Our Vision

The Stour Academy Trust recognises that our education system needs to quickly and more radically shift to close equity gaps and to better prepare our young people for the 21st century. We are transforming our schools from passive forms of learning focused on direct instruction and memorisation, by moving towards interactive methods that promote the critical and individual thinking needed in today’s innovation-driven economy.

Our pedagogical model combined with the intentional deployment of technology will help us deliver personalised learning in an enabling environment. Technology will accelerate our progress but will not be the driver of our vision.

We aim to nurture a community of learners that challenge thinking, where our staff are empowered to take risks and develop their practice to meet the needs of an evolving school system, which is not held back by traditional restrictions and ideologies.  

By limiting routine or unnecessary tasks we allow professionals to focus on learning behaviours and interactions which will promote emotional intelligence and the development of children as life-long, curious learners.

There will be no barriers to achievement within our learning community and our teachers will build strong relationships that facilitate the learning of others.  Collaboration will open doors, minds and possibilities and enable individuals to meet their personal goals.  

Why change?

The world around us is changing. When our children leave the education system, it is very likely they will have jobs that do not even exist now. We need to ensure that our students have the digital and social-emotional skills to thrive in this new world.

We will take risks and challenge traditional ideologies to ensure that we are constantly evolving in line with current thinking and research. 

Our Aims

How will we achieve our vision?

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An enabling environment plays a key role in supporting children ‘s learning and development. It is well recognised that children learn and develop best in caring, supportive environments which respond to their individual needs, allowing them to play and explore. 

The outdoor environment offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. Playing outside gives children first-hand contact with weather, seasons, and the natural world, and outdoor environments offer children freedom to explore, use their senses, and be physically active and curious.

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At The Stour Academy Trust we passionately believe that young children learn best through play and exploration. These play-based experiences enable the children to consolidate their skills, knowledge and understanding and enable them to be become independent and resilient learners. Throughout the environment, both inside and outside, you will see children actively engaged in a wide range of activities that they have either themselves chosen or are adult initiated/directed. An enabling environment plays a key role in supporting children ‘s learning and development. It is well recognised that children learn and develop best in caring, supportive environments which respond to their individual needs, allowing them to play and explore. 

Our continuous provision has a belief in inclusion for all at its heart. Equal opportunities are promoted through ensuring an equitable approach to teaching and learning. Wherever possible barriers to learning are pre-empted and any new barriers which may arise are rapidly identified. A rigorous approach is taken to ensure barriers are overcome. Every classroom is fully equipped with inclusion resources which support both specific needs as well as being freely available to all the children. Continuous provision is carefully and purposefully planned to ensure access and challenge for all.

Continuous provision supports and encourages our children and staff to have a lifelong love of learning. Across all our year groups, we are transforming our schools from passive forms of learning focused on direct instruction and memorisation, by moving towards interactive methods that promote the critical and individual thinking needed in today’s innovation-driven economy.

The adult’s role in Continuous Provision

Even with continuous provision, the adults’ role is crucial. It’s important that they provide a high-quality environment but also support childrens’ ability to interact with the resources. When children engage with continuous provision, adults will take the opportunity to make careful observations. This is especially important, as observations should then determine how the environment is enhanced at a later stage. Creating a well-oiled environment also means that adults need to establish rules, boundaries and behavioral and learning expectations. Once children are clear about the rules and what’s expected, they will then be able to carry out their explorations with an increased sense of confidence. If children do not know their boundaries, then they will often return to ‘familiar’ play, which is less challenging. Hence, there should be at least one free-flow adult available. One of the most enjoyable things an adult can do is play alongside the children. This helps to model language and ideas and will strengthen your relationship with the children you teach. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions, extending the childrens’ learning even further. It’s also one of the best methods, we have found, to able to understand why certain aspects of the environment are not working.

Develop a pedagogical model centred on student voice, choice and collaboration, combined with the intentional deployment of technology for every student to deliver personalised and self-paced learning that is required for a 21st century education system. We will equip all learners with the skills required to ensure technology is used efficiently and effectively.

Using Green Screen in the classroom - Infographic 9To transform the standardised model of direct learning to a model where teachers are facilitators or coaches of the learning process to allow for improved interactions and strengthened relationships that provide opportunities for self-directed learning.

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Develop both the cognitive and social-emotional skills necessary for children to succeed in their personal and professional lives.

Through the Innovative use of digital technology we will create a level playing field for all children, irrespective of their language skills, reading ability or any other factors that may present learning challenges.

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We are committed to eradicating routine, mundane or unnecessary tasks that could be more efficiently achieved by utilising new technology which will allow professionals to strengthen their particular area of expertise and have the biggest impact on the organisation and its evolvement.

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We will develop an enquiry-based curriculum that integrates content into real world applications whilst meaningfully integrating technology in teaching and learning. Our curriculum will provide joyful experiences that broaden children’s horizons which enable them to find meaning in learning through active thinking and social interaction. 

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Traditional classrooms will evolve to allow the vision to be fully embraced. Our enabling environments will be child-centred and designed to allow for flexibility, collaboration and independence. The aim is to shape our environment to better reflect a 21st century workspace that promotes social interaction, communication and self-regulation. 

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Through empowered leadership, quality CPD, research and collaboration, we will create a highly skilled community of learners where pedagogy provides a strong foundation for practice.  By developing professional trust and dialogue, we will take risks and challenge traditional ideologies to ensure that we are constantly evolving in line with current thinking and research. 

Our vision in practice

Our journey so far

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Create a level playing field

Screen recording

We are taking advantage of the screen record feature of our devices to help transform the standardised model of direct teaching. https://thestouracademytrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Input-for-secure-children-2.mp4 Example video input

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Green screen
Collaborative environments

Green Screen

Green screen is often associated with big blockbuster Hollywood films including film franchises such as Harry Potter, allowing Harry to fly his broomstick through the

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