Our vision and ethos
Our schools are
- for you, your children and the local community
- where children expect to reach high academic standards
- where every child is in on the way to college, university or a good job
- develop the whole child and their emotional experience
- specialise in science, technology and sport
We aim to improve the current and future lives of local children and families and be amongst the highest performing schools nationally and in Hertfordshire.
Our schools do not follow a particular approach but will have a distinctive ethos and a distinctive uniform. They are inclusive schools that welcome all children and families from their local communities. From the moment that you walk into our schools you will be able to tell that these are communities where the adults care about the children, where the children love to be in school and where everyone is focused on achieving a set of common goals. The environment is clean, attractive and well-ordered with constantly changing exhibitions of children’s work which celebrate their success and demonstrate their progress and achievement.
Expectations are very high and staff work tirelessly to ensure success for every child. Children work hard because they enjoy it and because they know that they are heading for college, university or a good job even if they are the first member of their family to do so.
Parents and other community members are visible in our schools making a valuable contribution to children’s achievements and engaging in community activities. The school communities have a clear and tangible sense of purpose and drive and are committed to always getting better.
Parents are clear that our schools place their children’s achievement at the top of the list. We will want them to do the same and ask both they and their children to sign ‘The Contract’ which commits them to behaving well, treating everyone with respect and coming to school every day, on time, in uniform and ready to learn. We are strict about attendance because every minute of learning counts. We are exacting about uniform because we want our children to take a pride in their appearance and their school and to focus on their performance rather than their clothes.
The schools and their communities will have strong partnerships local primary and secondary schools and the University. This will help to set high aspirations and will benefit children and families through the use of specialist facilities and access to specialist activities and subject expertise.
A good early start
To build a strong foundation for learning our schools have small classes in reception and year one with a strong focus on developing strong language skills.
Squirrels Day Nurseries, a private provider, works in partnership with our schools to put in place high quality childcare provision and nursery education.
Our schools specialise in science, technology and sport. In addition, Spanish is taught from the time children enter school and there is a strong emphasis on music with every child being treated as a developing musician.
Our Leadership team have outstanding track records and a clear commitment to the success of the schools’ local communities, children and families.
We appoint staff who are dedicated to serving the needs of the community and teachers who are, or have the potential to be, excellent practitioners. They care deeply about the children and their success and know how to make learning enjoyable so that school is not only hard work but also fun.
Our schools do not follow the national curriculum in total but have a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum with an academic and social approach to education. It is designed to develop the character, mind and resilience of the whole child and incorporates our core beliefs and values. Because we want all our children to be technologically advanced, IT is woven through the whole curriculum.
English, mathematics and science are at the heart of the curriculum and are taught each morning. Afternoons provide a broad range of curriculum enrichment activities.
Special educational needs and disabilities
Our schools welcome children with special educational needs and disabilities and make sure that none in the school communities let a child’s special needs get in the way of high expectations of social and academic achievement.
Our schools have the highest expectations of behaviour for adults and children alike. Our policies, procedures and practice are developed in partnership with our local communities and are built upon respect and ethical behaviour. Staff and pupils are clear about their rights and responsibilities and also the consequences of poor behaviour.
A priority for our schools is to develop emotional resilience in children and their families so that they all know they can succeed, even in the face of adversity.
Beyond the school day and year
We are particularly aware of the needs of working parents and run an 8am to 6pm day in our schools for those who require it. The year is also be extended with opportunities for children and their families to participate in a range of activities.
Children also have the opportunity to work as volunteers on improvement projects and in the wider community to help build their sense of citizenship.
Our schools abide by the Hertfordshire admissions criteria and admit children with special educational needs, children in care, siblings and those living closest to the school in that order of priority.