St John Fisher rise to the challenge

Staff and pupils at St John Fisher Primary School in Knowsley Village are celebrating being awarded an Area of Excellence for vision and leadership.

St John Fisher earlier this year joined the Challenge Partners Network of Excellence and formed the Aspire hub along with a number of Knowsley schools and schools from the North West area.

The aim of the network is to facilitate school improvement, leadership development and share great practice through various programmes including peer review.

The school had their first review in March this year.

The reviews involve three or four members of school leadership teams from across the country coming together for three days to review the school, celebrating their successes and aims in which to leave the school in a better position to move forward.

Headteacher Michelle Forrest, said: “The review process was not an easy ride! It was demanding and challenging but it gave us the opportunity to share why we are so proud of our school and to celebrate the wonderful children and staff we have at St John Fisher, and all of the things we have achieved together”.

The report highlighted the fact that: ‘Leaders at all levels have a clear ambition to ensure that the school vision, created jointly by all stakeholders, has a dynamic impact upon culture, curriculum and standards. Saying also that everyone in the school community is challenged to reach their full potential and ‘shine’ through the school aims of ‘engagement, high expectations, respect and dignity’. They are delivered through the curriculum, underpinning all aspects of school life and reinforced by the strong Catholic ethos.’

Michelle said: “As part of the review, we put forward an application for an ‘Area of Excellence’. This is an additional focus on an area of school, which we felt was a significant strength.

“We asked the team to focus on our leadership, particularly vision driving culture and standards. Our leadership team is strong, passionate and forward looking.

“We achieved accreditation for our area of excellence in our first review and were contacted by a school in Doncaster who asked us to support them as they revisited their own vision and values.

“Via a zoom meeting, we shared how we have made the vision and mission a golden thread which weaves through every element of our school and reminds us of what we are aiming for the children and adults in our community.

Michelle continued: “I’m so proud of our whole school community who work together to support our children and adults to achieve their full potential. The leadership team is passionate and dynamic, always looking for ways in which we can improve. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful team working alongside me.’

“The report also highlighted the fact that all stakeholders have together created a shared vision through which everyone is enabled to ‘shine’. This vision is at the heart of the school and drives everything it does and pupils care about their school, they take a pride in their work and appreciate the supportive, caring relationships that exist across the school. Consequently, pupils want to come to school’.

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