Our approach can be summarised as follows:
Connectedness, contacts, communication
It is the job of the whole school to embed pupils in networks of useful contacts. By involving parents deeply in the life of the school, through extensive networking by all the senior management with local tertiary educational bodies, employers and public bodies. We aim to give children a sense of their place in their community and an understanding of who to turn to for help.
Happiness, love of learning, enthusiasm, curiosity
We believe that a spirit of infectious enthusiasm and fun should run through every activity in the school. This sets the tone from the top down and is built into the DNA of the school. While it is not always the case that happy children learn it is definitely the case that unhappy children do not learn well.
We sell our children short if we do not teach them tolerance, resilience, grit, leadership, courage, patience, charm and emotional intelligence. The people best placed to deliver these attributes are the older generation with a wealth of life experience. We will make extensive use of the retired as coaches, counsellors, advisors and exemplars, our ‘Elders’. We would be delighted to speak to anyone who would like to take part in this programme.
These are the traditional cognitive skills usually thought of as the central goal of education: critical thinking, argumentation, logic, hypothesis testing, evidence evaluation, problem solving. It is these skills that can only be taught by skilled teachers but we believe that they are just as well taught outside the classroom as inside it.
Extended Scholarship and Knowledge
Without a sound knowledge base, skills cannot be learnt. We aim for children to develop a sense of themselves as a scholar in the traditional sense, a learner who is fascinated with learning for its own sake. We draw on the Swedish model of ‘kunskapsskollen’ or knowledge school and emphasise the fundamental importance of a sound knowledge base so that skills can be honed using real material.
Our stunning school offers an oasis of calm in central Gloucester. The site is ideally configured for secure and comfortable flex-boarding and we will be delighted to discuss with parents if they wish their children to board either full-time or on an occasional basis.
We believe young people need space to breathe and to look up from the screens on which we are all so dependent. Students have an opportunity each week to reconnect with the natural world and remember what it is to look up and outward.