Ethos & Public Benefit Report
Staff and pupils are ambitious and seek to maximise potential in one another. We aim to engender an enduring thirst for learning and a sense of well-being, and all members of the school community are encouraged to extend themselves beyond their immediate interests and perceived capabilities. Doing one’s best is uppermost and perseverance is very important in achieving our goals. Reflection is ongoing and the genuine belief that we can all be better drives us on.
We aim to provide breadth of opportunity and inspire depth of achievement. Learning takes place in and out of the classroom, at home and abroad, and staff and pupils are encouraged to balance over 450 years of tradition with innovation and creativity. New opportunities are welcomed and embraced and all are encouraged to take risks and to learn from failure. The curriculum and co-curriculum are of equal importance and learning for learning’s sake is a priority. Intelligence takes many forms and the acquisition of experience, knowledge and skills, whether academic or not and whether tested or not, is very important. Education is holistic and independent thought, exploration and fun are essential.
Christian in our foundation, we welcome boys and girls of all faiths into a supportive and caring environment. We aim to prepare them for adult life as happy, charitable, confident and intelligent people and all come to understand the value of a strong moral compass and global perspective. Pupils learn the importance of winning with humility and losing with dignity, and individuality and inclusively permeate all areas of school life. Leadership skills are uncovered and developed and pupils lead with pride, compassion and integrity. Happiness and success are recognised as inextricably linked and all members of the school community are jointly responsible for pastoral care. Looking beyond the school gates, all Old Silhillians belong to a life-long community regardless of distance or the passage of time and are actively encouraged to remain engaged with the school forever.
It is important that pupils should be aware that they are part of a community in the school. That community will do all it can to support the pupils, but in return pupils have to be aware that they, too, have a responsibility for the school and its reputation. Therefore, they need to be conscious that their behaviour has an impact on the impression that the school makes on the outside world.
As a reflection of this, Mr Henry Hitchens, Headmaster between 1947 and 1963, introduced The Rule, which still stands:
'Pupils show a very well-developed understanding and appreciation for the non-material aspects of life.'
It is particularly important that pupils should maintain a high standard of behaviour when they are under the school’s authority, which is:
- Throughout the school day, whether on or off the premises;
- Whenever he or she is involved with any activity organised by the school;
- Whenever he or she is identifiable as a member of the school.