Values and Ethos
SCALA holds the view that educational practice needs to be rooted in a specific understanding of the nature and significance of the human person. Our understanding of the person is firmly based within the Christian tradition, but is one also held by other faiths. In essence, we believe that human beings are created in the image of God, and that their calling is to a life of fellowship with one another and with God. This understanding forms the root of a Christian school community.
This then leads to an emphasis on the spiritual dimension, thought of not as a particular aspect or faculty of a person but as a function of that whole person in relationship. This view of the human person leads us to a holistic view of education, in which personal growth and development are of equal significance alongside the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Valuing the person is at the heart of our commitment.
A key aspect of school leadership in this context is establishing and maintaining an ethos or school climate in which there is a genuine valuing and celebration of the person, based on respect for the unique, divine creation which each person is. Each school will be subtly different in the way in which it translates a Christian ethos into the actions and assumptions which govern its day to day life and work. The school chaplain has a significant role alongside (or within) the senior leadership team in establishing and maintaining the ethos of the school.
Leadership and Ethos
Studies of school leadership make clear the huge significance of the school leader as someone who, usually within a team context, establishes and develops the climate of the school by a clear focus on core values. SCALA works with heads, deputies, assistant heads and other leading staff to support and encourage values-based school leadership.
We believe that when school leaders hold a shared view of the sanctity of the human person, rooted in religious understanding, their school will provide a climate that supports and nurtures pupils of all backgrounds and talents towards the full development of their potential.
For further ideas on values and ethos in schools, see the National Society site: www.christianvalues4schools.co.uk.