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Our Purpose and Values

East Barnet School > About > Our Purpose and Values

Our Purpose and Values

The school’s purpose is to develop students to be life-long learners who excel academically and to develop the whole person by building their character.

This is achieved by through our values, “I want to learn” and “Do the right thing”.

"I want to learn"

With respect to “I want to learn”, we know that intrinsic motivation is one of the most important factors for achieving success in education. In addition, we value a growth mindset and hard work. Psychologist Professor Carol Dweck coined the term ‘Growth Mindset’ when she researched how people’s underlying beliefs about themselves and their abilities can affect their lives. People with a growth mindset believe that if they’re not as good as they would like to be at something, they can work at it and improve. Set-backs are re-framed as new challenges to overcome, and failure can be used as a springboard to bigger and better things. Whereas people with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence and abilities are fixed, something that you are either born with or without. A growth mindset is the belief that your skills and abilities are not set in stone. Just as mighty oaks grow from tiny acorns, our talents might start small, but they have the potential to grow huge. You need to work hard if you want to be successful and we help students to see that.

"Do the right thing"

Academic success is not our only focus. We develop students’ character by focusing in on their social, emotional and mental health. We build students’ resilience providing them with opportunities like ‘iHeart’ and ‘Mindfulness’. We have a Student Hub to support their emotional needs, which is equipped with a ‘Sensory Room’ and visiting rabbits, which act as therapy animals, and our latest edition; Percy the school dog! We focus on “Do the right thing” and are intentional about ‘kindness, integrity and respect’ which forms the basis of our commitment to help students develop into responsible young people, who can make a positive contribution to society. We remind them to “respect yourself, others and your environment”, we are insistent on kindness and we know that great people do the right thing when no-one is looking, and they do what they say they will do, hence why integrity is so important to us.

The spiritual development of students is shown by their:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values;
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them;
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning;
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences.

The moral development of students is shown by their:

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily applying this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions;
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.

The social development of students is shown by their:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with students from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds;
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, co-operating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively;
  • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; the students develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

The cultural development of students is shown by their:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others;
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain;
  • knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain;
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities;
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

Our Continued Values

The promotion of the values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs permeate the work of the school.

A selection of students and the Headteacher planting a tree for the The Queen's Green Canopy. The students are holding a purple Queen's Platinum Jubilee flag.

As a culturally diverse school, we recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. We follow equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group. Our curriculum and extra-curricular activities prepare children for life in British Society; this includes developing the skills they need, particularly reading and writing skills; understanding personal finance and career pathways; collaboration and discussion to research ideas and concepts.

At East Barnet School the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced through the curriculum and beyond. Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Student Leadership programme and student questionnaires. We know that the active participation of our students in the election of representatives will sow the seeds for a greater understanding of democracy in the future. Through the work of the school, students understand that the rules and laws that govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.

Students in the audience at East Barnet School watching a talk by BBC Share My Story for their 100th anniversary.

A Safe Environment

Students are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws; that they govern and protect us; the responsibilities that this involves; and the consequences when laws are broken.

We allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, magistrates, local representatives of different faiths, Holocaust survivors and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real-life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our students. We see value in investing in the creation of a positive culture in our school, so that students are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged.

At East Barnet School we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the students embark upon their adult lives. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and balance this against their responsibility as citizens in the wider community.

Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with respect. Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. In line with our commitment to democracy, students are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where students are safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum and assemblies. The peer mentoring programme promotes mutual respect and support between students across different year groups within the school.

In Conclusion

East Barnet School is a culturally diverse school. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate kindness, integrity and respect, and help students to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain. This statement should be read in conjunction with the Child Protection Policy, which is, in part informed by the Prevent Strategy in equipping staff to identify signs of extremism and radicalisation and to take appropriate action to safeguard students.