The team at Archibald Primary place a great emphasis on the development of strong and positive character traits across the curriculum. Our school motto Believe and Achieve reflects this approach. Our aim is to instil a belief in our pupils that, whatever their background and whatever barriers to success they face, they can all achieve their full potential.
There are three main strands to our work in Character Education contributing to our ‘big picture’ curriculum. These strands ensure that the skills and traits we promote are embedded in the teaching and learning that takes place throughout the school.
The first of these strands is:
Rules – these are the behaviours that are promoted within the school:
U Use Kind and Caring Words,
L Listen carefully and follow instructions,
E Everyone one to use their personal power to make the right choices,
S Share your concerns and celebrate your achievement
These behaviours are revisited regularly and the language is used every day in interactions between pupils and between staff and pupils.
MAGIC – these are the traits pupils are encouraged to demonstrate and develop throughout their time in school:
I ‘I Learn’
Throughout school, these are referred to as ‘magic’ traits necessary for pupils to thrive and make the best progress possible.
LORIC – The members of the LORIC Family are characters used in school. Each character encourages pupils to display the characteristics of a specific attribute:
These attributes are introduced in KS1 and developed further in KS2 through specific lessons.
Each of the three strands has been developed in order to ensure that they are fully understood by pupils and that the behaviours, traits and attributes are embedded. This work has been developed in collaboration with PiXL and our engagement with PiXL Primary Edge
The Big Picture Curriculum
The behaviours are re-visited in the first half of each term, with one behaviour being a focus for each week. The theme is shared in our weekly newsletter and celebrated in whole school and team assemblies with pupils who have made a special effort being recognised and celebrated each week. Teachers also use Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons to revisit the behaviour and develop pupils’ understanding of it.
The traits are re-visited in the second half of each half term, with one trait being a focus for each week. The theme for the week is also shared in the school’s weekly newsletter and celebrated in whole school and team assemblies with pupils who have made a special effort again, being recognised and celebrated each week. Teachers refer to the traits in their teaching, for example when asking pupils to work in groups they will use the MAGIC vocabulary.
LORIC is a specifically taught programme included in our curriculum as part of our work with PiXL Primary Edge. It currently starts in KS1 when the characters and attributes are introduced and developed further in KS2 when pupils learn more about how they can demonstrate proficiency at each attribute. However, we are planning on developing ways of introducing LORIC within our EYFS in the near future.
This work is supported by the school’s ‘A’ Team. A Team members supervise playtime activities and act as peer mentors for younger children. They attend a weekly after school club where they revisit and learn new skills to help them in their role. The ‘A’ team is a voluntary group of pupils who receive additional support and coaching in a weekly after school club in order to promote both RULES and MAGIC with other pupils at break-times and at lunchtimes. They have also received specific lessons in anti-bullying in order to support and lead their peers. By fulfilling their role, members of the ‘A’ Team are also able to demonstrate their LORIC skills.
We implemented these programmes one at a time, each building on the success of its predecessor. The acrostics have proved themselves extremely helpful in enabling the younger children to remember the behaviour rules and magic traits. Each of these programmes is very much “whole school,” underpinning the work of the school at all levels. They have resulted in increased expectations and aspirations of both children and parents and carers. Through this process, both groups have developed a greater understanding of that everyone can achieve their potential.
We are able to maintain a calm and productive learning environment and are delighted to report that pupil behaviour is excellent. Pupils know the rules and the ‘magic’ traits as they are continually reinforced. They use the vocabulary associated with the behaviours, traits and attributes when talking with adults and with each other.
As a consequence, our pupils have learnt the importance of perseverance and resilience in their work in class; very few now give up at the first attempt, and even the youngest pupils can be observed having a go, trying new things and trying again when they don’t succeed first time. This ability to ‘bounce back’ is one of the major impacts of the success of the work that has been done and is reflected in the school’s continually improving attainment outcomes.
“Developing and implementing the character education behaviours, traits and attitudes has been a fundamental part of our constant drive to raise attainment, as pupils are able to apply the skills that they have learnt and practiced within all areas of the curriculum. We have not treated it as an ‘add on’ but as an integral part of our whole school ‘Big Picture’ curriculum and this has been instrumental in its success “