The school’s vision statement, 'Care, Learn and Respect' is at the heart of everything that we do and we ensure that our provision develops the whole child-academically, socially, morally, spiritually and culturally, so that they are able to thrive as a citizen of the local and wider community, now and in the future.
The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment. Pupils at Quilters Junior School are able to experience six activities that enable them to gain ‘work-experience’ and develop skills for future employment. The language and communication skills each requires ensure they develop their cultural capital further.
1. Pupils in Year 6 all attend our Construction School (Construction Wise Minds, a community interest company, co-founded by Quilters Junior School). Pupils interact with a virtual client and work through all stages of the construction process: enquiry, tender, procurement, contract award, first-fix, second fix, testing and commissioning to produce a one way-lighting circuit that could light ten stairwells in a flat complex.
2. Every year group runs their own Pop Up Café, every year. Pupils brand it, plan and cost the menu, decorate the café, cook (in the school kitchen with the cooks) and serve the food, offer waiter service and record their café’s accounts and work out the profit. In Year 6, the children run a restaurant for two Friday nights – 5.30pm to 10pm, offering a three-course meal. Reservations for the restaurant can only be made over the phone! All pupils also enjoy cooking lessons in the school kitchen with our catering team. This ensure they not only gain enterprise skills, but also understand health and hygiene issues.
3. Every pupil in the school is trained as a Dementia Friend. In the upper school, every child attends a care home, where they interact with residents with and without dementia.
4. The school’s garden allows every child in the school to spend one afternoon a term growing and caring for the plants/vegetables in ‘Sarah’s Garden’. All produce will then be used by the pupils in their yearly school cooking lessons.
5. All Year 6 pupils have the opportunity to ‘work’ in the Play Zone, ‘work’ as Play Leaders or ‘work’ as foundation stage tutors and have the chance to ‘give’ to younger pupils. They revel in the chance to be positive role-models to the Quilteenees of the Infant School. Of the pupils in FS, the SIP said, in her October 2021 visit: “Pupils are articulate and can explain clearly what they are learning. The use of year 6 mentors helps pupils develop their language well especially those who might be less confident.”
6. All Junior pupils are taught Emergency Life Saving Skills. Pupils get to experience what it might be like to work in the emergency services.
The curriculum and the school’s effective wider work support pupils to be confident, resilient and independent, and to develop strength of character. The school goes beyond the expected, so that pupils have access to a wide, rich set of experiences. Opportunities for pupils to develop their talents and interests are of exceptional quality. Hannah Grassham and John Hubbard, from the DfE’s Character Development Team visited Quilters and we were subsequently invited to a reception hosted by the Secretary of State for Education to celebrate our great work in developing character in our pupils. We believe in having a list of meaningful events and challenges that all pupils get to experience. Completion of each event in turn makes children feel special and unique, takes them a little out of their comfort zone on occasions, which builds resilience, self-belief and character. The Quilters Quest is our pupils’ ‘greatest challenge’ and our guarantee that they will experience 22 school ‘highs’ over four years that will boost their confidence forever. “The school’s museum which displays excellence in the arts and the Creative Arts Days are very good examples of how creative subjects are valued and how pupils are celebrated consistently in this area. The use of QTV, the school’s video channel, is also effective in displaying and celebrating pupils’ work. It is also a useful piece of longstanding evidence of the positive impact of the curriculum on pupils. This is a key and systemic strength of the school as pupils present as confident, inspired and successful learners in all of the creative arts subjects. Staff are also able to identify pupils who may be naturally talented in particular disciplines.” SIP Visit, July 2021.
“The implementation of creative arts subjects contributes strongly to the warm, inclusive community ethos of the school and supports the school’s aim of developing confident, independent, resilient learners.” SIP Creative Arts Visit, July 2021.
Pupils make a highly positive, tangible contribution to the life of the school as well as that of the wider community. Quilters Junior School has been given the Dementia Friendly Schools Status by the Demetia Action Alliance. They said: “At Quilters Junior School ALL the children in the school have now become Dementia Friends, to which they are showing such strong commitment and maturity of approach. Their intergenerational Pen Pal project is very powerful and is bringing such pleasure and personal benefits to both the children and their older Pen Pals. Plans for more ‘garden parties’ are very exciting.” Pupils in Year 5 and 6 also volunteer to ‘give time’ to the residents of Anisha Grange Care Home. Our pupils enjoy giving to others; they value it highly. Letters are sent regularly to and from Penpals; penpal events in school are well attended by our penpals; Dementia Action Week is a highlight of the year and regular visits to a local care home continue. The school council runs the dementia programme. They also run yearly ‘Dementia Friend’ training for parents.
Pupils volunteer to run the Play Zone supporting and offering inspiration to infant pupils, work as ‘Foundation Stage tutors’ and also run their own Well-Being Council (with one of the school’s two counsellors) planning workshops to actively support the well-being of other pupils, with the task of making their fellow Quiltonians happier and less anxious. There is strong Pupil Voice. There are yearly Quilters elections – for House Captains and Vice House Captains. The House Captains plan different charity days themselves, aimed at raising money for their chosen charity. The captains in each of the four houses propose four charities to support each year and houses debate and vote for one to each support.
The school consistently promotes the extensive personal development of pupils. The school has created its own Well-being Spiral Curriculum, in conjunction with a school counsellor. Pupils have regular lessons, teaching them about the importance of self-care and practical tools and techniques to be better at it. Pupils are taught that not everything works for everyone and the spiral curriculum helps them discover the things that help them. (See SDP). Assemblies are linked by a golden thread related to improving one’s mental well-being and using the 5 Ways to Well-Being. They incorporate the features of Essex County Council’s Trauma Perceptive Practice.
Peer to peer review with the headteachers of South Green Junior and Sunnymede Infants, 19th November 2021:
“Strengths: Wellbeing/Mental Health strategies:
- Pupils could clearly articulate and explain the mental health and wellbeing strategies used by the school
- Pupils knew which strategies they found most helpful and could give examples of these
- There are a range of different strategies to support pupils
- The MH/wellbeing strategies were visible around the school
- Pupils reported that using the strategies made a difference to their lives (positive impact)”
Pupils know how to eat healthily, maintain an active lifestyle and keep physically and mentally healthy. After a visit by Richard Comerford, the Managing Director of Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, he asked the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Coordinators for Essex County Council’s Education Strategy and Innovation Team to visit Quilters to learn more about our work on the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’. He wrote to us and said: ”I really can’t tell you how highly I regard you and your colleagues for the way you’ve implemented the 5-Ways to Wellbeing throughout your school, and to see it coming through the interactions I had with your students is nothing short of inspiring. I attended a strategy meeting with senior leaders at Essex County Council and I said if there was one thing I would like everyone to focus on in the year ahead it would be to incorporate the 5WtW as you’ve done in your school.” It has had a pronounced impact on our pupils’ mindset and wellbeing.
Sport has a high profile at Quilters Junior School:
In July 2022, 95% of Year 6 school leavers could swim in excess of 25 metres.
Year 6 Swim Data
For the last seven years running, the school has attained the Sainsbury’s Gold Active Mark, for its high levels of participation and pupil leadership.
Sports Ambassadors in all year groups, plan and run sports activities themselves each term. Our Sports Leaders Ambassadors, in partnership with Power 2 Inspire, have led events at other Primary Schools and take part regularly in the Power House Games, supporting pupils with disabilities. Every year, pupils partake in the week long Quilters Paralympics, run in conjunction with Power 2 Inspire and supported by Active Essex and the Mintridge Foundation. It is a highlight of the year; pupils understand the challenges of disability and that disabled people can do the same things as non-disabled people.
The school prepares pupils for life in modern Britain effectively, developing their understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. The school has close links with Chelmsford Mosque. Pupils receive presentations from staff of the Mosque in school and in the Mosque itself. Yearly, the school raises awareness of and funding for the national charity 'Show Racism the Red Card.’ They send a powerful message about mutual respect, tolerance, love and compassion for all.
In each year group, class books are selected carefully and coherently (in a progression grid) so that pupils learn about protected features in an age-appropriate way.
The school promotes equality of opportunity and diversity effectively. As a result, pupils understand, appreciate and respect difference in the world and its people, celebrating the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities. The school has a close partner in India, Anjuman-l-Islam's Begum Sharifa Kalsekar Girls' English High School. Pupils write to one another, share work and communicate via videos.