It’s great to be back for a new year at Churchill! In my start-of-term assembly for each of the Houses, I outlined some practical priorities: some of the key changes to the Academy site which will be taking place this year, and reminders about our expectations of behaviour and conduct.
At the start of the year, however, my most important priority was to take a longer and wider view, and to remind all students why were are here, and what we are trying to achieve together at Churchill.
Our purpose: to inspire and enable young people to make a positive difference
Churchill students working with young people at Rigoma Primary and Secondary School in Kenya, summer 2018 (source)
Our purpose at Churchill is “to inspire and enable young people to make a positive difference.” This can be at a personal level: we can all make a positive difference to ourselves, through the work we do to improve our knowledge, skills and character every day. We can also make a positive difference to others, through helping them when they are finding things difficult and making their experience of school better.
On a wider scale, we can all make a positive difference to the Academy community. This can be in simple, practical ways like keeping the site neat and tidy, but also in less obvious ways by contributing to our positive atmosphere: behaving kindly and respectfully; being ready and eager to learn; and supporting and encouraging one another in our efforts to improve.
Looking up still further, we know that all our young people can make a positive difference in the wider world, both during their time as students here but also after they have left us. Our hope is that, because of the education they have had here, Churchill students will go on to make the world a better place. This is a lofty ambition – but it is what motivates and guides us in the work we do every day.
Our vision: to set no limits on what we can achieve
Sports Day 2018
Our vision at Churchill is “to set no limits on what we can achieve.” Limits can be external, with other people telling you that “you’ll never be able to do X,” or “you’re only capable of Y.” We strive to avoid this kind of talk at Churchill, recognising that it is impossible to know someone’s true potential, and that effort and application make it far more likely that we will achieve our goals.
The limits we set ourselves can be far more challenging. We all have a voice inside ourselves that says “it’s too hard,” or “I’ll never be able to do it,” or “I can’t.” At Churchill we try hard to find an inner voice to talk back in, so that we can find a way to overcome those barriers we can set ourselves.
Our values: kindness, curiosity, determination
Our three values are based on the character strengths that underpin our vision and our purpose. Developing kindness, curiosity and determination will help us all to reach our goals. Each value reflects a different aspect of our character: kindness is a strength of the heart; curiosity is a strength of the mind; determination is a strength of the will.
At Churchill, we are kind to one another. This means that we are considerate and generous every day, caring for one another and doing everything we can to make sure everybody else has a good day at school. Kindness reinforces our shared sense of community; it builds trust and respect; and it ensures that we take our social responsibilities seriously.
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” (Amelia Earhart)
At Churchill, we are constantly curious and hungry for new learning. We value enquiring minds and a spirit of exploration. The desire to know or learn something new motivates us to try our hardest in everything we do.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled” (Plutarch)
At Churchill, we are persistent and relentless in the pursuit of our goals – both academic and personal. This determination to keep going when learning is difficult, and to come back and try again when we struggle, helps us to succeed.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” (Thomas Edison)
It is the interplay between our values, our vision and our purpose that enable us to achieve success. I’m looking forward, this year, to taking further strides towards our shared goals. As Henry Ford said, “if everyone is moving forward together, success takes care of itself.”