Oak View Academy – beginning our journey with One-page Profiles

14 July 2016

Oak View Academy has been through a lot of change recently. In its previous guise as Greenfields Primary School, it was failing because of the levels of attainment and pupil behaviour being at the lowest point.  However, two years on from becoming an Academy within the North West Academies Trust, Oak View Academy has excelled in its pursuit of positive outcomes for all its pupils. ‘Believe, Expect Succeed’ is what we state. ‘On the road to outstanding’ is the vision. This year at Oak View Academy, we have entered into a new partnership, with Helen Sanderson Associates, to develop our practices further through using person-centred approaches across all aspects of the school.  Senior Leaders have been developing the ‘One Page Strategy’ with the support of Gill Goodwin, setting out the aims that we would like to achieve over the next 3 years.

One part of this strategy was a commitment to create a one-page profile with all children across the school. So to start this, we took the opportunity of the transition morning for Year 5 moving into Year 6 to begin. This allowed for the children and staff to get to know each other better through asking ‘Fink’ questions. Questions such as ‘What are you most proud of?’ ‘What do you do at the weekend?’ ‘What is your favourite song?’ and ‘What would you invent?’ provided some interesting discussions amongst pupils and allowed staff to gain a deeper insight into each individual.

After this, the children were supported with developing their understanding about One-Page Profiles and learnt that it is all about them. Through the use of the ‘Appreciations’ activity, the children were encouraged to think positively about each other. Suggestions were made about why we like and admire various famous people, including Beyonce, Lewis Hamilton and Stephen Hawkin. This then led the children to focus in more detail about what they like and admire about Harry Potter. Once the children had decorated and personalised their own envelope, they were all invited to write positive messages for each of their classmates, and teachers too! There was a lovely atmosphere as the children moved around, conscientiously scribbling away their thoughts.

Once the children had written comments for everyone, it was the moment where they could open and read all of their appreciations. With attributes such as ‘best friend you could be’, ‘well-mannered’, ‘hard-working’ and ‘funny’ the children begin sharing their favourite ones with the class. It was priceless watching the children’s facial expressions as they read each comment, their smiles getting broader and broader, like a child opening each new present on Christmas day.

“I’ve enjoyed what the people have been saying (about me). I’ve enjoyed writing what’s good about them,” noted Logan. Kyle said he felt “proud” when reading what his friends thought of him. Laila remarked “It made me happy, when I read them, it made me smile.”

Next the children addressed the issue of what is important to and what is important for them. This was ingeniously linked to aspects that can support the children whilst in Year 6; through developing a more mature outlook on dilemmas they face in their life, including the impact of late night use of the Xbox or not having a proper breakfast in the morning!

Later, the children were encouraged to recognise what could make a good day and a bad day for Harry Potter. This led them to reflect on their own time in school, and all children carefully worked out what it is that makes them have a great or difficult time in school. Common themes came up, including getting on with friends, having the right stuff with them, being active and physical in their learning and not getting minutes after school. Mr Clark, the Year 6 teacher shared his good day and bad day, which led to lively discussion about how the children will be able to take responsibility for their own actions from September, making more good days for all.

Now that the children have prepared the information for their profile, further work will be continued in September to complete and compile each individual profile. Once completed, these ‘One Page Profiles’ will be shared in the classroom as a display.

With other activities planned in September to support all staff with compiling their own ‘One Page Profile’, we are very excited about the difference these person-centred tools will have and the impact on outcomes for all.

Charlotte Alford

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