Educating Norfolk: Guest column by Marika Mears, headteacher of top-rated Shouldham CEVA Primary School
08:00 01 March 2014
© Archant Norfolk 2013
We asked some of the leading figures in the world of Norfolk education to tell us what makes a good school. Here, Marika Mears, headteacher of St Martin at Shouldham CEVA Primary School, which was rated “outstanding” last year, gives her view:
Any school must be there for the children – that is what schools exist for – and the quality and commitment of all staff – teachers, teaching assistants and support staff – make a school good.
In the curriculum, literacy and numeracy are the basic essentials and a good school provides additional support for children who are not making expected progress.
For example, we use Catch Up to ensure that each child is able to do as well as they possibly can.
The curriculum is more than just literacy and numeracy, and a good school also ensures each child gets the opportunity to enjoy all the other subjects.
We use a mixed, project approach and the children’s learning is also actively applied in real life situations, and through visitors and visits.
A good school also values the importance of every child and their family, both in the school and as part of the local community.
Everyone must share the same high aspirations – “Be the best you can be” – while enabling others to do so too. Getting on with others and caring about others are important in being able to learn well in school.
Everyone shares expected standards of behaviour with a commitment to learning and an enjoyment in coming to school.
As a church school, I believe that this is strengthened by a shared Christian ethos and faith which contribute to the ultimate aim of creating a school community of children and adults – parents and staff – who are constantly challenging themselves to do better.