local heritage through the curriculum. The Stoke Curriculum uses Stoke-on-Trent's heritage and cultural life as inspiration to bring the national curriculum to life across both Key Stages 1 and 2. It also ignites the pupils' creativity and helps them to connect with their communities and the city. e.g. World War II (Y6) is linked to the Lidice Lives Campaign, teaching the children how the people of Stoke-on-Trent helped Lidice recover from the Nazis.
Staff plan with children to ensure lessons are relevant to the children’s interests and needs. Subject leaders currently work together to check curriculum coverage of foundation subjects and continually develop the assessment of these subjects. Every child has the opportunity to be an expert in their curriculum area of strength.
We are proud to work with Stoke’s Cultural Educational Partnership in developing opportunities for industries and educators to work together to provide a wealth of enrichment activities across the city.
Stoke is one of six cities that have received Opportunity Area funding. The Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area was launched by the government to raise education standards, providing every child and young person in the area with the chance to reach their full potential in life. Through OA funding; developing partnerships in the city; effective use Pupil Premium funding and Sports funding, Our Lady’s ensures opportunities are available to all e.g. funding has allowed us to develop a community garden and gain the Food for Life Bronze award.
At Our Lady's we value activities that compliment our curriculum and enrich life experiences so we have created the '11by11' awards which give the children challenges to achieve by the time they leave us - eleven challenges by the time they are eleven. The challenges give opportunities to explore the local area around them with their families as well as bigger life experiences.
Our Principles for Learning and Teaching
All children are entitled to be engaged in their learning and to be active learners; discovering and finding out.
All children are entitled to understand what they have achieved and know what to do to make progress.
All children are entitled to be independent, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners; raising their own questions.
All children are entitled to have their different learning styles recognised.
All children are entitled to teaching that inspires their learning.
All children are entitled to teaching that encourages them to be creative.
All children are entitled to be challenged and enjoy learning.
All children are entitled to develop spiritually, morally and as members of their community and the wider community.
A curriculum for the whole child
“A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints….” Pope Benedict XVI, 2010
As a Catholic school, the precepts of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century.
The recent Section 48 found, “School leaders and governors share a strong commitment to the Church's mission
in education and are very successful in developing the outstanding Catholic Life of the school. This has meant that the spiritual and moral development of the pupils is always given the highest priority”
Our vision and values reflect the Gospel and British values which are at the core of everything that we do. They underpin our teaching and learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils as confident, happy citizens. It is important that within the school we all live and breathe these values every day in order that they are understood by pupils, staff, all parents and the wider community.
We all implement agreed policies and procedure
We all take personal responsibility
All take pride in the whole school environment / work / displays
High expectations in all our work (children, staff, Academy Representatives)
We all own everyone’s behaviour
We all focus on common goals
We will not just accept things as they are but strive to make them even better!
This is our issue or our success
We will support and not blame
We will share and celebrate achievements
Work will be done collaboratively
We will be aware of the bigger picture within school
We will show respect / Being aware of everyone’s role
We will be proactive
Stepping in at a moment’s notice to help out
We will all be prepared to take on short term additional responsibilities
Independent thinkers / Resourceful
We will show appreciation of each other’s role
We will know and value every person’s contribution to school life
Mentor / Coaching / Supportive
There will be a shared, honest and open staffroom
Feedback will be constructive and objective
We will be open minded
We will continue our own learning and improving