Vision and Ethos
At Balgowan, we aim to foster a life-long love of learning by ensuring that all of our children experience a creative and values-centred curriculum, fully preparing them to become citizens of the 21st century.
Our main aims are:
- To provide a broad and balanced education (academic, social, moral, spiritual & cultural) so that every pupil achieves his or her full potential.
- To ensure that pupils enjoy learning, feel confident and are equally valued and fully inclusive participators in all areas of school life.
- To encourage, promote and secure for all pupils the experience of success and genuine achievement and to instil in them the importance of striving to attain the highest possible standards of performance at all times.
Our creative curriculum aims to deliver a twenty first century education that will equip our children with the skills required to be independent and responsible citizens.
Through highly effective curriculum planning and teaching, our creative curriculum provides opportunities for all pupils to:-
- Acquire life skills such as literacy, oracy and numeracy and apply them across the curriculum.
- Develop lively, imaginative and enquiring minds
- Develop the ability to question and argue rationally and to communicate appropriately
- Develop personal moral values, tolerance and respect for other beliefs and cultures
- Develop a concern for the environment and an understanding of the changing world in which they live
- Develop a sense of personal responsibility, community and belonging, contributing to their community through direct interaction – making links with local organisations
- Acquire physical skills, aesthetic sensitivity and an appreciation of the arts
- Appreciate and value their personal achievements and those of others
We will promote in depth study, independence, progression and work that challenges all pupils.
Also we will promote “learning to learn” skills:-
- Reflective skills – how to plan, revise and review work.
- Relationships – collaboration, empathy, listening.
- Resilient – managing distractions, perseverance.
- Resourceful – questioning, imaging, making links.
- Risk taking – having a go, not being scared of being wrong.
Balgowan’s vision is shared by all stakeholders and it is embedded by focusing on a values-centred curriculum.
At Balgowan we put values at the centre of everything that we do.
Children explore values stemming from the traditional British values of: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty & the mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
We recognise that the whole school and wider community are sailing together on the Balgowan ship through both calm and uncertain waters but we remain strong in the knowledge that it is the core values which keep us on a steady and even course – and which help children to navigate their way through life into adulthood.
By positioning core values at the heart of our school, we will engage staff, children and parents in debate about what kind of people we want to be and the kind of world we want to live in.
Pupils leaving Balgowan will be socially, morally, spiritually and culturally prepared, demonstrating the skills and attitudes allowing them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Values at Balgowan are developed and explored in a variety of ways, some formal and some informal.
Each week we focus on a different value from our ship of values (displayed prominently in the school entrance), such as respect, co-operation, honesty and patience. The new value is introduced in assembly normally accompanied by the use of a song with a related values message and then explored from various aspects throughout the rest of the week via stories, plays, personal recount, examples of good role modelling in school and children’s shared experiences.
The next layer is the discussion, teaching and reinforcement of the value in class teaching time.
Children are also encouraged to engage in quiet reflection time. This is a short time in which to be still and focus on one’s inner self. In assembly this will be the time in which one can reflect on the message heard or on what the Value means to the individual. In class this can be used as part of a quiet assembly time or PHSE activity, or simply as a re-focusing time after a busier session.
Pupils will also strive for promotion on Balgowan’s ship of values, earning certificates from the deckhand up to the captain level as they increasingly demonstrate that they are following the values on a daily basis, taking ever greater responsibility for their own actions and making an ever greater positive contribution to their school and the wider world.