Our Values and Ethos
At John Smeaton Academy, we pride ourselves on creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment, for both the students and staff within our school. We are proud to serve the local community and feel that our strong sense of culture, values and ethos underpins both our everyday actions and our longer term plans. We encourage all individuals to take responsibility for being part of our collective school community and to adhere to our principles around values and ethos. These principles are exemplified through the lives, personalities and achievements of five very significant historical figures: John Smeaton, Thomas Barnardo, Elizabeth Fry, William Wilberforce and Emmeline Pankhurst. Each figure has an area of the school named after them and it is through them that we have created our guiding principles for the values and ethos of the school.
In order to co-ordinate and oversee this area of school life, the Academy’s Associate Senior Leadership team have been given the exciting opportunity to manage, and drive forward, the values and ethos agenda. This team has been created to provide aspiring Middle Leaders in school the chance to shadow, and support, the Senior Leadership Team. This role allows Middle Leaders to build on their whole school experience and prepare for future leadership roles within and beyond the Academy. Each leader will leave a legacy from their time on Associate Leadership, allowing each successive leader to build on the work undertaken by the previous member of staff. This not only supports staff development and improvement, but it also keeps values and ethos at the forefront of our focus throughout the year. The Associate Senior Leadership team this year will consist of Rachael Dubas, Andrew Bennett, Lee Mazacs, and the Head of English. We are also being supported by a team of staff and students in school who are dedicated to developing this area of school life. By being part of this project, Middle Leaders can contribute to our organisation and gain a deeper understanding and respect for the values at the very core of our community. This supports our ‘growth mind set’ attitude- we can all work to be the very best versions of ourselves.
Ethos and Values
Our five school patrons are:
In school life, values and ethos are currently promoted in the following ways…
• All staff are committed to modelling the shared values and ethos of the school and also expect students to take responsibility for this.
• We foster a culture of hard work and perseverance.
• Children feel safe in our school- we are committed to dealing with any issues or problems swiftly and sensitively.
• Each year group has a weekly assembly which focuses on an area of values and ethos within school and beyond.
• The Student Council is a vibrant organisation through which democracy and rights to free speech are promoted.
• Students are provided with the opportunity to have one to one careers advice, to support them with important decisions about their futures.
• The Positive Discipline system promotes respect and accountability of behaviour. Students who are contributing positively to the Academy are rewarded.
• To support the work of charitable organisations, the Academy supports events such as the Macmillan Coffee Morning and Comic Relief.
• We have a Head Boy and Head Girl at 6th Form. These two students, with their deputies, promote the values and ethos of the school within each of the year groups and to a wider audience (for example, prospective parents).
• As our Academy is a community school, we also encourage the use of our building. For example, the running of computer courses.
• We strongly believe in respect for all- there are many reminders of this around the school building through wall displays and electronic screens.
• Year 7 students undertake a Resilience curriculum, through which they have the opportunity to explore the values and ethos of the school and wider life.
• Year 7 also attend a Resilience Camp (free of charge) when they begin secondary school in order to create a team mentality and build a sense of shared values and responsibility amongst the year group.
• There are many sports clubs where students can build their confidence in a team environment, whilst also representing the school at fixtures.
• We provide a system through which students can inform staff, confidentially, about any concerns that they may have about another student. We want to promote care for all and a collective responsibility for each other.
• Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and progress through the use of the Period 7 system. Students can arrange one to one support from their teachers.
• External agencies have worked with all Key Stages with regard to PSHE.
• Our school curriculum exploits opportunities to explore shared values and it provides students with the chance to discuss the issues important to them. For example, Year 7 are studying a British Values unit through the English curriculum.
And things to come…
• The establishment of a PTA, to allow our parents to become more involved in the life of the school.
• Increase whole school events to encourage the wider community to visit our school. This may include events such as school fairs, Mother/Daughter and Father/Son events, musical productions and sporting events.
• Further personalising our building to reflect the school community and our shared values.
• Developing ‘themed’ areas of the school, which reflect the five patrons outlined above.
• Develop the Student Council further to increase student input into decision making.