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What does our vision mean we are committed to?


‘People who have the means to shape their own life well’

What is distinctive about our narrative:-

  • moving forward together, everyone participating and no one left behind; as Christopher Robin once said ‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.’ (A.A. Milne)
    We talk of people being more or less experienced as opposed to more or less able. ‘Except for the rarest of child, we are all born with the same capacity to learn.’ -Mark McCourt
  • a sense of self-worth unconnected to what we produce, unconnected to success, recognition and approval ‘The plain fact is the planet does not need more ‘successful people’. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.’ -Benjamin Orr
    (Punished by Rewards- Alfie Cohen)
  • building on our strengths rather than comparing ourselves with others: ‘In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow’ (Mindsets by Carol S. Dweck).
    ‘If you focus on people’s weaknesses, they lose confidence. At a very basic level it is very hard for us to build self-confidence when we are focused on our weaknesses instead of our strengths’ (Rath and Conchie).
    ‘When we take time to notice the things that go right – it means we’re getting a lot of little rewards throughout the day.’ Martin Seligman
  • accepting we will all make mistakes – forgiving ourselves and others for these mistakes; knowing that mistakes are an opportunity to learn. “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”- Rumi
    ‘..I doubt i’ll ever be certain of anything ever again- perhaps other than my own capacity to be stunningly wrong.’ D McGarvey


We are committed to:-

  • having maximum impact early on because a divergence in pupils’ life chances happens early; (ref Why Love Matters by Susan Gerhardt)
    ‘The firing gun of the educational arms race begins well before children’s first day in school: whatever solutions we have for improving school mobility will need to act outside as well as inside the school gates and before school has even started.’ Major & Machin 2018
    see Our School Vision –Behind the Scenes 6. Nursery
  • spirituality and wisdom borne out of knowledge of the world within as well as the world without; ‘People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy….how we feel about ourselves, the joy we get from living, ultimately depends directly on how the mind filters and interprets everyday experiences.’ -(M. Csikszentmihalyi).
    Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding (Proverbs 3:13)
    ‘To be calm becomes some sort of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business’ -(Matt Haig).
  • using this wisdom to solve problems; to help us respond well when things go wrong; when we are faced with risk, uncertainty and emotional exposure; and help give us a sense of renewal and hope; “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)
  • strong foundations in maths and English; ” Maths might not have been my favourite subject when I was here but I always felt supported. You used to work with me on a 1:1 and it really used to help me. In fact, it helped a lot when I moved to Year 7. I was feeling happy with my Maths at that point.’ Jack Yr 9
  • reflecting deeply about the big questions in life as well as about ourselves and others;
    see Our School Vision Behind the Scenes 4. Philosophy for Children
  • leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle and developing all round confidence; ‘There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.’ (Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms)
  • a collaborative approach, recognising we are often better together: balanced carefully with opportunities for independence, self-reflection and healthy competition.
    ‘Collaboration is about helping people work together to achieve an outcome that could not be achieved by an individual.’― Michael Cohen


‘People who take a delight in learning.’

What is distinctive about our narrative:-

  • the love of books. see Our Approach To Reading
    ‘A large-scale study conducted by the Yale University School of Public Health found that people who read books for at least 30 minutes a day lived, on average, nearly two years longer than nonreaders.’
    “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” (Victor Hugo)
    ‘When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.’ – James Earl Jones
  • the varied wealth of learning opportunities;

We are committed to:-

  • nurturing active, inquiring, attentive learners who go on to devour everything that this beautiful world can offer them; Learning is everything to us. We want our children to have a reverence for learning.
  • knowledge that is inspiring: that is relevant and transformational; that gives joy, awe and wonder;“Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.” (Dialogs of Plato, Theaetetus, 155d)
  • being responsive to each other, our needs, our strengths, our personalities
  • fostering self-discipline, independence and perseverance as critical ingredients for feeling inspired
  • giving people autonomy in their learning and the confidence to take responsibility
    see Our School Vision 11. Behind the Scenes
  • appreciating the thrill and beauty of creation; ‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour.’ (William Blake)
  • people feeling like anything is possible, that their lives are full of possibility, that there is hope


‘People who are compassionate, who appreciate the value and preciousness of each and every person and all life on earth.’

What is distinctive about our narrative:-

  • appreciating difference, not simply accepting it
    See the parable of ‘The Good Samaritan’
  • open, excited by everything life has to offer ‘When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love’ (Marcus Aurelius). “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”- Rumi

We are committed to:-

  • taking responsibility for ourselves and others. ‘Teach children to see that there are many contributing causes to any problem and to take responsibility for what they have contributed to the problem, without blaming themselves for things out of their control.- (Martin Seligman).
    ‘None of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself’ (Romans 14:7).
    see Our School Vision 9. Behind the Scenes
  • to relationships which are respectful and positive and constructive.
    ‘The qualities of …..close relationships in general are essentially regulatory qualities; the capacity to listen, to notice, to regulate behaviour and to be able to restore good feelings through some kind of physical, emotional or mental contact, through a touch, a smile, a way of putting feelings and thoughts into words. These capacities are personal ones, but they cannot be expressed fully in an environment that puts children to the margins. To be able to notice and respond to other people’s feelings takes up time. It requires a kind of mental space to be allocated to feelings, and a willingness to prioritize relationships.’ Sue Gerhardt -Why Love Matters
    We believe in PACE as a way of thinking, feeling, communicating and
    behaving in order to foster positive relationships. PACE stands for Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy.
    We focus on relationships rather than punishment and reward designed to control. ‘…rewards and punishments are not opposites at all; they are two sides of the same coin…the same psychological model, one that conceives of motivation as nothing more than the manipulation of behaviour.’ A Cohen
    ‘I enjoy being in my class because I like to learn in a happy environment.’ Pupil self-report 2020
    ‘Part of what it means to get to know someone is to come to understand how idiosyncratic their emotional expressions can be’ Malcolm Gladwell-’ Talking To Strangers’
    Restorative Practice looks to ‘find and fix as opposed to name and blame.’ One TA said, ‘It has transformed my practice…even little ones can do it…it really does work…they resolve things themselves.’
    We recognise that relationships are all the stronger for having been through rough patches and come out the other side and it is therefore part of our role to help manage this. ‘This cycle of rupture and repair is the key to secure relationships. Knowing that no matter what breakdowns in relationships occur, they can be repaired is the source of confidence in a relationship and the knowledge that regulation will be restored.’ Sue Gerhardt -Why Love /Matters.
  • a culture of caring, of listening; a place full of compassion and empathy; a place of safety, where everyone has the best chance at self -regulation
    see Pastoral Care at Minchinhampton Academy
    ‘Children are more likely to grow into caring people if they know they themselves are cared about….if children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.’ (Alfie Cohen)
    We are committed to developing emotional intelligence and growing empathy and compassion for others; “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” (B. Meltzer)
    It is imperative that we display empathy if our pupils are to develop empathy. “Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is a form of agreement, a form of judgment. And it is sometimes the more appropriate emotion and response. But people often feed on sympathy. It makes them dependent. The essence of empathic listening is not that you agree with someone; it’s that you fully, deeply, understand that person, emotionally as well as intellectually.”
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply… Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” -Stephen Covey. ‘If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”- Brene Brown ‘…genuine compassion is based on the rationale that all human beings have an innate desire to be happy and overcome suffering, just like myself. And, just like myself, they have the natural right to fulfill this fundamental aspiration. On the basis of the recognition of this equality and commonality, you develop a sense of affinity and closeness with others. With this is a foundation, you can feel compassion regardless of whether you view the other person as a friend of an enemy. It is based on the other’s fundamental rights as opposed to your own mental projection.’ Dalai Lama in ‘The Art of Happiness.’
  • honesty and trust in our dealings with ourselves and others;
  • community and a sense of belonging, to friendship and democratic participation; to promoting willing reciprocity. While we cherish the individual, we emphasize the collective and building a dense web of reciprocal obligations.
  • treating people with dignity: as human beings, not numbers or things. ‘Just a quick note to say that we have had our Autism Inclusion Quality Mark confirmed. Our visitors were really impressed by the care and thought shown by everyone they saw.’ (SENCO, March 2020)

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