Education and Training Awards 2020

Jun20460 Most Motivational Primary School - Surrey What drives people forward, and where do they first begin to learn it? For the team at St. Stephen’s Primary, the art of motivation is one that starts with them and continues with their children for the rest of their lives. Establishing good habits that will benefit them for generations to come is key. We look at the school in more depth to see how they’ve built such a high standard of excellence. South Godstone, nestled in the heart of Surrey, is home to one of the leading education facilities in the country. The unassuming exterior of St. Stephen’s Primary belays a centre of excellence that has taken young people and made them into ambitious figures, ready for success. Part of the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education Multi Academy Trust, St. Stephen’s has the same aims as any school, to develop enthusiasm and motivation for life and for learning. Where it thrives is in its ability to embed this in a child’s lifestyle, through the way that teachers educate and through a range of learning and extra-curricular activities that will challenge them and motivate them to achieve and exceed their potential. St. Stephen’s stands apart as a beacon for many in the local area, with specialist facilities which allow all to succeed. The school has specialist resource base for visually impaired students, with a staff who are experienced in inclusion and making sure that everyone is able to take part. The curriculum goes beyond the national standard, incorporating the essential qualities of problem solving, communication, imagination, initiative and adaptability while working on ways of developing a child’s character in a Christian context. To motivate children to achieve success, the school has a series of House Competitions in a variety of different subjects and areas. Sports Days, Swimming Galas, Spellathons and Sing Offs are all regular features, which add elements of fun and ownership to all who take part. Responsibilities are shown too, through the chance for children to take up roles such as School Councillors, Peer Mediators, Playground Buddies, House Captains, Eco Warriors, Faith Councillors and Prefects. Instead of treating children as children, they are each allowed to act as young adults, stepping up where appropriate. To maintain the high standards that the school has established, the team at St. Stephen’s are encouraged to continue their professional development. A number of staff have gained accreditation in middle and senior leadership, with all having internal coaching partners. Throughout the school year, each teacher will focus on a specific area of educational action research. Those who join the school team are quickly inducted into this way of working, as they are assigned a mentor and given additional time to ensure that they understand the school’s systems of learning. Few schools can claim to place as much effort into ensuring their staff’s wellbeing as St. Stephen’s, with this no doubt contributing to the success of the school across the board. Looking ahead, the team have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is a challenge that they will rise to. Throughout the crisis, both staff and students have been able to receive support, with the first priority of the school being the opportunity to reconnect with friendships, before re-motivate with regards to learning. With so much time lost, the team are looking to prioritise the catch up of key reading and maths skills for children who need it. In order to ensure that no child is left behind, they are also looking to fund families who require technology at home. Motivation doesn’t just come from forcing people forward, but by putting them into a safe environment where they feel free to push the boundaries without falling. St. Stephen’s is an exceptional example of this, providing a space where children can thrive. There can be no doubt it has played a major part in educating a generation committed to excellence. Company: St Stephen’s Primary Name: Amanda Blackburn Web Address: