ethos and approach
Personal Development of pupils underpins the learning journey children take here at MCPA; it actively teaches, encourages, promotes and embeds a range of skills that allow children to be life-long learners and self-aware, safe and healthy young people.
community qualities and champions
Our ‘Community Qualities’ underpin everything we do here at MCPA; they represent the characteristics, traits and skills that we want to nurture in our children throughout our school.
Our ‘Community Qualities’ are;
Attitude, Behaviour, Courage, Determination, Empathy, Friendship & Grit
These ‘Community Qualities’ will be taught throughout MCPA and drive all aspects of learning ensuring that character & values education are integral to language, philosophy, ethos and action that positively impact on behaviour for learning, self & co-regulation, community development, tolerance and ultimately citizenship.
community quality challenge afternoons
Community Challenge afternoons aim to provide calendared opportunities for children to engage with creative problem solving through simple, hands-on activities that enable them to question, experiment, build, discover new uses for everyday items, try on new personas, and then learn to express some unusual ideas as they work toward a shared goal.
Challenges are designed to encourage children, and adults, to generate creative solutions within specific guidelines and time frames.
Working in teams’ children are required to think outside of the box, communicate clearly, and cooperate with each other. Children will not only be working in situations that require them to demonstrate our Community Qualities they will be learning not only from their own team members, but from observing how other teams navigate the task.
community quality challenge afternoons
Our ‘Community Champions’ are selected on a basis of continued good merit having consistently proved themselves to be outstanding role models to all pupils in the school. These children have been recognised by the Senior Leaders, teachers, and their peers as caring, courteous and considerate members of our MCPA community.
‘Community Champions’ are willing to go above and beyond expectation to ensure adults and children alike are happy and feel welcome; they always show a commitment to their learning and work exceptionally hard to produce work of the highest standard. Similarly, they show a commitment to the extended curricular activities both in and out of school and consistently demonstrate our ‘Community Qualities’. Their co-operative attitude shows their exceptional leadership skills within a team and makes them outstanding models for other children.
Here at MCPA we believe that children need to experience duties and responsibilities that come with being a member of a community in order to help them prepare to play an active role as citizens.
We believe that Community Champions have a very important role to play in the day to day organisation of our school and as only Year Six pupils are allowed to apply for this position, it is considered to be very prestigious and appointed pupils are expected to take their role seriously.
The position not only allows the Year Six pupils to lead by example and demonstrate their responsibility, it also enables the younger children to learn from a good example.
Every ‘Community Champion’ has to apply for the job and their applications go through a selection process. There are however two points of application during the year to allow all children to gain the experience of the additional responsibilities and privileges that come with this very important job.
Whilst the School Council members are chosen democratically by children across the school, ‘Prefect’ posts are reserved for Year 6 pupils only.
Once their application has been successful, ‘Community Champions’ are presented with their Prefect sweatshirts in a whole school assembly.
What is pupil wellbeing?
Pupil wellbeing is defined as a sustainable state of positive mood and attitude, resilience, and satisfaction with self, relationships, and experiences at school.
Why is pupils’ wellbeing important?
Pupils with better health and wellbeing are likely to achieve more academically; effective social and emotional understanding & skills are associated with greater health, wellbeing, and achievement. A positive association exists between academic attainment and a pupil’s health & wellbeing. Just as we can’t view pupil learning & behaviour separately, we must consider both the physical and mental aspects of health when considering a child’s wellbeing.
How do we support pupil wellbeing at MCPA?
PSHE & RHSE Curriculum
Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) education helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage many of the critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face as they grow up and in adulthood.
Our broad and balanced PSHE/RHSE curriculum includes teaching about:
Identifying and talking about feelings
Understanding how feelings affect behaviours
Strategies to manage feelings
The link between mental and physical health
Managing the transition to secondary school / key stage 3
Here at MCPA we take a nurturing approach to children and their education and strive to embed pupil well-being throughout our daily practice.
Our ‘Wellbeing’ curriculum is not discreet and should not be seen in isolation; it underpins, supports, and drives everything that happens in school, both in and out of the classroom. However, we do deliver a focussed well-being curriculum that forms the foundation of our early transition package for all children. The curriculum is tailored for each year group and provides a focus, a springboard, that encourages all year groups to develop, practice & revisit skills and tools linked to wellbeing as they prepare for their next chapter of school life.
The model, based on Kapow’s Wellbeing exemplars, covers three core themes:
Health & Wellbeing
Living in the Wider World
Wellbeing Screen & Health Check
Understanding the wellbeing, mental & physical health needs of our pupils is at the heart of our nurture approach.
Co-ordinated by our Family Support Worker, class support staff take responsibility for completing a weekly observational assessment of pupil wellbeing. By gathering data we are supported in further understanding our pupil’s needs, in identifying interventions, allocating resources and signposting further support. We are also able to measure how responses change over time and look for patterns. This analysis enables our curriculum, teaching approach, assembly/parent breakfast agendas to support both the individual and collective needs of our pupils.
At MCPA we put the children at the heart of every decision that we make. Mrs Riley, one of our Inclusion Team drives our ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ initiative as we want to encourage our pupils, and their families, to take time to look after themselves.
Every week a range of activities that the children can do on Wellbeing Wednesday will be posted on Class Dojo for families to engage with and enjoy.
Extended School Afternoon
ESA runs from 3 – 4pm every Tuesday with all children attending. A wide range of activities/clubs/projects are on offer which help to nurture pupils’ talents and interests. Activities relate to one of the following areas:
Art & design
Children select the group which they would like to join each term and provide feedback in the form of a survey every term.
We provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect
for, public institutions and services
We encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and
ensure they are listened to in school
We help pupils to express their views
We model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged
Rules of Law
We ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair
We help pupils to distinguish right from wrong
We include visits from the police in the curriculum
We develop how restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts
We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights
We actively challenge stereotypes
Respect and Tolerance
We promote respect for individual differences
We help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and
other cultures and ways of life
We challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
We organise visits to places of worship
We discuss differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability (including all protected characteristics)
The Urban Crew is made up of a group of, up to ten, Year 5 children. The crew take part in a range of activities throughout the year both in and out of school.
The Urban Crew is a citizenship project that is run in conjunction with Manchester Communications Academy and Northwards Housing.
With a focus on ‘Community & Environment’ pupils work as a team to drive positive change and to forge and nurture trusting relationships.
Completing a diverse range of challenges, during the year, pupils complete around 35 hours of activity achieved through play/lunchtime duties; patrols; workshops; community visits; an ESA Day (Extra School Activities) and an Enterprise Day, held at MCA. They also have to plan and deliver an assembly to the whole school!
Urban Crew also operate the 'You've Been Spotted' system; this recognises and celebrates children who are ‘spotted’ being kind to their friends, looking after our school or demonstrating our MCPA Community Qualities.
MCPA is keen to support children in having a real say in issues that affect them and to know that their opinions count. Led by Mr Hahn our council (democratically selected) work on a range of projects each year ranging from organisation of small, in school events to local community work and larger charity events.
Stemming from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy technique, Worry Boxes ‘contain’ worries for the child; the container keeps the worries, so the child can let them go. Worry Boxes give the worry a boundary; the worries are still there; they’ve been acknowledged and expressed by words or pictures, but they’re filling a space other than the child’s mind.
At MCPA both upper & lower school have a red Worry Post Box; accompanying this each class will have some worry slips that have their class name on the reverse to enable follow up work to take place.
Supported by our Community Champions, our Designated Safeguarding Leads regularly check the worry boxes, collate entries by class and pass to relevant class teachers; type of worry will be recorded to support us in identifying any trends or wider issues across the school.
mental health champions
Compounded by the Covid pandemic, stress, anxiety and feelings of uncertainty amongst children and young people have been higher than ever. Sadly, the mental health of our children is moving in the wrong direction with 3 in 4 mental illnesses starting during childhood.
That’s why at MCPA we consider it vital to protect the future life chances of our pupils and believe that teaching children how to stay mentally healthy and giving them the skills and tools to be more resilient is essential.
In support of this we work in partnership with ‘One Goal’ every year to have our Year 5 cohort trained to become ‘Mental Health Champions’. Training workshops engage and empower pupils teaching them advanced insights into caring for their own mental health as well as supporting their peers.
Learning to recognize, verbalise, and manage feelings is an important part of social development for children; those who show greater competency in fields of emotional literacy tend to form and maintain stronger peer relationships, exhibit a greater, more grounded sense of self and are more likely to develop the resilience and understanding to maintain a positive state of mental health.
At MCPA ‘Emotional Weather Forecast Thermometers’ are used in each classroom to encourage pupils to identify their feelings and to rate their intensity. The simple 5-point rating scale allows them to indicate how they feel and prompts supportive dialogue and classroom practice.
Though not diagnostic, the thermometer can be used in a variety of ways to build emotional literacy.
Pupil mental health is high on the agenda for schools; we believe that equipping our staff with knowledge and high-quality resources for SEMH, we increase our potential for ensuring all pupils make progress & flourish with their education.
By offering regular SEND, attachment, trauma informed practice, safeguarding and nurture principles training for staff and by driving mutually supportive and positively challenging practice we aim to pave the way for better outcomes for our most vulnerable pupils.
By being pre-emptive and proactive rather than reactive we are increasingly successful in supporting the diverse needs of our pupils.
In addition to quality first teaching we operate a tiered response to a range of needs; interventions include: Anger management / Anxiety management / Exploring Self-esteem / Social Skills / Positive Peer Relationships / Attention concentration and hyperactivity interventions / Confidence and self-esteem interventions.
school counselling service
Emotional health is everyone’s business and at MCPA we’re constantly striving to identify ways in which we can work to best support pupils.
Counselling helps children with personal, social, and emotional issues affecting their wellbeing, attendance, learning and academic achievements, and relationships; and also develops skills to strengthen their resilience and deal with their problems and challenges.
As part of our commitment to improving mental health and well-being we have decided to complement our staff team by employing our own school counsellor, for one day per week; we are also part of a school pilot project working in partnership with Place2Be which enables us to also offer additional 1-2-1 counselling sessions, group therapy work and optional staff support.