Ethos and Values
1. We base our policies, curriculum and decisions on 3 core principles:
a. Children come first, and are at the heart of all we do.
Our schools exist for our learners. In formulating our policies and development priorities, the desire to create the best possible learning environment, deliver the best possible provision, and achieve the best possible outcomes for our young people is fundamental.
b. Positive relationships underpin all of our work.
Young people respond most positively and learn best, when their social and emotional development is strong. The craft of the classroom is multi-faceted, but we believe the most effective teachers have an ability to connect with learners and create a positive environment founded on encouragement. We work hard to create a climate in our schools where all members are respectful, providing safe and meaningful opportunities for students to develop positive relationships with one another so that they fully engage in learning.
c. High expectations and no barriers – everybody can achieve.
There is an expectation that all pupils will make progress relative to their starting points over the course of their time in our schools. We are committed to meeting the needs of all our learners, having very high expectations of our staff and the young people themselves. Barriers to learning cannot be viewed as excuses for underachievement and we will work with young people and their parents/carers to provide the support and challenge whatever the need.
In addition to these core principles:
2. Schools collaborate to achieve excellence in all areas, but individual school identity matters.
3. We promote traditional values – respect, honesty, diligence, responsibility.
4. The development of the whole child drives the learning experiences.
5. Every learner has equal value in our community.
6. Our learners should achieve higher standards than others from similar contexts.
School leaders from Bowland High and Witton Park Academy have initially formed achievement through Collaboration Multi-Academy Trust. The ethos and values of both schools are very similar, and both schools have been converter academies for a number of years. A partnership to form a trust was a logical next step because of the opportunities for collaboration to build further on the strengths of each school and support further development. There is a common desire to share experiences, learn from each other and be mutually supportive.
There is also a strong desire to facilitate integration across the school communities. Pupils at Bowland High are overwhelmingly white British, whilst the vast majority of pupils at Witton Park are of Asian heritage, albeit from a variety of national and cultural backgrounds.
A key rationale for this trust is to help realise some of the recommendations of The Casey Review (2016) into integration and opportunity in isolated and deprived communities. In particular, AtC aims to contribute to:
- Recommendation 1 – support area-based plans to help improve community cohesion, particularly boosting out of school mixing between young people – including through sporting activity;
- Recommendation 7 – encouraging a range of school provision and projects to ensure that children from different communities learn alongside those from different backgrounds.