Clytha Primary School encourages pupils to make decisions, to be inquisitive and think independently by challenging stereotypes in pupils’ attitudes, choices, expectations and achievements. The school has developed highly effective links with a range of organisations, including Stonewall Cymru, Paralympians and Wales for Peace in support of pupils’ personal development. The school uses visitors from the community and beyond to engage all pupils in reflecting on their values. This has empowered pupils to develop as well-informed, responsible and tolerant citizens very successfully.
Date of inspection: December 2017
Context and background to the effective or innovative practice
The school is a vibrant and embracing community, which fully realises its vision to nurture the talents of all its pupils and staff. The very high quality of care and support provided by staff successfully engenders strong shared values of tolerance, respect and inclusivity amongst all members of the ‘Clytha family’. This ethos directly informs pupils’ very positive attitudes towards learning and supports their development as confident, capable and independent citizens. The school has the celebration and respect of difference at its core. The school has sought to challenge stereotypes in all forms and has developed a ‘diversity’ theme that runs from nursery to Year 6. Each class takes one of the nine protected characteristics and develops innovative and wide ranging learning opportunities with issues, rich texts and stimuli. The school has developed highly effective links with Stonewall Cymru, Paralympians, disability organisations and Wales for Peace, to name just a few in support of pupils’ personal development. The school uses visitors from the community and beyond to engage all pupils in reflecting on their values. For example, an inspirational visit from a Paralympian challenged and informed pupils’ views about disability and achievement.
Description of nature of strategy or activity
The school offers equal access to the curriculum to all pupils. Pupils are encouraged to be decision makers, to be inquisitive and think independently, and to develop as ethical, informed citizens. The school consistently challenges stereotypes in pupils’ attitudes, choices, expectations and achievements. Each year group devised a plan with pupils to learn about a different form of diversity, for example ‘faith’ in Year 5, different families and same-sex parenting in Year 3, gender stereotyping in Year 4, physical disabilities in Reception and Year 1 and sexuality and the question of faith in world peace in Year 6. This project culminated in a whole-school celebration. In Year 5, representatives from the five main faiths were interviewed with the same questions, by the pupils. Similarities were discovered and the joy of personal faith was shared, including that of atheism. Malala Yousafsai was a theme in Year 4 with a focus on gender equality since the time of the ‘Suffragettes’, questioning if life is truly equal for both genders today. The Bard in our Eisteddfod this year was chosen following the writing of the poem ‘Diversity’. This poem was also awarded a special prize and accolade by ‘Wales for Peace.’ In Year 3, the writing ‘And Tango Makes Three’ was used to approach same-sex parenting and different families. Pupils developed ‘What we need to Thrive Guides’ as a result of this work. Throughout the school, pupils are encouraged to challenge thinking, challenge preconceptions and challenge stereotypes, developing as healthy, confident, ethical, informed and ambitious, capable learners.
What impact has this work had on provision and learners’ standards?
Clytha pupils achieve at the highest level in learning, socially and emotionally. 'Nearly all pupils show a superb attitude to all aspects of school life. They immerse themselves in their learning with sustained concentration and great enthusiasm. Nearly all pupils develop a very strong moral compass. They have an excellent awareness of the need for tolerance in society. Almost all pupils show a very keen appreciation of diversity. As a result of this project, pupils gained an unusually sophisticated understanding of these issues. This empowers pupils to develop as well-informed, responsible and tolerant citizens very successfully.’ Estyn, December, 2017.
How have you shared your good practice?
The school has shared its innovative and effective practice with its secondary cluster of schools and with its ‘Peer Review School Group’.