A child is a person
A child is not a bucket to be filled or a lump of clay to be moulded. Every child is a person. created in God's image – equal in worth, dignity, wonder, complexity and basic needs to any other.
Far too often learning is seen as a means to an end – good exam results – rather than an end in itself. At Grace Primary we understand that good exam results are necessary for progression, but we will never let the legitimate demands of assessment obscure the central purpose of education: preparing young people for life.
Grace Primary exists to serve the whole child, inspiring and guiding him or her to become a mature, responsible, engaging adult.
I believe that the first article of a valid educational creed – children are born persons – is of a revolutionary character; for what is a revolution but a complete reversal of attitude?
A concern for relationships is the heart of Christianity. At Grace Primary we place the highest priority upon happy, considerate, cheerful relationships. An atmosphere marked by kindness, as well as order, simplicity and beauty, helps a child feel secure, comfortable and able to work to the best of his or her ability.
We consider it important for a child’s healthy personal development that he or she be exposed to a system of values and beliefs capable of making sense of reality and of providing moral direction and inspiration for life.
Class teachers and Board members are practising Christians. Christian teaching finds expression through assemblies and the emphasis we place in our curriculum upon direct knowledge of the Bible.
Grace Primary warmly welcomes children from all backgrounds.
Habits and attitudes
Growth in character is central to our concern. We often talk about the formation of good habits. We prioritise study habits such as the habit of attention (or concentration) and that of ‘perfect execution’ as well as personal qualities such as kindness, perseverance, truthfulness and service of others.
Nurturing a positive attitude to learning is among our most important objectives, and our educational methods are specifically tailored to achieve this. Our curriculum is designed to stimulate all children, regardless of their innate ability, by helping them form a ‘relationship’ with the best of our cultural and natural inheritance.
Children enter primary school full of curiosity and wonder. Far too many children emerge into early adulthood apathetic about genuinely interesting things. Our priority is to ensure they leave Grace Primary inspired, confident and creatively engaged with ideas and the world around them. Such a person has the prospect of a rewarding ‘life of the mind’ as an adult as well as being ideally suited to face the challenges of 21st century life.
Real personal growth only takes place when a child engages for himself or herself: the passive person might be able to give facts back in the short term, but learns nothing of lasting value. Unlike the short-sighted ‘teaching to the test’ and ‘spoon feeding’ that is so widespread, at Grace Primary, we emphasise independent learning using ‘living books’ (books which contain ideas that are worth talking about). Read more about our curriculum here.
Real learning – where knowledge is assimilated and internalised – can only ever occur when a student is actively engaged for himself or herself. Above all, this depends upon a student becoming a broad, independent reader. Such a person will not only derive pleasure from books in adult life but will also develop the intellectual patience necessary to think carefully and explore creative solutions to problems.
We place a high priority upon each child assuming increasing ownership for his or her own learning. Merit systems have no place – because learning is its own reward. The importance of self-education has implications for the teacher’s role. He or she is not a ‘fount of knowledge’ but a mentor or guide whose role is to help a child engage for himself or herself.