Aims, Values and Ethos
Aims and Ethos
Atkinson House School is committed to and passionate about the learning and progress of our pupils. Staff and governors have high aspirations for our children and we aim to provide a high quality, relevant and balanced education for all our pupils that focuses on individual, personal and academic achievement.
We are a forward-thinking, positive school where learning is underpinned by positive student teacher relationships. Our learners make social, moral and academic progress through a varied curriculum that evolves and changes to meet the needs of all learners.
Students have an ownership of their learning journey as they progress through school, engaging with the School Support group to review practice and highlight potential progress. This has allowed them to develop, and contribute to the continued growth of our provision. Our school’s holistic approach to student development gives every student the opportunity to:
• Become resilient learners
• Develop confident minds
• Foster life-long learning
• Be challenged to maximise their potential
• Promote positive social values
We aim to challenge pupils, to work with them developing an increased awareness of life after school and how they can contribute fully to society. To remove barriers, increase aspirations and help them fulfil their potential at all levels.
Head Teacher’s Vision
Atkinson House aims to provide a positive, engaging, challenging and safe environment, to enable all of our learners to achieve and succeed to the very best of their individual abilities.
We aim to assist all pupils to develop in every aspect of life, in order that they may contribute more positively to the society in which they live, both now and into their future adult life.
Through strong partnerships with parents and collaboration with a range of other agencies the school offers a caring and friendly learning environment in which pupils make good progress.
At all times, we seek to promote, amongst staff and pupils, a sense of togetherness and engagement with the world through the diversity of the curriculum being offered.
We aim to ensure high quality teaching and learning to promote positive outcomes, and to provide a safe, calm environment in which students of all abilities and backgrounds can learn together, mature, and develop an enriching community, in which they have a clear sense of pride and ownership.
Our promotion of British values in school
The government sets out its British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in Sept 2014 due to recent events. These new regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school.
Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
Promoting British values at Atkinson House School
We agree with the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Atkinson House School students will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. The curriculum is mapped in detail across the whole school. Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community.
Pupil voice is significant in regards to life at Atkinson House School. Our school support group plays a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making our school a better place to learn. Students have a great amount of input in regards to what and how they learn, which promotes student voice. For example, the students decide as a class how they would like to learn certain skills in subjects and this is used to inform the teacher’s planning.
Student interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our students will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law
Our students will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our students to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our students in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through philosophical enquiry in our philosophy for learning lessons, we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our students.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that students are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. In lessons, learning tasks are often left for the child to decide upon. We encourage students to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our E-Safety, tutor time and curriculum sessions, we educate students on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At Atkinson House School we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the students embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around our school and in the classrooms.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
At Atkinson House School we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which religions are studied and respected. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help our students to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future. Father Darren is a regular visitor to school, engaging with students and discussing different faiths and values.
Working With Others
Our students have many opportunities to engage in support of other faiths, charitable organisations and health initiatives to name a few. Pupils engage in many aspects of charitable work with lots of entrepreneurial skills being utilised to achieve their fund raising goal. Thinking of others, the needier and the less fortunate in our world is an important part of working together to develop an awareness and understanding. A sense of tolerance and understanding gained by real world knowledge around us as well as valuable visits to our sister school in Gambia by students and staff alike. The Head Teacher from Gambia has visited on two occasions over the last four years, working with staff, students, parents and the wider community.