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Core Principles at Birchwood Primary

At Birchwood, we have a shared vision which supports our school to run smoothly and effectively. We have a set of common language and ideas that support the culture we have created in our school. We make reference to these all the time in school through our assemblies and class discussions with children. Our messages and articles that we share in our newsletters are a good opportunity to reiterate some of these to our parents, who have been with us for a while and as an explanation for those parents who are new to our school.
Our One School Rule – Consideration and Respect
There are some schools who have long lists of rules that they expect the children to learn, remember and understand. At Birchwood, we only have one rule and it is ‘Consideration and Respect.’ The children learn quickly that this means they are expected to have respect for themselves, each other, all adults and the school environment. They are also taught to be considerate in all things they do and say. We find it to be extremely effective when discussing the choices children have made. Have you been considerate or shown respect? This is a question that gets children to reflect on their actions.
‘Stop It Please’
These three words are designed to help children regulate the behaviour of their peers by making it clear that they don't like something someone is saying or doing. It takes time and practise for children to get this right but it does work as a system for managing low level disruption. Quite often we will ask children if they used ‘stop it please’ when there has been an altercation between children. We encourage children to use it as a cue to prompt their peers.
Readiness for learning 
We want children to come into school ready to learn - that is, after all, what they come to school for. This starts with a prompt start to the day. Making sure they have all they need for the day ahead and establishing clear routines gives children the best chance to access all their learning which starts as soon as they enter the classroom. Parents can play their part in this by ensuring their children have everything they need for the day and minimising any fuss on the playground in the morning. Ensuring that children are in school on time, enables them to have a positive start and best prepares them to be in the position mind-set for learning.
The smile effect
Smiling is such a positive tool and its impact is considerable. It is a scientific fact that smiling makes you feel better. When you smile at someone, the natural thing is for that person to smile back at you, in turn making them feel better too. Also, like manners, it doesn’t cost a thing! At Birchwood, we all agree that it is good to smile and we should try and do it more in school and at home, particularly at the moment when there seems less to be happy about than normal!
Mr Coleman – Headteacher