Holy Trinity Primary School in Darwen
Holy Trinity welcomes, respects and cares for all in our community, with no child left behind.
We are very proud of our school with the vibrant and stimulating learning environment. We are determined to make every child's life here a rich and rewarding experience so they so leave with a love of learning, high self-esteem, pride in their success and ready to enjoy the challenges of life. We pay great attention to our children having a clear and distinct voice in our school. We have Peer Mentors who wear purple sweatshirts; these children are highly trained and are now an important part of the fabric of our school. Followed closely by Reading Rangers and Ambassadors (embroidered black sweatshirt and polo). Children join us on staff training days and this year 2013, have begun to join in whole school staff meetings, where their voice and opinion is valued and they are treated as equals. Their role this year is being coordinated by Miss Duff; who has already organised training on updating the school website; how they can elevate their profile within school and the wider community.
Watch the website for the Ambassadors' own page soon.
Every child is valued and their unique qualities are recognised, nurtured and celebrated. The relationships we develop with our children, their families, our community and the wider world, enable us to create a warm, caring, happy ethos were everyone is welcome.
We are a church school and as such we celebrate the life of Jesus and we express throughout our school his message of love, tolerance and acceptance.
We place a great deal of emphasis on Values for life; those of honesty, courage, forgiveness, love, hope, compassion, truthfulness and friendship. we talk regularly about love, love for our neighbour and love for each other in the fullness of our special community.
Please come and visit us to give you a flavour of life at our school. Our children are articulate and confident children and that happens because we have a very special ethos which permeates throughout the school. We have the latest technology in school, finger touch interactive whiteboards, like your ipad. Plus around thirty five ipads, promethean workstation table, laptops and netbooks. We have a state of the art sensory room, with every conceivable device to stimulate and soothe the senses. We have superb nurture provision with staff trained to the highest possible degree, to ensure children are treated appropriately within that structure.
We have superb outside provision complete with an allotment, chickens, tree-house, fire-pit, and forest school provision. We have on the staff, Miss Carter, who is developing our forest school approach and capability to learning. We are committed to experiential learning and the benefits that this approach brings, to enhancing learning and life skills.
We are about learning.
We are unusual in that.
So much time and energy in schools is spent on pursuing teaching, standards, SATs, league table positions etc. that, in reality, little time is left for learning. Unfortunately these things are also disguised as a pursuit of learning. The first thing that you will need to do is really think about learning and about how much you know about it, about how often the term ‘learning’ has been used when ‘teaching’ or ‘work’ or ‘performance’ is what is really being discussed.
We do know quite a lot about learning as a community. We achieved this by making it the focus of all we do, by consulting with the foremost experts in the subject, by reading and by thinking. We soon discovered that understanding the theory does not mean that behaviour changes. A teacher can know that after only a short length of time, the children will not be listening to them; this knowledge does not stop the teacher continuing to talk at a class. Our passion is to put into practice what we know about learning.
Here you will see the teacher handing responsibility to the learners. In all areas of the school you will be able to visit classrooms where individual teachers are putting into practice their own understanding of the learning agenda. We want you to join them.
We want you to know more. We will create opportunities for you to debate, argue, listen and observe. In the end, each person must do the learning about learning for themselves. We encourage children to use their Critical skills understanding to incorporate seven aptitudes: Learning Relationships, Changing and Learning, Critical Curiosity, Creativity, Strategic Awareness, Resilience and Making Meaning. Each learner is familiarising themselves with these concepts and trying to use them to reflect on their own learning. We would like you to use them too.
We are proud of our relationships in school. This is something that must not be taken for granted. You will play a vital role in this. If young people feel respected, taken seriously and that they have a role to play in their learning, they feel they are a member of the same community as you. Staff have built excellent relationships with learners and this is why we can implement our learning policy in partnership with our young people.
So we will look to protect you as far as we are able from the madness that can stop schools doing what matters and we would ask, if you join us, that you focus your efforts on learning for yourself. . Planning for learning is much more frightening than planning for teaching! It is also much more rewarding.
Our Learning Agenda
What makes Holy Trinity very different from other schools is its Learning Agenda. Strange as it may seem, most schools do not have this; they concentrate on teaching assuming that learning will follow. It has been proven so often that this is not so. Anyone recalling their own school experiences will know that the teacher taught them many things but they did not actually learn most of them.
At Holy Trinity, we wanted to put the learner at the centre of what we do and so set about researching how to help them develop into effective learners. Effective learners will be happy and successful in life because they are self-dependent and can adapt to demanding situations –they will know what to do when they don’t know what to do.
Our research took us down many interesting routes; we talked to experts and to learners, we read widely, we discussed, argued and came up with a Learning Agenda that we are still researching, reading about and discussing. In many ways it is simple: start with the learner and develop experiences that promote what the learner needs to be successful. Project and enquiry based learning does a lot of this: it gives responsibility to the learner, allows failure, allows time to try again and provides opportunities for learners to exercise their dispositions. However, staff realised that Project Based Learning does not provide the best learning experience in every situation. We do not impose orthodoxy about how learning should be promoted; we just ask that all staff are willing to research the best methods around.
Our Learning Agenda takes the teacher out of the centre spot and demands that s/he becomes very skilled in facilitating learning. Teachers need to hold learning conversations with learners that help them understand themselves as learners; they have to stand back and watch learners fail, stepping in to extract the learning from that situation. Teachers cannot plan everything; they have to create space for the learners to co-construct their learning experiences. We want to move away from ‘work’ in exercise books that nobody really values and move to learning for real outcomes and real audiences.
We are proud to be different; we also believe that young people have a right to be prepared for their world, not ours