I am delighted to confirm that Sitwell Junior School has been reaccredited with Rotherham Charter Gold. Their visit to Sitwell Junior School included: a video presentation showcasing Charter practice, informal discussion with parents and grandparents, a tour of the school with two Year 6 children, and a fully updated portfolio that we looked at in discussion with Mrs Doughty (Charter Champion).
Read on for their detailed evaluation of the school:
The Charter principles are well integrated into the life of the school and very clearly showcased in the impressive and accessible Charter portfolio, which is one of the best we have seen. A clear summary leaflet of Charter practice has also been written and this could be circulated as an excellent Charter introduction for families new to the school.
The friendly, positive ethos can be felt from the moment you step foot in school. The welcome is heart-warming with smiles and greetings from all, as one parent explained, “Children always go in with a smile on their face and go home with a smile on their face.” The Reception area celebrates diversity with the display celebrating: ‘One school, many cultures, together we make the perfect blend.’ Photographs of the entire staff team are clearly displayed.
There are many opportunities for children to develop their independence and leadership skills throughout school with initiatives such as: Power Cadets, Playground Buddies, School Council and Value Leaders. The children who showed us round school had an excellent understanding of initiatives and emphasised the importance of supporting others. There are a wide range of after-school clubs.
Communication and sharing of information is a huge strength. Staff are available in the mornings and also take the children to the playground at the end of the day, so they are available for parents and carers. Parents told us: “There’s always somebody to welcome you”; “Very, very approachable.” The school website, Twitter and e-mail communication are efficient and up-to-date.
The ‘Sitwell Seven’ values are brought to life throughout the school with fantastic personalised photographs of children living the values. There is a healthy emphasis on self-improvement and personal progress rather than comparison with others. Photographs celebrate children making progress together in a way which values all. A child told us, “I feel supported. The teachers help us to show improvement.” Individual success is also celebrated in ‘Pupil of the Term’ assemblies.
There is an exciting curriculum celebrated with high quality displays throughout the school. Children are proud of their own and other pupils’ work and are passionate and engaged about the topics they are working on. Parents and carers are given regular opportunities to share children’s work through ‘Express Days’ and weekly morning activities.
During the visit it was clear that there is a relaxed and friendly ethos and all voices are heard, valued and respected. The parents, grandparent, children and Charter Champion we met communicated openly and honestly. There are regular questionnaires and feedback forms.
The portfolio of Charter evidence is impressive and well supported by our experience and discussions with others.
It is a pleasure to reaccredit Sitwell Junior School with Charter Gold!