“The best schools have an ‘ethos’ that includes the head, the whole staff, the governors, the children, the parents and their families.”
At Bury Catholic Preparatory School, the community is the key to success. Ultimately, it is all that really matters; we align ourselves wholeheartedly and unreservedly, not only to the demands of the curriculum and the uncompromised determination to continually improve, but more importantly, to each other. Family, and mutual support, across the whole school community, is at our very core. We firmly believe that the only way a school can improve in a sustainable way is if all its teachers, leaders, staff, children, parents and governors are working together with a common goal.
PAUSE FOR THOUGHT
An oft-forgotten word, but the one which lies at the very centre of this article is the school’s ‘ethos’. The education system seems to have lost sight of this concept in recent years in the inadvertent rush for educational establishments to become ‘robot schools’, achieving the data and results demanded from on high. Schools need to stop and think about their core aim. Do they put the children at the very centre of all they do, or have they become peripheral? Are the staff the lifeblood of the school? Do they fulfil a vocation, or simply complete a job, dutifully following directives from above? Are parents and governors truly involved, or kept at arm’s length?
The well-established, proven and treasured ethos which pervades BCPS has its roots firmly planted in teamwork; the entire school family working together and recognising the role they each play and the strengths they bring. There is no place for hierarchy or ego – everyone involved must have their voice heard, everyone must be nurtured.
When the whole school family has a common goal and common ethos, you know it the moment you walk through the school gates. Each and every member of staff, every pupil, every parent, every grandparent, presents a confidence in the school, because they know their opinion is valued, and they believe collectively in the school’s direction of travel. Everyone is invested; everyone is a part of the intricately woven, wonderfully embroidered fabric of the school environment. Of course, the leadership function is crucial in the process. The head teacher, the governors, must believe in, and promote this ethos to their staff, their families, to the local community and beyond. It must be central to every aspect of their roles and responsibilities. In short, they must live it and love it.
We are proud beyond measure that this is the case at Bury Catholic Preparatory School. Indeed, any and every opportunity is used to reinforce this ethos, to instil the school’s philosophy to our pupils. When a school achieves a strong ethos it is far more important than meaningless data. It means – and this is crucial – that the school and its team really care about the children in their care.
Our pupils surely live the school’s ethos; they want to be proud of the school they attend. And the impact of the ethos on their learning is beyond doubt. BCPS is filled with happy, contented, enthusiastic children, all of whom are comfortable and confident to be guided and taught, to make mistakes, to pick themselves up, to grow, to succeed and to flourish. Our boys and girls thrive, safe in the knowledge that they are wrapped in the love of the whole school community.