Our ethos and values
‘A unique place where children learn and grow together in a community that cares’
Dickens Heath Community Primary School, since it opened in 2002, has evolved into a diverse community. It has a rich culture and a strong identity as an inclusive school where each child is encouraged to be the very best that they can be and become ‘life ready’. Over time, the village has expanded rapidly and pupil numbers have increased. There are over 80 staff working with 454 pupils, who are taught in twelve classes and two foundation stage units. Our school population reflects the diverse cultures from within the village: two-thirds of the children are from white British backgrounds with the remainder from a range of European, Asian, African and Middle Eastern backgrounds.
The learning culture at Dickens Heath is built on more than just academic success: we want every child to learn about themselves and so we ensure that there is a wealth of opportunities for children to express themselves through music, creative arts, sports and outdoor learning. Currently, at least 89% of pupils attend one or more after school clubs, or extra-curricular activities. We are proud to have once again recieved the Sainsbury’s Gold Standard for sport and physicality, as well as maintaining Active Mark, Green Flag award for eco-schools and national Healthy School status. We have a on-site farm with chicken, goats, rabbits and a Shetland pony; a pond dipping and nature watch zone; an environmental area; as well as our own forest school facility and multi-use games area.
Children in our school learn and grow together in a community that cares. Knowing each pupil inside out and investing time into building positive relationships are what we believe makes the difference. We make sure each child feels accepted and valued for who they are, giving them the confidence to take risks, explore new learning and be successful and achieve their goals.
We acknowledge children as individuals and recognise that all children learn in their own unique way – for many, learning is done best outdoors. Our vision is to provide children with the best outdoor learning opportunities we can and we are committed to finding ways to share our farm with the wider community. It is a part of our daily learning environment: it ignites children’s learning across all areas of the curriculum and is used by many children for nurture opportunities where they can come and care for the animals. Or they can simply take time out to re-centre themselves.
Our children are taught to celebrate and respect differences and to develop a wider appreciation and perspective on the world in which we live through our involvement in fundraising for many different charities. We have an ambition to become a Unicef Rights Respecting School and we are working hard on achieving it.
You will not find ‘walking the goats’ or ‘feeding the pony,’ on many other school curriculums!