Aims and Ethos
'Learning, Growing and Succeeding Together'.
The Downley School Vision:
To equip every child with the knowledge and self-belief to be happy
➢ To be resilient and face challenges
➢ To be inspired
➢ Appreciate diversity and embrace difference
➢ To be part of a community where they belong, take responsibility and contribute
➢ Know how to stay safe and healthy, both physically and mentally
➢ Be prepared
➢ Be independent
➢ Have a strong sense of right and wrong and act upon this
➢ Effectively communicate, seizing all opportunities
➢ Inclusive environment
➢ 21st century curriculum that is deep and rich
➢ Holistic approach
➢ Fun, exciting, kind, respectful
➢ Child centred
➢ High quality
➢ Learning and improving
➢ Bold and ambitious
➢ Life long
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our vision. All the children contributed to a time capsule to mark the occasion for future generations to share why we felt this was the vision for Children at the The Downley School.
Alongside our commitment to the vision of the School, we believe in being inclusive across all areas. Our curriculum is designed to be accessible to all. It embeds a rich, multi cultural approach through our work in SMSC, Values, RE and British Values. We look for opportunities to share knowledge and practice, including trips to places of worship, visitors invited to talk to us, participation in religious and traditional events e.g. pancake races, the festivals of Harvest, Diwali and Holi. We promote engagement with our community whenever possible to support a sense of belonging and support. We aspire to the 'One World, One Life, One Me' philosphy which is displayed in the hall to remind us of the fact that we are responsible for ourselves, we have one chance and we are part of the global community. We celebrate differences and promote tolerance. We are proud to share our building with children from Chiltern Wood School which enriches our education and shares values and learning. We have made links with schools beyond Bucks to ensure that we moderate our work within a national context.
Within safeguarding, we aim to protect all children from harm. We have robust systems that are regularly updated and tested to ensure compliance and understanding. Our Designated Safeguarding Lead is Ms Fiona Taylor (Headteacher); our Deputy Designated Lead is Mrs Carr (our Family Worker) and our Safeguarding Governor is Mr White. All staff support children and families and we also operate a mentor system where staff are allocated as mentors and may be mentoring a range of children at any one time. Children have access to the staff as and when they feel the need. Once a week, the pupils visit their mentor to touch base or talk about things that are important to them. We also have a Vulnerable Child Meeting every two weeks where the Family Worker and the SENDCo look together through all noted incidents of behaviour or reports of children that may need support which are held on our electronic system. These are followed up and the children may be given a mentor to help them at that time. Recently, some of our Year 6 pupils have received extensive training in how to be Peer Mentors and will be supporting younger children, under the guidance of Mrs Carr throughout the year.
Our curriculum is designed with children's well being, both physical and mental, at its core. Our belief is that happy, safe children will learn and thrive. We aim to provide a 21st century curriculum inside the school building and a curriculum for the 'whole child' within the school grounds and beyond. Children have a least one session learning outside the classroom every week, no matter the weather. We also have chickens, a volunteer reading dog that visits to support some of our pupils with their literacy skills and rare breed sheep. We will be looking to extend this range in the future as we believe it supports pupil well being and also provides a wider education beyond the classroom.