As a school we pride ourselves in being led by our values.
Our mission statement aims to sum these up:
We nurture self-confident, healthy, creative and inquiring people. Our students work collaboratively with us to prepare for fulfilling lives as world citizens.
We have developed a series of statements which reflect our values. The whole School community – students, parents and carers, staff and governors voted for these.
Be Creative. All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have a lesson of Music, Art, and Drama each week. They study Dance as a unit in PE. At Key Stage 4, students can take up these subjects at GCSE level. Dance GCSE is offered in place of Core PE. We have a wide range of extra-curricular activities associated with the arts. These are celebrated through our annual highly inclusive Dance Show; music concerts featuring the orchestra, choirs and rock and jazz bands; and small group and whole school drama productions. Students are offered frequent visits to the theatre and to art exhibitions.
This year, we are working towards our Gold Artsmark award. The Artsmark journey is designed to help us develop links between the disciplines of Art, Dance, Drama and Music, and celebrate more widely the high quality of work which is seen in lessons and in the extra-curricular offer. Click here to learn more about Artsmark.
Creativity is about more than just the arts, of course. We celebrate our students’ creativity though all areas of the School, and encourage our staff to be creative and imaginative in their teaching.
Respect each other. Respect and acceptance are key to how we treat each other here. Visitors to the School frequently remark on the friendly but mutually respectful relationships between staff and students. We have high expectations around politeness. Students are expected to respect each others’ points of view and positions and to be empathetic towards each other. We use restorative justice techniques, where we can, to resolve difficulties. Our students are taught to be accepting of each other. This means that we are usually able to treat each other with kindness and to be inclusive in our outlook.
Recently, we have joined the Schools of Sanctuary initiative. Schools of Sanctuary is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the good practice of schools who welcome asylum seeking and refugee families into their School community and foster a culture of welcome and inclusion for all. A School of Sanctuary is a School that helps its students, staff and wider community understand what it means to be seeking sanctuary and to extend a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the School community. It is a School that is proud to be a place of safety and inclusion for all.
In order to support our application to become a School of Sanctuary we are extending and developing our current practice by collaborating with a number of ventures to educate our community. We are working with the charity ‘New Routes’ to train our staff in New Communities Awareness, covering topics such as migration categories, the global, national and local situations for refugees, the UK asylum system, and entitlements for asylum seekers in the UK. This training will enable our students to learn more about these issues through assemblies, PSHE and Citizenship. The ‘Friendship Project’ will see local artists working with Year 8 students to raise awareness, understanding and support of forced migrants coming to live in the UK, through the arts and story sharing.
Be heard. We are extremely keen for our students to have a say in how their School is run. SAFE (Student Association of Framingham Earl) is our vibrant student council. The group meets regularly to bring forward thoughts and ideas from each Form Group for discussion. We often have things we want to discuss with them, as well. SAFE have a budget at their disposal, to spend on things which will enhance their life in School. Our extensive Student Leadership and Volunteering programmes also ensure our students play a huge part in the School and the wider community.
As well has having their say through SAFE, our students are encouraged to learn about Democracy through their Citizenship lessons and to exercise it through regular elections. SAFE are themselves democratically elected and we also conduct referenda over particular issues. All students are eligible to be placed on the electoral role when they join us. In 2016 we were one of only eighteen schools nationwide who were given the new Discovering Democracy Award in recognition of our work in this area. Click here to learn more about the Discovering Democracy Award.
Enjoy and Achieve Our students achieve well in terms of GCSE results, and we strive always to ensure the best outcomes for every child. Our families tell us – and we agree – that they do not want us to be an ‘exams factory’. They want us to maintain a broad curriculum and for students to be able to study the things they really enjoy, as well as those they may not like as much. We want our young people to enjoy all their studies! We are passionate about finding the best teachers, about having specialists who love their subjects and will inspire the students and about constantly refreshing our teachers’ knowledge and skills. We want our classrooms to be lively, thoughtful and engaging places where students discuss, experiment and explore.
Our teaching is informed by our association with the Learning Without Limits network at Cambridge University. This underpins our core belief that ‘Anything’s Possible’. At its heart, Learning Without Limits asserts that young people do not have a fixed ability; it’s the work of everyone involved with them to find the keys to create capacity for learning in each child. This is why we try to talk about a student’s ‘attainment’ – what they can currently do – rather than their ‘ability’ – which implies there is a ceiling to what they can achieve.
Achievement is about much more than academic work. We offer a very wide range of extra-curricular activities and encourage all students to engage fully in this wider life of the School. Under the ‘Student Life’ tab you can find more information about FramExtra, our regular enrichment programme of extra-curricular activities, including sports and the expressive arts. You can click here to access our current FramExtra booklet.
Dream Big. We encourage all our students to have big ambitions and to aim for the sky. We keep in touch with our ex-students through our Alumni network. Alumni often come back into school to talk to students about their stories and achievements and to give advice about careers.
Are you an ex-student? Click here to learn more about and to join Futures First, our Alumni network, and you will receive regular information and invitations.
Be Positive. A positive outlook underpins our School life. Although life can get tough for many young people, we believe that, with holistic support at school and strong relationships with parents and carers, they can usually bounce back.
The whole School is informed by our work with the Nurture Group Network. As well as running a Nurture Group for students who might need extra help to be ready for the main school, we try to ensure that the principles of Nurture underpin everything we do. We want every classroom to be a nurturing space and for the principles to inform all our teaching. Click here to find out more about our Nurture Group, the Dragons, and here to learn about the Nurture Group Network.
We hope that our work in this area will be recognised through attaining the Marjorie Boxall Quality Mark next year and we are working towards achieving the Nurturing School Award – a two-year project. You can learn more about some of our support for families and students by clicking here.
It is our profound belief that…