Excellence Through Creativity

Welcome to our website. We hope it will provide you with an idea of the many aspects of our school as well as our culture and the high standards we set. Our Vision is to be an Outstanding Learning Community where students can both enjoy and achieve, with our school very much at the heart of the community.

A creative environment means that John Mason School provides more varied and stimulating lessons in all subjects which help engage and motivate our students to work hard, while celebrating their individual creativity. We set great store by students’ personal development in a happy and safe environment so that they can achieve their potential and become independent learners and responsible, confident adults.

As a friendly, caring and inclusive school community, John Mason School provides an ‘outstanding quality of care, guidance and support’ for all our students (Ofsted 2011). From the moment a parent and student choose John Mason School we take great care to ensure a smooth transition to secondary school and Year 7.

We run many clubs, trips and other extra-curricular activities including a gifted and talented programme. In sport, visual and performing arts as well as writing, maths, science & technology our students have achieved success and recognition in local and national competitions.

Our care and support for vulnerable students and those at risk of underachieving is ‘exceptional’ (Ofsted), including our Learning Support Centre where students make at least good progress.

In 2012 we were commended also in an Ofsted survey on how schools use the Pupil Premium funding, with inspectors impressed with what we do to support our students and help raise achievement at the school.

Our commitment is to provide the very best education for all of our students and in partnership for children in Abingdon and the surrounding areas:

Proud of our creativity

Passionate about learning

Keen to inspire

Valuing ourselves and each other

Determined to be the best that we can be

Proud of our creativity

SMSC link: spiritual development as shown by: ‘use of imagination and creativity in learning’ (Ofsted)

Students are given opportunities to show creativity through a variety of teaching and learning techniques across the curriculum, allowing students to be creative, independent learners. Assemblies celebrate excellence with individual/ group performances. i-Days (whole school alternative curriculum days) focus on the school’s values and are planned around creative approaches to learning. Students are encouraged to:

• Use a variety of media used to present ideas

• Participate in project work

• Lead enrichment activities

• Perform for others

• Demonstrate problem solving in action

Passionate about learning

SMSC link: spiritual development as shown by: ‘sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them. ; cultural development as shown by ‘willingness to participate in and respond to artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities’ (Ofsted)

Teachers are passionate about their specialist subjects and promote a love of learning. All staff share their interest in reading by displaying the title of their current reading book. A learning culture is fostered; students are developing the skills to be independent and reflective, taking responsibility for their learning. There is a high expectation for students to learn and make progress in each lesson. We invest time and energy into our bespoke CPD including JMS reflect and staff training needs. We hold an Able, Gifted and Talented club called ‘Level up’ which aims to extend and challenge learners. We have a Year 8/9 Symposium group in English where students link with others schools and Oxford University.

Students are encouraged to:

• Lead others’ learning

• Attend extra-curricular activities

• Help others

• Mentor peers/ younger students

• Take up extra reading pre/post lesson

Keen to inspire

SMSC link: social development as shown by: ‘use of a range of social skills in different contexts…willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, co-operating with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively’; interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels… (Ofsted)

Leadership opportunities include: an active student council that works hard to achieve their goals; 65 Year 9 ‘Heroes’ who champion the ability to reflect and have high aspirations; a peer ‘jury service’ formed of Year 9 heroes and student council members who actively meet students and discuss aspirations, allowing reflection on their actions.

Every student and member of staff belongs to one of three houses. Student and staff compete in house challenges across the curriculum. Each house has house captains (student leaders). We have Head Boy and Girl with Deputies.

We are creating a culture of celebrating success. The assembly programme is varied and has core themes which aim to raise aspirations, inspire, and encourage reflection. Students are encouraged to:

• Demonstrate enthusiasm towards topics

• Lead by example

• Develop an awareness of political views and form their own opinions

• Participate in and lead assemblies, or take an active part in school events such as open evening.

• Be ‘first followers’

Valuing ourselves and each other

SMSC link: spiritual development as shown by: ‘interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values. ; moral development as shown by ‘ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and.. readiness to apply this understanding. ; cultural development as shown by ‘interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity.’ (Ofsted)

Excellent support systems and structures are in place including the Student Support Centre, Student Managers, Student services, the Safeguarding team, Learning Support and tutors. We have healthy boys and girls groups running through SSC, Anti bullying campaigns and a #EPTF (Exploring Prejudice, Tackling Fear) students’ group. We have staff wellbeing Wednesdays. We aim to be an outward looking school which discusses worldwide issues wherever possible. The assembly and tutor programme cover Britishness in detail; fundamental British values are also discussed in schemes of learning where appropriate. We aim to be a caring community where all students are accepted and have the opportunity to succeed. Students are encouraged to:

• Intervene where poor conduct is observed

• Protect and preserve the school environment

• Show hospitality and welcome visitors

• Support others’ learning (e.g. through ‘reading buddies’; paired and group learning activities)

• Stand up to tackle prejudice/ bullying

• Share and celebrate success

• Promote and be involved in charity work

Determined to be the best we can be

SMSC link: spiritual development as shown by: ‘willingness to reflect on their experiences; moral development as shown by understanding the consequence of their actions.’ (Ofsted)

Our culture and belief is that ‘everyone can be better’. We have a philosophy where staff and students are encouraged to take control of their attitude towards tasks- they have a choice about their attitude towards a task, if not the task itself. We have Governor triangulation visits to challenge and quality assure our work . We have embedded ‘JMS reflect’ to allow staff to deliver the best lessons that they can to allow the best learning possible. Staff work hard to build and develop students’ resilience. Students are encouraged to:

• Reflect on their learning through peer and self-assessment and D.I.R.T.

• Work outside their comfort zone

• Demonstrate personal sacrifice

• Persevere when facing challenges and have a growth mind set attitude to their work

• Take pride in their work, their behaviour and their appearance

• Demonstrate leadership


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