Welcome to Quilters Junior School.
Our vision for the pupils of Quilters Junior School was best expressed by Martin Luther King JR: 'Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education'.
At Quilters Junior School, we want our children to be confident, self-assured citizens, ones who actively seek to help others, while being adept at self-care.
In order, to build self-assurance, confidence and character, children need to enjoy, participate in and succeed in a wide range of varied experiences. With each experience and success, a layer of confidence is added to the way the child feels about themselves. Every time a child feels good about one thing, it spurs them on to attempt something else and confidence continues to grow. Of course, not every experience results in instant success- that is unrealistic and unachievable. We encourage children to show resilience and persistence when things don't go to plan straight away. We teach them strategies for dealing with disappointment and remind them that everybody has to put effort in to achieve genuine success.
Pupils at Quilters 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 that they develop their cultural capital further:
1. Pupils in Year 6 all attend a 6 week Construction School (Construction Wise Minds, a community interest company, co-founded by Quilters Junior School) based at the teaching room at RSE Technologies, in Laindon. 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 stairwells in a flat complex.
2. Every year group runs their own Pop Up Café, every year, often on Saturday afternoons. 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 calculate the profit. In Year 6, the children run a restaurant on 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 ensures they not only gain enterprise skills, but also understand health and hygiene issues.
3. Every pupil in Year 5 and the School Council are trained as a Dementia Friend. Every child attends a care home for six consecutive weeks, where they interact with residents with and without dementia. Sessions are differentiated! A physical and a cognitive task is run each week. And… the musician of the week attends each week, where they have a willing audience and a 99 year old music teacher waiting for them.
4. The school’s new allotment allows every child in the school to spend one afternoon growing and caring for the plants/vegetables in ‘Sarah’s Garden’. All produce will then be used by the pupils in their annual school cooking lessons.
5. All Junior pupils have the opportunity to ‘work’ in the Play Zone 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.
6. All Junior pupils are taught Emergency Life Saving Skills. Quilters has been a British Heart Foundation ‘Heart Start’ partner for many years. Pupils get to experience what it might be like to work in the emergency services.
All of the above expose the children to new experiences, open up aspirations and enable them to celebrate their strengths, using what they have already learnt. Many of these opportunities allow pupils to learn about a wide range of careers that they could follow. They also allow them to discover and celebrate things they are really good at, while teaching them to apply their communication and thinking skills in a wide range of work-based ways, thereby ensuring they become educated citizens.
In KS2, the Infant Adventure begins afresh, this time with the ‘Quilters Quest’.
Children are encouraged to push themselves in an even larger, more diverse range of experiences during their time at the Junior school, gaining a sticker for each involvement in an experience, completing the Quest once they have a total of at least 20 experiences.
Time in class is given for children to reflect upon and write about these experiences in their Quest Booklet. As part of this, pupils constantly assess their ‘soft skills’ (the school's values: resilience, team work, self-belief, pride and empathy) thinking of tangible ways to improve them, before assessing any improvement in future sessions.
‘' The Quilters Quest’ scheme, in which pupils aim to prove that they meet the school’s ‘soft skills’, motivates and enthuses all pupils.” OFSTED – March 2017
What experiences and achievements comprise the Quilters Quest?
We want our children to be excellent communicators. We want them to be able to recognise when their mental well-being is good and not so good. We want them to feel comfortable talking about how they feel and asking for support whenever they need it.
Pupils at Quilters Junior School are taught explicitly how to self-care. They are taught how to use the '5 Ways to Well-Being':
- Connect with others
- Take notice of the world around you
- Give to others
- Actively learn
- Be active
In order to develop this further, we have developed our own 'Well-Being Spiral Curriculum' to support our pupils, our Quiltonians.
What skills do pupils learn in the 'Well-being spiral curriculum' and how does it progress, year on year?
Our aim is to provide children with the widest possible array of experiences and opportunities. In 2017, OFSTED said: "This is an innovative school where teachers’ and pupils’ individual talents are encouraged and nurtured." We offer an even greater array of rich and diverse opportunities now.
Ultimately, leading on from the quote of Martin Luther King Junior, we know that happy children learn. Our children feel valued, recognised and fulfilled. They are self-aware and emotionally intelligent. They are ready to make a difference to those around them now and in the future.