Being part of our school

Living and Learning at St Martin's
St Martin’s School is a caring, engaging and very special place to learn and grow. We recognise and understand how to create an optimum ‘environment for learning’ and the importance of relationships within that environment; we value the people, the place and the process of learning. If you are ever unsure, just curious or need some support – just ask – everyone is willing and ready to help each child and adult to be the best they can be.

We want children at St. Martin’s to develop confidence in themselves and to have the ability to understand that there is a perspective other than their own. Our aim is to create a school where everyone – children, staff and parents – can ‘sit comfortably inside their own skin’ and have the ability to place themselves in another’s shoes. This foundation will create the optimum platform for children to become successful ‘inter-dependent’ human beings, to develop self-confidence and to have the capacity to hold an informed awareness of the lives and needs of others. Children need to be excited by possibilities and ‘not knowing’ – so they become creative and critical thinkers and will be resilient ‘life long’ learners who can live, work and grow successfully and sustainably alongside others.

Laughter and fun are important aspects of learning at St. Martin’s as are aspiration and self-motivation. St Martin’s is a place for children and adults to grow within a safe and purposeful environment which encourages everyone to be curious and excited about the world in which we live.

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Understanding the Triune Model of the Brain and How Emotional States Impact on Learning

Enabling access to the thinking brain (neocortex) Fight or Flight Response
Normalising the feelings associated with being out of control and empowering children to be able to take pro-active action when upset or angry.


Understanding that in order to change unhelpful patterns of behaviour, the new patterns need to be rehearsed when someone is in a calm, relaxed state and can access the thinking part of the brain.

Emotional Needs

Understanding that each of us has emotional needs that we will strive to get met. The bigger the ticks in the positive box the less we need to get these needs met in a negative way. We can carry out emotional needs audits for children to identify how they are getting these needs met and support children to change patterns of behaviour that are unhelpful.

Behaviour as communication

Understanding behaviour as communication and asking the question – what is this child trying to tell me? This doesn’t mean that we don’t have firm and clearly understood boundaries what is does mean is that staff are asked to be reflective in their practice.

Choice and consequences

The language of choice is used consistently and effectively across the school. This draws on our understanding of neuroscience and how the brain processes information and uses embedded commands to support children in rehearsing the right choice.


Giving children a ‘Plan B’ when they would have difficulty formulating one for themselves.

This is about noticing, naming and reassuring when behaviour is at a low key point so that the adult can step in and support and change of direction before behaviour escalates.

Growth or fixed mindset

We actively encourage a growth mindset amongst staff and children – knowing that change is possible. We also celebrate effort as that is what enables us to improve – interesting piece of research available online if you want to look at the impact celebrating effort rather than innate ability has on a child’s self-perception and willingness to take risks.

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