Anything is possible at Freshwaters Primary Academy.
Teachers are learning that so long as their ideas benefit the children they are to go ahead, while pupils are being taught even if they can’t do something right now, they will be able to achieve it in the future.
Mr Solomonides, who was previously deputy headteacher at Freshwaters, has put together a radical improvement plan to turn the school around over the coming months.
The mission, entitled Exploring Together, sets out his desire to create a school where pupils, teachers and parents are pulling towards the same goals.
He said: “It’s all about everybody working together to be the best we can be. It’s about creating a mindset in all of us which is about positive growth.
“When a child says they can’t do something, we are raising their aspirations and encouraging them to believe they will be able to achieve it sometime soon.
“I have told staff, if they believe they can do something better or more effectively, to just do it. I don’t believe a headteacher needs to approve every little detail in a school; I do not need to be a part of every decision. Where appropriate, our children should be making as many of the decisions as possible. Everyone is a part of the process rather than being told what to do as we are stronger together. We all have our own strengths and this way our pupils will get to benefit from them. As a result, everyone is feeling more empowered.”
Working with sponsor Burnt Mill Academy’s student senior leadership team, the school is looking to develop its school council, giving more responsibility to its pupils.
Mr Solomonides’ plan is ultimately about improving achievement at his school.
He said: “Children come to us at a low baseline. Some make amazing progress, but too many do not achieve the expected levels by the time they leave. That is unforgivable.
“We are now focusing far more on early intervention. It is no good stepping in when a pupil is in Year 6 to give extra help. Particularly where numeracy and literacy is concerned, we are now putting intervention steps in place for our very youngest children. If you close those gaps when they are not too big, they will disappear altogether.
“There are lots of examples of best practise in this school. My plan is simply to bring them all together to raise attainment.”
The school will soon hold an anti-bullying event, as well as a campaign to stop children dangerously running in the corridors and an initiative to teach children about the value of work and money by inviting them to apply for small jobs in school.
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