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HPL in Junior School - focusing in agility, empathy and working hard!

HPL in Junior School - focusing in agility, empathy and working hard!

At the Junior School this year, we have had a strong focus on the HPL Values, Attitudes and Attributes (VAAs) of Agility, Empathy and Working Hard.

We started the academic year with a VAA enrichment day, where the girls worked collaboratively within their classes on a variety of different projects.

VAAs in action

Year 6 worked hard to research individual women from the Rebel Girls books who demonstrated strong attributes from the VAAs. They then presented their research to classmates as a balloon debate, campaigning for the person who they think summed up the VAAs the best.

Year 5 put their team-working skills to good use and worked on a carousel of activities that developed their understanding of the VAAs. One of the activities involved looking at picture books where Empathy is an underlying theme, including Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love.

For younger pupils, establishing the HPL VAAs is as important outside the classroom as inside. Reception and Preschool pupils spent a session outside in the woods every week, whatever the weather.

Woodland Explorers challenges the girls to be creative and enterprising in their approach to all their learning from the very start of their time at St Mary's.

Year 2 pupils have spent lots of time in the school garden and worked with our gardeners, Sarah and Philip.

Outdoor learning in actionThey loved their time outside and have shown that they are open-minded and thoughtful through their questions and approach to caring for the plants in the garden.

Sharing adventures

Years 4 and 5 visited Grafham Water for three days, where they took part in activities such as sailing, high ropes, and cycling. They were very proud of their achievements and showed how with perseverance, they could accomplish much more than they thought possible.

Year 6 spent four nights at the PGL Centre in Lincolnshire, and their ability to take risks, and resilience was clear to see as many conquered a fear of heights on the ‘Vertical Challenge’. Team work was the order of the day when the girls attempted the ‘All Aboard’ and ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ challenges with groups working together to help members of their group to the top.

Enjoying adventures

Resilience is something we pride ourselves on at the Junior School, and with the resumption of residential trips, all the pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 demonstrated this in abundance. For many girls, this was their first time away from home and they all supported each other and grew in confidence.

At St Mary's, the HPL Values, Attitudes and Attributes are the foundation blocks of our approach to teaching and learning.

Students are great ambassadors of the VAAs and are proud to explain to others what they mean to them. Just ask them!

Sarah Cliff, Deputy Head of Juniors

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