We are VERY lucky that chance brought our boys to the school they attend. Not only have they reached OUTSTANDING in their recent OFSTED inspection, the school has an amazing community feel and spirit within it.
The school has this amazing atmosphere from the minute you walk through the gates. They have signs everywhere mentioning DREAMS, these are the school’s values and although I knew what the acronym meant I didn’t really get it until yesterday.
Yesterday I attended an annual DREAMS assembly where years 1-6 are awarded for a number of achievements through the school year. Every day the kids come out of the school building happy and they rush to tell their adults that they got stickers for something or another – I have a fridge front covered in these blue, green, purple, yellow, brown and red stickers that Albert has brought home over the last school year. He comes out of school on most days telling me who got a gold card, and why they got the gold card if he can remember. He has never once come out of the school building crying because he didn’t get a sticker or gold card on that day…in fact he comes out genuinely happy for the friend who has received it on that day. I didn’t ever really take notice of it before but yesterday I did.
So yeah, I was sat in the DREAMS assembly and I was thinking to myself ‘there will be tears’ little did I know the tears would be of pride and coming out of the eyes of parents and staff rather than the children crying because they weren’t awarded.
The whole of year one were sat very patiently and happy on the seats in the hall while parents piled in and the awards ceremony began. The head teacher (who is possibly the greatest head in the world – my biased opinion but I have worked with quite a few over the years), stood in front of everyone and congratulated the children for a fantastic year, she said it didn’t matter if they didn’t get an award today because they have year 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 to get one and achievements never get unnoticed. And so it began, the names of children were called out, they went and collected their certificate and medal, shook the hands of the head and deputy and returned to their seats after a quick round of applause. Something amazing was happening…the entire year 1 were genuinely ecstatic for their friends getting these awards. They weren’t wondering why they didn’t get that one, they weren’t huffing, they were clapping, cheering and patting their friends on the back as their names were called AND when they were returning to their seats. Not one adult in that hall can say they weren’t touched by the support these kids give each other on a daily basis.
Albert got an award for Self-belief, I was super proud…I wasn’t just proud that he had won an award. I was proud because he knew what self-belief was and is in a learning environment where the children are taught the values of the school every single day, so much so that it is becoming part of their DNA.
DREAMS stands for…
Every single child in the school knows what each of those values mean and stands for…honestly I can say I didn’t know what resilience meant until I was in my 20’s, my 6 year old has known since he was 5!! Whats even more amazing is that because these children have been learning these qualities from such a young age they will grow up to be determined, resilient, enthusiastic, ambitious, motivated and full to the brim with self-belief. Its also rubbing off on me.
It goes to show a school where the teachers are supported well, our children are then supported and become amazing little humans with huge hearts supporting one another.