As January comes to an end and wishing everyone a Happy New Year is behind us, I find myself reflecting on what has been an extremely busy three weeks for a host of different reasons.
There is much talk amongst Senior Schools and Prep Schools about Common Entrance and its future in terms of an entry assessment for Senior Schools. Whilst nothing is currently set to change, there’s been a considerable amount of discussion on this area. Indeed, when I am asked similar questions of this nature by prospective parents, I find myself replying confidently that at Windlesham we will endeavour to deliver much of the same. I am convinced this is a school that discovered the right balance many years ago and we should continue to stick with what we are doing but strive to make what we already offer better all the time. This is not meant in any way to sound complacent. We are anything but and never will be. What I am stating is that we have clear insight into what we believe children of this age group need and benefit from. Whilst we do and always will review our provision we feel passionately that Windlesham has for a long time held on to certain values and we do our utmost to uphold each one of them. What we have actually done at the start of this calendar year is identify clearly what these values are and we are on a mission to promote them throughout the school community. I share with you what was said in my newsletter to parents after the start of term.
I am very excited to announce a new initiative to you all as we enter 2019. Last term a small group of staff were tasked with developing a more robust and tangible set of values and standards with which we could identify as a whole school. Whilst I resolutely believe that we work hard to maintain high standards in everything we do, it was felt that we needed to be clearer in what we represent as a school. What would we say to someone who didn’t know anything about Windlesham if they asked what our values were? What sort of child are we proud to ‘handover’ to their next school? What do the staff represent and what should the children expect from us? In turn, what do we expect from the children? As a result, and after plenty of work in the background, we have decided on the following:
WONDER. HAPPINESS. SPACE TO BE CHILDREN
I am CURIOUS I am COMMITTED
I CREATE I CONTRIBUTE
We CELEBRATE We CARE
The six sentences are the values we are now embedding throughout the school. We were keen that we didn’t just roll out a generic, tired list of typical attributes that didn’t necessarily identify us as Windlesham and I feel strongly that these do say who we are! Over the coming weeks, the children will start to see these values incorporated into our daily work and over time we hope they will become part of our language as a school. Going forward, you will start to see these values embedded in our culture and communicated using the strapline: Wonder. Happiness. Space to be children.