Love, Contribution, Courage, Flourishing
These core values are the pillars on which our schools and nurseries are built. We call them our Foundation Stones.
We encourage everyone within the Foundation to love each other with integrity, openness and abundance and we embrace vulnerability to enable depth in our love for others. We acknowledge that we have a wider responsibility to one another to be the best version of ourselves, through rest and reflection, in order to fully show love in this way. Our mission is that all people within our community will feel valued, respected and loved.
We know that each person has something valuable to offer. With a sense of humility, we aim to contribute greatly to each other and more widely beyond our immediate community.
Everyone can show courage no matter how strong or weak they may feel. Our aim is ensure that each person knows they are accepted for who they are, and in turn will be guided to show courage to try new things, take risks and impact positive change.
Our desire is that our staff and pupils lead a full and fulfilled life, in which we flourish and reach our potential. Flourishing is the aim that anchors the values of love, courage and contribution. We deeply care about quality in our teaching, high standards, inclusion and the desire not to leave anyone behind. By sincerely loving others, enabling people to feel confident to be courageous and encouraging wider contribution beyond oneself, we believe every member of our community has the ability to flourish
How Our Values Are Lived Out
In her presentation to Dean Close School on Speech Day, Head of School, Katie, reflected on what the School’s values mean to her and her peers:
This morning we, the Upper Sixth, had our final chapel service. We belted out what I like to think of as our school anthem ‘In Christ Alone’ with impressive enthusiasm. It made me think of the journey we have made from the lip-syncing fourth formers to an Upper Sixth group confident to sing together out loud.
I guess that there are three main differences between us now and then:
We have built trust – some might say love - in those around us;
That trust gives us the courage - to let our voices be heard;
And we now have the desire to make a positive contribution.
Over the years we have built up trust in each other - we’ve got each other's backs and know we can rely on each other.
We saw this on Muck-up Day, a school leavers tradition where we “bend the school rules”. It is a perfect example of us feeling connected and comfortable together as year group, happy to let our guard down and not feel judged, to have a laugh at each other’s expense. For many of us this year, the most memorable aspect of the day was our re-interpretation of school uniform where the girls wore suits (more traditionally worn by the boys) and the boys wore skirts!
With the trust and support of our friends we have developed the courage to challenge ourselves.
This can clearly be seen by our participation in the ‘House Shout’ which for those of you who don’t know is a highly competitive inter-house singing competition. We only have to remember the sea shanty by the Upper Sixth boys from Tower House, which was bravely written and performed.
Moving away from the stage and onto the sports field we’ve seen the same theme of courage and stepping out of our comfort zone.
The girls’ 1st XI hockey team played superbly to get to the Tier 1 National Final. The game versus Repton was always going to be tough but under the strong leadership of their captain they fought bravely and made the opposition work hard for their victory.
In Public Speaking, pupils showed true courage speaking openly at the Cheltenham Education Partnership about the specific prejudice they have each faced which is NOT an easy thing to do.
The courage to take the first step onto that stage or field, and to put ourselves on the line, comes from the trust and support in those around us. We have needed this more than ever over the last couple of years. AND we’ve had the invaluable safety net of knowing that we could reach out to school staff if and when needed.
It is this courage and trust that has driven our desire to contribute to school life.
The incredible number of participants willing to take part in ‘The Disguised Decanian’, Dean Close’s very own version of the TV series, ‘The Masked Singer’ is a perfect example of this. I also wanted to mention Earth Day as an excellent example of us all contributing and coming together as a whole school community. Everyone entered into the spirit of the day with the main event being the Charity Colour Run. Runners dressed in white were targeted by spectators throwing handfuls of very brightly coloured powder paint. It made me smile for days after, every time I saw someone walking around at school with bright blue or pink or green in their hair or ears!
What you might not have appreciated is that these 3 attributes of love, courage and contribution are actually our school values.
They have been positively placed at the heart of our school journey and have shaped us as an Upper Sixth year group, given us the confidence to let our voices be heard.
These values combined, have enabled us to flourish during our time at Dean Close School, and are what should propel us onwards to face our new challenges as we leave the safe harbour of the Dean Close Community.