Vision, Values & Ethos


The Appleton School is committed to ‘Achieving Excellence’ together; providing an ordered, inclusive and stimulating learning environment in which all students are encouraged to achieve at their highest level. It is determined that all students should be valued through the provision of a broad, relevant, balanced and challenging curriculum properly catering for individual needs. Such valuing is encouraged within an atmosphere of mutual respect amongst all those involved in the learning process. The school recognises its role within the broader community. It identifies learning as a lifelong process and values the contribution made by parents and others to the creation of a partnership. Within this partnership, and through the learning programme, students will develop skills, attitudes and values that properly prepare them to accept the challenges and responsibilities of adult life.


Principle Values

Our values help us towards our vision of ‘Achieving Excellence’ together and help students develop essential qualities and behaviours that promote responsible and respectful citizenship, as well as personal and social growth

  • Respect: Recognise the value we all give to society. Recognise we are all different from one another and deserve respect. Care for our immediate and wider environment
  • Resilience: Embrace the opportunity to face challenges. Value the chance to learn and grow from both our successes and mistakes. Adapt to change and manage stress to overcome set-backs
  • Community: Commit to making a positive contribution to our Appleton Family. Value and connect with our diverse community with purpose and pride
  • Aspiration: Commit to ambitious individual goals and have high expectations. Demonstrate motivation to thrive in all areas of our lives

In more detail, the guiding values and ethos of the school influence all decisions that are made by staff regarding the learning that takes place and the contribution we make to each student's personal and social development. For ease of reading, they can be divided into three sections:

Aims Relating to Learning

To provide a broad, balanced, relevant, stimulating and ambitious curriculum to which all students enjoy equal access, through:

  • Provision of appropriate subjects at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5
  • The meeting of National Curriculum demands
  • Schemes of learning which fully articulate necessary knowledge and the development of appropriate skills, concepts and attitudes
  • Organisation of learning which appropriately provides for the needs of all students

To encourage students to develop a sense of their own potential and strive for excellence through positive approaches to learning, its assessment and the most effective use of available resources, through:

  • The promotion of effective teaching in all classes and all subjects
  • The implementation of a wide range of teaching and learning styles to accommodate all needs
  • The determination of individual target levels of performance against which each student can measure performance
  • The setting of learning targets to inform further progress
  • The support of learning strategies with appropriate resources

To provide opportunities for students to acquire skills they will need to become independent learners, through:

  • Students taking responsibility for their own learning encouraged through the effective application of information and communications technology across skill based courses and within all schemes of work
  • The development of skills associated with research and information retrieval
  • Ensuring access for all students to the learning resource centre both within schemes of work and as an extra-curricular activity
  • A homework policy which encourages students to develop a variety of skills and engages them in a range of tasks

To create equality of opportunity and entitlement for all and to strive to ensure that each individual, irrespective of background and ability, takes maximum advantage of such entitlement, through:

  • Appropriate in-class support structures to enhance learning for individual students
  • Policies which make clear the school's stance against bullying and any form of prejudice
  • Testing regimes which help to identify individual need
  • Teaching programmes which build on previous student knowledge, skills and experiences

To ensure continuity and progression both within school and across phases of education, through:

  • Effective liaison programmes with contributing primary schools
  • The integration of enterprise activity into our learning programmes providing a relevant and business focus that will help to smooth the path between school and the needs of the work environment beyond school
  • Productive partnership with Employers, Apprenticeship as well as Higher and Further Education providers
  • Comprehensive programmes for careers education
  • Internal structures which facilitate curriculum progression through Key Stage 3, 4 and 5

Aims Related to Personal Development

To ensure ample opportunities to develop appropriate attitudes in order that students might accept responsibility for their own behaviour, through:

  • Maintaining a sense of order and discipline in all learning environments
  • The sharing of explicit requirements with regard to behaviour
  • Providing opportunities for all students to demonstrate responsible attitudes towards others

To actively encourage, and provide opportunities for, the development of self-discipline and self-responsibility, through:

  • Constant reinforcement of these principles in assembly
  • Values developed and activities organised within tutorial time
  • Students encouraged to hold positions of responsibility

To encourage a co-operative approach to learning, living and working together in the school community, through:

  • Opportunities for pair and group work within all subject schemes of work
  • The encouragement of student involvement in planned sporting and musical activities
  • The provision of extra-curricular club activities, enrichment and visits
  • The valuing of the status of the tutor group within the school community
  • The support of the Student Council and Sixth Form Council as well as the Student and Sixth Form Leadership Team

To actively encourage the development of student self-esteem and critical self-awareness and to maximise student enjoyment of, and autonomy in, the learning process, through:

  • All areas of the curriculum making explicit the responsibilities of the student within the learning process
  • The encouragement of active learning methodologies
  • Appropriate programmes of study within CAPE - Personal and Social Education and Citizenship
  • Opportunities taken in all subject areas to celebrate student work through appropriate display in classrooms and public areas
  • Students being provided with the skills to assess their own performance and review progress

The achievement of all staff through a commitment to staff development, through:

  • Performance management policies as an entitlement for all staff
  • Acknowledgement of the importance of continuous professional development
  • The engagement of staff in all decisions relating to staff development

Aims related to the Wider Community

To develop in students those social, creative and critical skills which will help them relate to other people and make sense of broad issues affecting society at large, through:

  • Ensuring a curriculum which is relevant and considers issues impacting on our current society

To promote an active partnership in the learning process among students, parents, teachers, governors and the local community, and to foster mutual respect amongst all members of that partnership, through:

  • Ensuring the contract with parents actively encourages dialogue and enhances the learning process
  • Providing extended curriculum opportunities for students across the curriculum through further development of out of hours learning and extending partnership activity with local industry and business
  • Engaging fully with the Governing Body thus ensuring a sharing of aims and a constructive involvement in the life of the school
  • Enabling students to attend with parents consultatives and other interviews to discuss progress
  • Responding positively to any concerns expressed by members of the local community and to invite local people to attend functions at the school

To create an environment which is conducive to the school being identified as a community resource, through:

  • Ensuring that the community can access school facilities through the lettings programme
  • The development of a football academy in partnership with Ipswich Town FC
  • The effective management of dual use agreements

To encourage respect for, and enjoyment of, the environment both within the school and the wider community, through:

  • Actively encouraging students to take pride in the appearance of the building and the grounds
  • Involving students in issues relating to the environment.