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‘I am the learner; I have high expectations’.


We live in a world that is increasingly culturally diverse and dynamically interconnected, it is important that our children, in Axminster, come to understand their world, past and present, and develop a capacity to respond to challenges, now and in the future, in innovative, informed, personal and collective ways.

Our curriculum and school plays an important role in harnessing pupils’ curiosity and imagination about the world they live in and empowers them to actively shape their lives; make reflective, informed decisions; value their belonging in a diverse and dynamic society; and positively contribute locally, nationally, regionally and globally.




Confidence, inquisitiveness, curiosity, examine, challenge, probe,


Study, inspect, examine, survey, judge, check.


Explore, scrutinize, probe, investigate, assess, democracy

Evaluating and reflecting

Rate, estimate, appraise, assess, consider, contemplate, honesty, integrity, tolerance


Talk, express, commune, meet, discuss, speak, celebrate, convey, relationships, responsibility, respect

What is Values-based Education?

Values-based Education is an approach to teaching that works with values. It creates a strong learning environment that enhances academic achievement and develops students' social and relationship skills that last throughout their lives.


The positive learning environment is achieved through the positive values modelled by staff throughout the school. It quickly liberates teachers and students from the stress of confrontational relationships, which frees up substantial teaching and learning time.

It also provides social capacity to students, equipping them with social and relationship skills, intelligences and attitudes to succeed at school and throughout their lives.  Find out more and visit


At Axminster Community Primary Academy, it is our aim to raise standards by promoting a school ethos which is underpinned by core values. These values support the development of the whole child as a reflective learner within a calm, caring, happy and purposeful atmosphere.


At Axminster Community Primary Academy, we give regular thought to how values can be used to support the child as a reflective learner and promote quality teaching and learning.

In our society children are increasingly encouraged through advertising to think of happiness as something which can be found simply in the material world. They are generally encouraged to experience life in a world which is external to their inner selves.

As a school community we believe that the ethos of the school should be built on a foundation of values.

Teaching and Learning

 The elements of Values Education are:


  • Ensuring that the school’s institutional values are consistent with the values that pupils are encouraged to develop.
  • The active promotion of a whole school policy that has the support of all the staff and is led and monitored by the head.
  • A programme of school assemblies that introduce and explore a value each month. Pupils are encouraged to be actively involved in exploring their understanding of values.
  • Direct teaching about values in the classroom. These sessions provide opportunities for personal reflection, moral discourse and appropriate activities which promote understanding.

Teaching and Learning about Values takes place in the following ways:

  • By teachers explaining the meaning of the value (see Appendix 1).
  • By pupils reflecting on the value and what it means to them and their own behaviour.
  • By pupils using the value to guide their own actions.
  • By staff modelling the value through their own behaviour.
  • By ensuring that values are taught implicitly through every aspect of the curriculum.
  • Through the work of the School Council.
  • By involving all staff, governors and parents in the values programme through newsletters which explain how school and home can work together to promote positive values.


Children’s Needs

In order for the school’s purpose to be effective and for the values to be meaningful to the pupils, the staff understand that the basic needs of children are:


  • To be loved.
  • To feel secure and know clearly what is expected of them.
  • To be valued.
  • To have a balance of activities – active/passive; quiet/talking; communicating/reflective; taught skills/exploratory work.
  • To have help to develop relationships.
  • To develop self-awareness and a knowledge of the world outside of themselves.
  • To have creative experiences, including external exploration and internal reflection.
  • To be fully involved in the process of education.

Teacher Behaviour

In order to try to meet the needs of children, staff try always to be consistent in their own behaviour and in their expectations of the children. They:

  • Value all the children.
  • Display great patience and listen carefully to children.
  • Focus on and emphasise the positive.
  • Face reality and help pupils to come to terms with difficult issues as they arise, such as death.
  • Only disapprove of poor behaviour, never the child.
  • Try to make time for one another.
  • Are mutually supportive.
  • Speak quietly and avoid shouting.
  • Are valued by the governors and the community.
  • Have a good sense of humour.
  • Communicate with parents to ensure that they appreciate the school’s values and to ensure that there is a common understanding.

Pupil skills

Throughout the school the development of the following skills which contribute to reflective thinking about values are encouraged:


  • Displaying helpful politeness and good manners to everyone in school.
  • Speaking quietly and politely to others.
  • Listening carefully to and thinking about what others are saying.
  • Reflection.
  • Empathy and tolerance.
  • Using imagination.
  • Visualisation techniques.
  • Stillness.
  • Being able to express feelings constructively, thereby learning to manage feelings and resolve conflicts through discussion, understanding and practise.
  • Articulating thoughts clearly in order to enhance communication skills.
  • Walking quietly about the school building.
  • Developing positive attitudes to work and play.
  • Accepting personal responsibility for actions.
  • Care and respect of other people’s property.


Activities that promote Reflective Thinking

Teachers are especially mindful of the activities that promote positive thinking and incorporate these into their teaching as much as possible. These include:


  • Creating a peaceful climate in the classroom and on the school site.
  • Taking children to beautiful places to experience peaceful places and encourage them to value them.
  • Pupils setting their own targets for their work and behaviour.
  • Pupils involved in the assessment of their own work.
  • Giving opportunities for decision making.
  • School’s behaviour policy that clearly defines how the school puts emphasis on behaving well and positive thinking.
  • Giving time in class for pupil to respond to some of the basic needs within us: friendship, love co-operation, to clarify their understanding of values.
  • Allowing children to sit and work in silence to think through their own thoughts.
  • Helping children to be relaxed and unstressed but focussed on their activities.
  • Including visualisation as a teaching technique to help in the development of the imagination and memory.
  • Opportunity for role-play so that skills associated with negotiation, co-operation and assertiveness are developed. This helps children to understand the potential consequences of giving way to peer pressure.



Benefits for the Pupils 

The benefits that come when children are expected to be reflective about values are:


  • Children behaving more calmly and purposely.
  • Children able to concentrate and reflect more on their own behaviour.
  • Children being more self-aware and self-accepting.
  • Children being more considerate to others and less ego-centred.
  • Children taking a greater responsibility for their own actions.
  • The improvement of self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Pupils knowing themselves better and being able to relate to others more effectively.




The approaches outlined in this policy describe how the school uses core values as a basis for its work. The success of our approach to teaching and learning is not easily measured but it is evident in the school’s positive ethos and in the personal qualities that pupils display in the community.




This policy will be reviewed in June 2019.


Appendix 1


Implementing the Values Education Programme


  • Values are introduced in assembly each month children become familiar with the language and ideas.
  • Lots of basic training is needed, especially in the early years: manners, routines, picking up the positive and giving praise when children show respect etc.
  • We have high expectations and clear boundaries: the foundation of good values requires good discipline.
  • We aim for a calm, reflective atmosphere which facilitates contemplation. Then the children get to know themselves better and develop a sense of responsibility for their own lives and happiness.
  • At the start of the year class rules are decided with the children: the rules are then real and meaningful for the children.
  • Opportunities are taken to discuss values throughout the curriculum.
  • As teachers, we try to live the values: we teach best by being role models.



Appendix 2

Spiritual, social, moral and cultural values are taught in assemblies and in discreet lessons but also permeate the whole of the curriculum.





·         Literature, including story and poetry that explores human experience and response to life and death.

·         Use of stillness and imagination in drama and other subjects to develop inner awareness.

·         Expressing feeling and emotions through verbal and written communication, knowing that words can influence feelings.



·         Enjoyment of and fascination by numbers, including the idea of infinity.

·         Reflecting on pattern and order as well as a sense of mystery and space.

·         Exploring the relationship of numbers, shape and objects and the possibility of inter-connectedness.

·         Sense of achievement and self-worth at appropriate levels of understanding.




·         Scientific links with a spiritual interpretation about the universe and life.

·         Using the school grounds for reflection on relationships between people and their environment.

·         Reflecting on the mystery of the natural world and physical worth, life cycles and growth.

·         Awareness of physical self as wonderful.


Design Technology


·         Sense of worth in human potential and achievement.

·         Designing cards for religious festivals.

·         Making holy books and other artefacts/special objects pleasure in physical constructions.

·         Art in design: taking



Communications Technology


·         Connectedness with people all over the world through the internet.

·         Using programmes to create poems and pictures.

·         Becoming independent and developing self-reliance.




·         Ideas of change and development and re-creation.

·         Understanding the importance of tradition to a community.

·         Sense of time and awareness of personal place within it.




·         How things came about, and a sense of wonder at the earth’s variety and order.

·         Developing self-awareness and relationships with other cultures and environments.

·         Appreciation of natural features e.g. lakes, woods.




·         Idea of beauty in art.

·         Appreciation of colour, shape and texture.

·         Religious and spiritual ideas expressed in, e.g. stained glass windows. 

·         Art as a means of expressing feelings, imagination and expressive thought.




·         Making music by singing together, songs and hymns with instruments.

·         Listening to specific chosen pieces, and why people write music, e.g. Hallelujah chorus.

·         Identifying feelings and emotions associated with different types of music.

·         Using music as a background to times of quiet and reflection to develop awareness of the inner self.


Religious Education


·         Knowledge of religious reflection, humanist ideas and spiritual practices, e.g. worship.

·         Providing opportunities for experiencing space and silence to allow skills in reflection and awareness to develop.

·         Meeting others who belong to other traditions.

·         Providing opportunities for experiencing awe, wonder and transcendence.


Physical Education


·         Spiritual awareness of body, its beauty and potential through activity and observation.

·         Movement to express feelings and emotions including dancing for joy.

·         Developing inner determination to do one’s best and recognise and develop one’s inner potential and strength.


Modern Foreign Languages


·         Awareness of the beauty inherent in another language.

·         The use of a different language to express thoughts slightly differently.







·         Circle time skills in speaking and listening.

·         Social interaction through play.

·         Writing for and communicating with an audience.

·         Group drama work, reading and discussion of social issues in literature.

·         Stories to create awareness of a variety of life experiences, e.g. deafness.




·         Maths games for social interaction, taking turns and sharing.

·         Working in pairs and groups to gather information and solve problems.

·         Recognising maths skills as a tool for society.




·         Investigation in groups, sharing skills and expertise.

·         Science as a cooperative activity requiring communication and interaction.

·         Science related to issues in society, e.g. alcohol abuse.


Design Technology


·         Designing with others.

·         Using technology to benefit others, e.g. handicapped.


Information and Communications Technology


·         Working co-operatively.

·         Using data-handling skills to promote understanding of social issues.

·         Poster design for safety.




·         Exploring structures of society, including institutions, e.g. hospitals, hospices, work houses.

·         Looking at children past and present.

·         Understanding the influence of the past on the development of society today.




·         Local studies to raise awareness of different homes, communities and family groupings.

·         Local amenities: who are they for?

·         Human influence on the landscape/local economy.

·         Group fieldwork opportunities.




·         Art as a means of learning about people and society.

·         Group collage.




·         Taking part in performances.

·         Collaborative work and sharing resources.

·         Group singing and composition.


Religious Education


·         Knowing about and understanding the importance of family and traditions within religious faiths and social groups.

·         Study of ideas of community in humanism religions.

·         Researching charities and other religious and non-religious forms of social caring and responsibility.



Physical Education


·         Participation in traditional and creative dance and pair and group work in gymnastics.

·         Enjoyment of team games, showing co-operation, respect for others and their needs.


Modern Foreign Languages

·         Comparing lifestyles and attitudes.

·         Recognising similarities and differences between cultures, in terms of language use as well as social behaviour and issues.

·         The ability to communicate directly with someone who speaks a different language.





·         Discussion of right and wrong – moral issues exemplified in children’s literature.

·         Skills of listening and forming evaluative judgements in discussion.

·         Circle time discussion of behaviour and relationships.

·         Dramatising situations which raise moral questions.




·         Encouraging a sense of personal responsibility for their own learning in class and through homework.

·         Encouraging honesty, not cheating.

·         Awareness of manipulation of data statistics.




·         Thinking about experiments and investigations and their outcomes for humans.

·         Caring for living things.

·         Discussing issues raised by scientific discovery and progress, e.g. genetic engineering.


Design Technology


·         Learning co-operation with others through activities.

·         Technology as helpful and constructive as well as potentially destructive.


Information and Communications Technology


·         Independent working to develop a sense of integrity and trustworthiness.

·         Discussion of moral issues, e.g. correct information, pornography.




·         Developing awareness of local, national and world issues.

·         Encounter with ideas and encouragement to think through  a moral stance on issues, e.g. war and peace.




·         Developing moral responsibility to care for the environment.

·         Awareness of human exploitation, e.g. child labour in developing countries. Poverty amid affluence.

·         Awareness of misuse of earth’s resources and human responses, e.g. recycling and deforestation.




·         Interpreting pictures which put a moral point of view.




·         Appreciation of music and respecting the ideas and judgements of others.

·         Learning about and from the lives of composers.


Religious Education


·         Stories with a moral message from other world religions.

·         Ideas of right and wrong behaviour in world religions.

·         Individual and corporate  responsibility within religious and other communities.

·         Developing skills of listening, respecting and evaluative judging.



Physical Education


·         Taking part in team games and obeying rules.

·         Awareness of others’ needs, particularly physical.

·         Encouragement to cheer, celebrate achievement and shake hands at the end of a game.

·         Developing a sense of fair play, not hurting anyone.


Modern Foreign Languages

·         Stories with a moral message from other countries.

·         Current affairs and human responses to them within different countries.

·         Awareness and understanding of fellow human beings living different lifestyles in different countries.






·         Stories and literature form other cultures.

·         Awareness of issues such as stereotyping and equal opportunities in literature.

·         Language and meanings in different cultures.




·         Creating Islamic patterns, rangoli patterns and using Roman numerals.

·         Careful choice of resources and examples to include references to other cultures.

·         Counting in a different language.




·         Differences and similarities between groups of humans.

·         Animals from different countries.

·         Creation stories from different cultures alongside current scientific thinking.

·         Role of science in different cultures and religions.

·         Scientific development in relation to others – water supplies, new varieties of flowers and food crops.



Design Technology


·         The effectiveness of very simple technology in some cultures.

·         Instruments from different countries, e.g. cooking utensils.

·         Designs for different climates, e.g. sun hats.


Information and Communications Technology


·         Assessing information about cultures by using technology  etc.

·         Direct contact with children in other cultures through internet.




·         The story of development of other cultures.

·         Stories of religious leaders and their influence on cultures, both positive and negative.

·         History of contribution of other cultures to science and maths.




·         Study of people – especially children living in different countries and comparison with own cultural context.

·         Developing an awareness and appreciation of different styles of everyday life.

·         The influence of environment on societies.




·         Pictures from different cultures, e.g. African art.

·         Visiting galleries and exhibitions to view art from different cultures.

·         Art as an expression of culture, e.g. Nativity pictures on Nativity cards.




·         Music from different cultures, e.g. Calypso songs.

·         Listening to and using instruments from other cultures.


Religious Education


·         The study of different religions as part of a cultural tradition.

·         Meeting people from a variety of faiths and cultures, and visiting places of worship.

·         Exploring how religious and humanist ideas are expressed in different cultures, e.g. food, dress, festivals.



Physical Education


·         Dance as an expression of culture, e.g. Indian folk.


Modern Foreign Languages

·         The study of different food and eating habits, literature, leisure pursuits, fashion and life styles as part of a cultural             tradition.

·         Comparisons of attitudes, e.g. to schools and schooling in different countries.




Thank you all for your support this year. Congratulations to all the year 6's we wish you well! Enjoy the holidays and keep safe!

Canoeing fun

10 Jul 2019

On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June, some of our Year 6 children experienced a canoeing taster day organised by the Axe Vale Canoe Club in Axmouth. They enjoyed paddling up the river beyond Axmouth,...

Royal Maths Institute afternoon

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Fabulous Friction!

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World War One Workshop

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A World War One soldier visited for Year 5 and 6 to show them what it was like to live during this time.

Magdalen Farm Forest School

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Forest School – a day at Magdalen Farm! On Thursday 6th December, Miss Mayes and Mrs Kew had the pleasure of taking six children to Magdalen Farm for a Forest School day.  The purpose of th...

Acorn MAT supports local fallen hero's

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Chidren from Axminster Academy, Mrs E's and Chardstock all came together to lay tributes to the 68 men, from the parish of Axminster, who died in WW1. A wonderful service included readign fromthe chil...

Acorn MAT supports local fallen hero's

15 Nov 2018

Chidren from Axminster Academy, Mrs E's and Chardstock all came together to lay tributes to the 68 men, from the parish of Axminster, who died in WW1. A wonderful service included readign fromthe chil...

New lease of life for play area in North Street, Axminster

27 Jun 2018

Axminster Community Primary Academy and Little Acorns @ Axminster are so proud to support this wonderful project. The children really felt a strong desire to improve the local community and I am immen...


08 Jun 2018

14 children from Year 5 and 6 went canoeing on Wednesday 6th June to the Axe Vale Canoe Club in Axmouth. Everyone really enjoyed the day paddling up the estuary and River Axe beyond Axmouth and p...

New arrivals

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We have some new arrivals and Beech class are taking full advantage to use them as a model for descriptive sentences! 

World Book Day

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On Friday 9th March, the children (and staff) all came into school dressed as a character from their favourite book.  The costumes were amazing!  Thank you to all parents and carers who help...

Early Years Activities

26 Feb 2018

The children in our Early Years Centre have been very busy recently.  They have been talking about their pets and the children and some of our teachers have brought in photos of their animals for...

Maple & Spruce classes

05 Feb 2018

Maple and Spruce class Pupils in Year 3 and 4 have been busy working on their latest topic – Extreme Animals.  The children have discovered a multitude of fascinating facts about animals &...


18 Jul 2017

On Monday 26th June, Spruce and Rowan classes went to @Bristol Science Museum to support their learning of the science curriculum.  They had a fabulous day and were able to learn more about frict...

Sports Day

18 Jul 2017

Today Axminster Community Primary Academy held its annual Sports Day.  Thankfully the recent heatwave was over and we were able to hold the event as scheduled.  Our children excelled in the...

Axe Vale Festival

18 Jul 2017

The children of Spruce and Rowan classes have been working hard, with Mrs Hogarth the Art Teacher, designing a poster on the theme "Axminster Carnival" for the Axe Vale Festival. Although all the chil...

Tadpole update

18 Jul 2017

The tadpoles that Beech Class were studying last term have continued to thrive! 

Election Week

18 Jul 2017

Here at Axminster Community Primary Academy, a decision was made to change the names of our four team colours Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. With the general elections drawing closer, our school council...