Our Ethos - Caring, Supporting and Encouraging

We respect children and we respect the experience of childhood and young adulthood. Our staff are sensitive to the demands and difficulties of the journey which secondary school involves from being a child of 11 to a young adult of 18.

    We listen and try to empathise. Wherever possible if a student is experiencing personal, social or emotional difficulties we try to get to the root cause and provide the support and encouragement the student needs to transcend the problem.


    I think Highcliffe is a brilliant school because they care for you and respect you. A Highcliffe Student


    We strongly promote positive attitudes and celebrate success, believing that encouragement has more influence over a person than any other factor. Responding to feedback from students and  staff, from September 2015 we have a Rewards Policy in place for all Year 7 to 13 students based on the accumulation of Commendation Points and leading up to annual Awards Ceremonies.


    Commendations are awarded for many reasons, but all have in common the goal of encouraging students to be tolerant, open-minded, respectful of their education and each other; highly self-motivated; skilled at independent study; emotionally robust in the face of the challenges learning often presents; and to accept their share of the responsibility for their education.


    Commendations really motivate me to do my best. I like it when the teachers praise me for doing really well, especially if I found something difficult at first. Commendations help me know Im doing everything right towards my GCSEs. My parents like being able to see my Commendations on MyHighcliffe as I get them. A Highcliffe Year 9 Student


    We promote these attributes by celebrating these behaviours and successes with each student on a daily basis. For example, Commendations are awarded daily not only for excellent work or for making good progress academically, but also for persisting with a problem until it is solved, making a breakthrough in learning, participating enthusiastically in class or helping other students learn much more.


    Students are adamant that they feel safe and are well supported in school. - Ofsted


    We have an extensive network of staff whose focus is primarily the care, support and guidance of students. In every Year Group the main pastoral staff member is known as the Pastoral Lead. Pastoral Leads are non-teaching staff with years of experience and specialist training in working with young people. Using non-teaching staff for the bulk of our pastoral care means students and parents have quicker access to support than if relying on a teacher who may be teaching for most of the day. Pastoral Leads monitor all students but work more closely with individuals experiencing problems or exhibiting poor behaviour. In addition, students can be referred to additional specialist staff within school for more serious or persistent needs. These include an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) who offers one-to-one and group support, an Academic Tutor who helps students with non-SEN related barriers to learning, an in-school careers advisor and, where appropriate, the SEN team. Each Year Group also consists of Form Tutors from the teaching staff and a Head of Achievement. The Head of Achievement leads and co-ordinates the care, support and guidance offered by their Year Team.


    Students really appreciate the peer mentoring programme. Ofsted


    Students also benefit from advice and guidance given by other students. Volunteer Year 10 students are trained as Peer Mentors for Year 7s while Sixth Form students undertake a wide variety of one-to-one mentoring for academic matters ranging from additional literacy or numeracy support, to specific subject support e.g. in Science, to help with revision or study skills. Their work is co-ordinated by the Academic Tutor.


    Teachers create a very positive learning environment and there is clear respect between students and staff. Ofsted


    There are very clear boundaries about acceptable behaviour. At the heart of those boundaries is the belief that education is something to be respected and valued by every student, and that no student has the right to disrupt the education of any other student, or mistreat them, or mistreat members of staff or school resources.








    Owned by: APS | Last Published: 04/10/2017 15:55:58 | Next Update: As Required


Our Ethos - Caring, Supporting and Encouraging


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