Our School Vision and Mission, is to be:
A family of God,
living life in all its fullness
~ playing, learning and growing, together.
Core values: Friendship, Courage & Respect
We have worked together as a school community to shape the vision for our school and to identify the shared values which are key to us at St Aelred’s. Our vision and values inform how we treat one another and run our school day-to-day; guide our decision making; underpin our policies; and are a touchstone to remind us of our ambition for our school community and most importantly the children in our care.
Our vision and values are an expression of the aspirations, beliefs, views and approaches which characterise our school and give St Aelred’s its distinctiveness.
A family of God…
We are a community of school, home and parish and as a Catholic school, we see our community as part of God’s family. As a family we are inclusive and nurturing; we are accepting – all are welcome here; we work in partnership; we are ambitious for one another and we share in one another’s successes as well as support each other through hardship; we have high levels of trust.
As a Catholic school we carry out the Bishop of Middlesbrough's vision, 'to make God known and loved', in every aspect of school life, whether this is through the energy we put in to providing the best teaching and learning for each pupil, the quality of our pastoral care, helping pupils, staff and families grow closer to God, our approach to behaviour and reconciliation, the respect we show for one another, or putting our faith into action either within our community or by connecting globally in prayer or charitable work.
At St Aelred’s, children experience warmth and acceptance with high expectations - the sort of safe and supportive environment that builds self-esteem, confidence, independence, positive relationships, and resilience. At St Aelred’s, children learn compassion by being cared for and build self-worth by being known and valued. As in a family, children are encouraged to be themselves, develop their personalities, their talents and their interests.
…living life in all its fullness…
I have come in order that you might have life - life in all its fullness. (John 10:10)
Learning at primary school is not simply a preparation for life or the next stage of education; it is life itself - seven years of a child’s life. Therefore, we want children to enjoy being at school and it is good to see children coming into St Aelred’s – happy to be here each day! Our curriculum provides rich experiences to enable children to develop as rounded individuals – developing academically, socially, morally, spiritually, culturally and physically. As a Catholic school, we provide children with opportunity to consider their beliefs, develop a faith life, and to grow closer to God. For adults working in school, we want their time at work to be a valuable and satisfying part of their lives where they continue to develop their practice and perform their best for the good of the children and families we serve.
At St Aelred’s, we recognise that ‘life in all its fullness’ includes both the joys and challenges of life. Through building positive relationships with children and parents, working in partnership with families and outside agencies, and through a curriculum that supports children’s safety, health, wellbeing and resilience, we help children and their families at key times in their lives.
We recognise that providing an excellent education helps children to lead fulfilling lives.
… - playing, learning and growing, together
Playing is essential for memorable and effective learning - exploring is a key way of finding out. Play is important to children in building their friendships and learning how to manage themselves and their relationships with their peers. At St Aelred’s we consider that it is important that we have fun as a school community and so events, trips and celebrations are a part of our school life – building happy memories. From play in the Early Years, we seek to retain creativity, problem solving and active learning as children move through school, keeping children positive and engaged.
Learning is key to our core purpose as a school and our aspiration for children - and our staff. We are ambitious for our children that they develop a love of learning; are curious and excited to discover new knowledge and skills; that they develop confidence in their growing understanding and capabilities; that they are willing to ‘have a go’ and take risks; that they are imaginative and creative; and that they progress and achieve success.
Growing indicates the rounded nature of primary education at St Aelred’s and our desire for the children to grow and develop in all ways – physically becoming more skilled and adept; growing in wisdom; developing qualities such as empathy; becoming more culturally aware. We want our children to thrive and flourish.
The word, together, brings us back to that sense of family and community – we learn from and with each other; we learn and achieve more successfully, together.
Our core values
Friendship Friendship characterises the love we show one another in our school community: working in partnership; cooperating and helping each other; enjoying being together; valuing and serving one another. Friendship is of vital importance to the children and learning about how to be good friends is an important foundation for their relationships as they grow. Jesus chose to have friends at his side as he set out to do God’s work and we too need friends with us to help us achieve our best.
Our patron saint – St Aelred of Rievaulx - whose book On Spiritual Friendship is considered to be his greatest work, guides us to be true friends with one another.
We show friendship to others in our local community through the links we have with organisations such a Glen Lodge; and friendship with others across the globe through our support of charities such as Mission Together and CAFOD.
Courage As a school we are ambitious for our children and have high aspirations for our school. We have courage to take difficult decisions; to do what we know to be right – which may not always be the easy option; to take risks in learning; to keep going through difficult times. Courage leads us to other virtues such as telling the truth, apologising, and standing up for one another. At St Aelred’s, we also seek to give children the courage to ‘be themselves’.
At St Aelred’s, we treat one another as we ourselves would like to be treated. We seek to be kind, courteous and patient; to be open-minded; to have acceptance and understanding of others; to celebrate diversity; to have reverence for creation and the environment – being stewards for the planet we have been gifted. Showing respect is so important to us, it is one of our school rules: