About Our School
School Aims and Ethos
The Aims of the School
- To maintain good discipline which is essential to every aspect of school life and, at the same time, to provide a welfare system that caters for the needs of each pupil.
- To promote the self-development and social skills of individual pupils.
- To develop and encourage the social integration of pupils within the school community.
- To help pupils develop independence, tolerance, confidence and sensitivity towards others.
- To develop pupils’ linguistic skills.
- To encourage pupils to respect the views of others and work together, constructively, to achieve common aims.
- To create awareness in pupils of those less fortunate e.g. in less economically developed countries.
- To develop fully the academic, artistic and physical talents of all pupils.
- To prepare pupils for adult life through responsibility and/or experience of work situations.
Parents are asked to recognise the value and importance of these aims and it is hoped that they will co-operate with the school in every way possible to ensure that they are achieved.
A Statement of the Ethos of The School
The warm, friendly and caring atmosphere of Down High School arises from the high value placed on relationships between pupils, staff and parents. Pupils have a very positive attitude towards school life, particularly appreciating their friendships as well as the support they receive from teachers who know and treat them as individuals. There is a tradition of high academic achievement in the school. Teachers have high expectations of pupils academically but also in terms of their social and moral development. This generates a culture of tolerance within which the spiritual life of pupils can thrive. There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities which offer opportunities to support the physical, intellectual and aesthetic development of the pupils.
A child-centred approach with many challenging goals and much personalised support is made possible by the wise and compassionate pastoral care which is greatly valued by Senior Management and Governors. Positive discipline based on a high trust philosophy means that when sanctions are necessary they are used in a manner which seeks to repair and develop relationships.
We celebrate the many talents and achievements of our pupils but we particularly value effort, commending it on a regular basis. Intelligence and ability are not regarded as fixed qualities – instead we believe that pupils’ endeavour in challenging tasks supported by the belief and expertise of their teachers can enable them to achieve that which they did not think possible. Pupils are encouraged to learn from their mistakes and to believe in their potential, thereby developing an enthusiastic attitude towards learning from which they will benefit throughout their lives.