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What does success look like?

    30 April 2021

What does success look like?

When you think of successful people who do you think of? Bill Gates? Oprah Winfrey? Richard Branson? A quick google search will bring up images of these three and many more … Usain Bolt, J.K. Rowling and Pratibha Patil to name a few. But did you think about yourself? Doubtful! Did you think about your colleagues? Maybe! Would you describe yourself as successful? I hope you did! You’ve got this far in life after all!

At Sherfield, our philosophy is to prepare children for success in the lives ahead of them and we do this through our core values of learning through innovation, pursuing excellence, growing by learning and global citizenship. We have a broad, engaging curriculum, we have a vibrant pastoral structure and we have plenty of opportunities to follow extra-curricular interests in a wide range of activities from sports, music and the performing arts.

We have a well-established enrichment programme which parents and pupils often describe as a unique aspect of the school that sets it apart from other independent schools. But look deeper and you find that the real uniqueness is in how all of that threads together. How does this happen? Well it’s more to do with you again! As successful people, what do you look for in a new employee or apprentice, your new business manager or sales director? I bet it’s not the B (or 7) they got in GCSE Physics! (I’m allowed to say that because I teach it!) It will have everything to do with the soft skills that a candidate displays: creativity, critical thinking, leadership skills, active learning and analytical thinking. It also has everything to do with a child’s teacher: think back to when you were at school, I am sure that your best lessons were the ones that made you feel successful not the ones where you learned a bit more Physics! Teachers have the greatest influence upon the learning and progress of pupils and therefore as a team we strive for excellence. Teachers provide a positive and inclusive learning environment and experiences for all pupils. At Sherfield we strongly believe in the principles of preparing pupils with the skills for life.

So how are these skills developed within the academic curriculum? We call them Learning Habits - a set of descriptors in a common language of learning that all children can understand and are age appropriate.

They were identified after careful consideration and research into what children and colleagues in the Teaching and Learning group thought were characteristic of successful people. As teachers, we know that whatever behaviours and attitudes we model, children will pick up on.

We know that teachers have a deep and profound impact on children’s learning and that the language of learning is essential in developing an outstanding learning environment. It is why, as adults, modelling learning practices, such as talking in a common language of learning is such a powerful part of the learning process and has such an enormous impact on children’s attitudes to their learning and progress. When adults talk to children about what they, the adult, is learning they are modelling to the children that learning is a lifelong habit and that learning character, disposition and skills will be useful to them outside of school and throughout their lives.

The concept of Learning Habits underpins our fundamental learning ethos as we prepare and develop children as lifelong learners with the skills they will need for future success. As we get back into the full swing of teaching and learning in the summer term, children at Sherfield will have plenty of opportunities to build these key habits of learning.

For more details about Sherfield School Learning habits and how they link into the cycle of Reflective Practice in a Self-Improving School. Please click here to visit the teaching and learning page.

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