The ethos, mission statement, aims and values of a school will highlight the areas they feel are important in school life and their goals for what they want the pupils and the school to achieve. I will take each one separately and explain what the term means whilst giving examples of how I see they are reflected in the everyday life of the school setting I am in.
The ethos of a school is reflected in how the pupils relate to each other and how the staff and pupils communicate together. In my setting I could clearly state that respectful, friendly and caring staff and pupils play an important part in the ethos of the school. The ethos could be a statement of what the school is all about. The ETI inspection of my setting quoted “The school has an inclusive and welcoming ethos, with all members of the school community playing an active and valued role in the life and work of the school.
This is evident in the very good behaviour of the children and the respectful, supportive relationships that exist at all levels.” From this I would gather the main points to be inclusiveness, welcoming, community feel, respectful relationships; exactly what I would say the school is all about. This is shown on a daily basis within the classroom and playground; the children have a respect for each other and the staff because respect is modelled, rules are generally abided by and as it is a community school there is certainly a community feel.
The setting’s mission statement includes “where every child is valued for their contribution to our school”. I love how they have not specified what contribution it is, simply that the child contributes in any way it can to the school. I also like how it states “our” school instead of “the” school and I definitely get a feel that the school is one big family working together for good of the children who attend it. A mission statement is really the overall intention that the school has and will normally be set by the Board of Governors and the principal.
It is a statement of what the school’s mission is as an organisation and is something that the BoG and principal will always strive to meet. An example of the mission statement being brought into practice is the awards which are given out on a monthly basis. Many schools will focus on academic achievement alone which leaves those who less academic feeling discouraged. This school awards children for many different reasons, academic achievement is only one; recently a girl from the p4 class received an award because she was a great help to one of the younger children in the playground when an incident occurred. She showed a caring and thoughtful manner and was rewarded for it.
The aims of a school are the goals which they hope to achieve, these can be set by the principal with input from staff members and possibly representatives from the community and the children can have an input as well. My setting’s aims are for “every child to reach their full potential within a caring and stimulating learning environment.” The teachers in the setting are very much engaged with the children and their preferred method of learning.
Certainly, in the foundation stage, the children’s thoughts were a big part of the planning process for the lessons. Their needs and indeed wants within reason, were taken into consideration when planning play areas. This is showing that the principal and the teachers are trying to help the children reach their full potential by listening to their views. There are of course different strategies in place for the students; not every child will reach the same level of learning due to various factors, so the school will work with the parents and the children to encourage learning regardless of ability but at the same time consider that one child’s full potential may be completely different to another.
The values of a school will be set out in different ways and it is a way for a school to show what their enduring beliefs or ideals are. It will highlight what the school views as desirable and what is undesirable. Values will be closely linked to the school rules and they will pinpoint the school’s moral code. The setting I am in has very close links to the local churches. They use the hall facilities for sports day, nativity plays and weekly for P.E. lessons.
The assemblies which are held weekly will usually be taken by members of the local churches (3.2) and since this link is very strong the school is keen to keep those relationships and teach the children morals through biblical stories. It is safe to say that the children enjoy learning through assembly as well; recently we had a full morning on the subject of safeguarding where lots of the children got involved in open discussions about what is right and wrong in regards to their own safety within school and at home.
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