Embracing SCARF's values at Ryecroft Primary Academy

Ryecroft Primary Academy in Bradford have taken the values of SCARF and put them right at the centre of their school life and their curriculum.

We're were delighted when the whole of this school's academy trust decided to adpot SCARF for all their schools' PSHE (including RSHE) provision. We've run free training will all staff across their schools, to ensure that teachers are able to make the most of SCARF resources.

Ryecroft Academy's recent Ofsted inspection demonstrates the impact of their provision for children's health and wellbeing, with SCARF at its heart.

Here are some excerpts from their Ofsted inspectors' feedback:

  • Leaders’ work to secure pupils’ personal development is exceptional. This is a particular school strength.
  • Pupils enjoy an extensive range of opportunities for their personal development. This entitlement is particularly strong.
  • A range of activities develops their understanding of democracy and diversity.
  • The school helps pupils to know how to look after their physical and mental health needs.

We asked Ryan Kelsey, HLTA and PSHE Co-ordinator at Ryecroft Primary Academy why they chose SCARF and how they have integrated it so successfully.

Picture taken at the 'Beat the goalie' whole-school fundraising event with Harold, Ryecroft Primary Academy, June 2019

Why did Ryecroft Primary Academy decide to adopt SCARF as a whole-school approach to behaviour, safety and learning?

We decided to adopt SCARF as a whole-school approach at Ryecroft because we'd just introduced a new behaviour policy.  We wanted to use SCARF to strengthen the implementation of our policy so that children were part of the team, and to help us to have a consistent approach to behaviour, safety and learning across the school. SCARF has already had a considerable positive impact on how children conduct themselves when moving around the school and on their attitude to learning in lessons.

Did anything about the SCARF approach appeal to you in particular?

We found the layout of the SCARF lesson plans, assessment tools and online scheme itself very useful in terms of helping staff manage their workloads and giving them ease of access to deliver high-quality lessons. We also liked the diverse range of topics and coverage which met children’s individual needs in school. 

How did you get the whole school on board with the SCARF values?

We started off quite simply before we introduced the full team of staff and children to the initiative by just having the visit from the Life Bus (Life Education Bradford). We then started to implement weekly lessons and assemblies, complementing these by giving achievement certificates out to children who had shown a positive contribution. As we went on our journey, we asked that all classes have their own SCARF displays showing the values and samples of work from lessons. We then started to build evidence folders on this and regularly monitor the coverage across school to see the progress made. 

How do you use SCARF in day-to-day school activities (safety, caring, achievement, resilience, friendship)? Can you give a couple of examples?

We use SCARF in many ways: alongside our daily initiatives in lessons, when walking around school, in the playground, in assemblies and also when following our behaviour policy when incidents may occur. Children are asked if they are ‘wearing their SCARF’ and which value a particular instance may relate to.

Do you think SCARF helps you to meet new DfE statutory Relationships Education and Health Education guidance?

Yes, we currently feel very comfortable as a school and staff team as we have had the recent updates on the new requirements and have been doing lots of work around this, mainly with Key Stage Two, in preparation, so that it will be a smooth on-going process rather than a new initiative. 

Have there been positive changes at Ryecroft Primary Academy since you began using SCARF? Can you summarise these?

Since starting SCARF, behaviour overall and attitude to learning at Ryecroft has improved considerably - and the children have shown a keen interest in SCARF lessons. They are very proactive when sharing their knowledge about certain topics and issues of which they have either had a personal experience or know somebody who has. 


Harold - guest of honour at Ryecroft in June 2019, after the penalty shoot-out event, wearing sunglasses that a child kindly lent to him!

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