Heart and Essence

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Heart and Essence


10 Golden Threads

Independent, Collaborative, Inquisitive, Reflective,

Creative, Resilient, Happy, Curious, Confident, Risk-takers


At Bright Futures Educational Trust (BFET) we believe ‘Heart and Essence’ is the foundation of our relationship. It demonstrates a collective endeavor to produce a coherent and consistent mission about what we believe BFET children can be. The participative and inclusive nature of this work has brought about a genuine commitment, resulting in a mutually responsible, coherent and harmonious message deemed to be at the very heart of what we do with the essence running throughout all of our schools.

We believe that our true strengths lie within our networks and through partnerships that build a strong platform for developing a collective responsibility. These partnerships require a deep maturity between our schools and our leaders who actively facilitate this. We understand any system can only be strong if it invests in its people, can join up thinking and can develop ways and means for identifying and deploying support. This is a true collaborative system, one which demonstrates the value of being part of Bright Futures Educational Trust and how this unique membership will add value to every single school, every single person and every single child.

Heart and Essence is regarded as the golden threads that connect each school and act as a way to guide our work and to demonstrate our successes. We believe that, through showing  what we value highly, we will nurture best practice which we believe is essential to learning. Heart and Essence is a form of mutual responsibility; how we show our responsibility towards each other in order to seek organisational and self improvement. We think that, without this, any work is merely a set of statements which schools and people will slavishly follow in a compliant culture. Having the underpinnings of Heart and Essence as a guide, and as indicators of success, enables us to develop a culture of genuine commitment and to demonstrate and celebrate how we work.

At the end of every academic year, each school writes a statement about how it has demonstrated Heart and Essence. This helps our schools to become more reflective around the things that really matter and is a means to celebrate what can be shared. It is a way of strengthening our networks and partnerships. It works alongside, but goes much deeper than normal school self-evaluation, by asking and exploring the top 10 Golden Threads:

Independent, Collaborative, Inquisitive, Reflective,

Creative, Resilient, Happy, Curious, Confident, Risk-takers

We are all highly reflective. We have a culture that is sustained through our investment in our children and staff and a pursuit of intellectual innovation where everybody opens their minds to possibilities.

Our teachers develop as reflective practitioners with a high degree of self-responsibility, an enjoyment and pride in their day-to-day work and a commitment to their longer-term thinking. All our leaders strive to develop a deep understanding of the ‘bigger picture’ and an awareness of the processes that affect outcomes.

We understand that the world is constantly changing and therefore we value the search to be a truly knowledge-informed system. We also understand that the development of inquiry skills in our children and staff is of paramount importance. The nurturing of curiosity enables individuals to continue the quest for knowledge and skills throughout life, to find happiness and to find a place in the world. We believe that we need to take time to reflect, think and make decisions about our learning and our wider work.

We develop the child’s reflective abilities and outlook, harnessing a high degree of self-responsibility in day-to-day learning and longer-term thinking. We believe in staying curious and in being creative, in having an appetite to learn, to know more and in following our inquisitive nature, developing the natural aspects of what it is to be human.

There are many challenges posed by a rapidly changing world. We believe that, through developing a culture where taking risks, nurturing perseverance and learning from our mistakes are key, we can create the resilient and independent learner, equipping our children with personal and social skills for life.

Learning how to learn leads to greater self-knowledge, greater independence and greater confidence. This provides our children with a passport to a lifelong education and a love of learning.

Mutually collaborative partnerships improve outcomes for children because they identify, disseminate and embed the most effective forms of teaching and learning across all of our schools. We believe that effective collaboration involves both challenge and support and we have well developed systems that help to support this. We believe in the need to enrich the culture, climate and interpersonal relationships in schools.

All of our primary learning communities promote and nurture our natural curiosity. Using Philosophy for Children as a basis, our curriculum leads from the natural curiosity and inquiry of the child. This, we believe, engages the learner. It is what we call a ‘teacher-framed – pupil led’ curriculum which follows the National Curriculum and is underpinned by the following framework:


Inspiring the child’s interests and developing a passion.

The children ‘Know Why’… they are doing this.


The subject knowledge that will be explored, developing an understanding.

Know That’ … specific pieces of information.


Engaging the child in the subject, asking; ‘what do they want to know more about?’ Developing an ownership.

Know What … they will be doing.


Taken from the inquiry, this aspect looks at what aspects of the topic the children will explore. Developing specific skills.

Know How … to use real world skills.


Exploring deeper and further aspects of subject knowledge and skills, led by children and facilitated by the teacher.


Bright Futures Educational Trust strives for continual improvement through establishing a community of integrity, passion and community. We foster and maintain an inspiring leadership philosophy where we create conditions that allow all school leaders to unleash the power of the people in the organisation.