The York House Way: Mission statement, School & Pupil aims
York House

The York House Way: Mission statement, School & Pupil aims

York House

Mission Statement:

To inspire a love of learning by developing confident, self-reliant pupils, in a caring, well-disciplined, positive stimulating and safe environment

School Aims:

To educate the pupils to the highest academic standards and achieve Senior School results that compare favourably with competitors

To offer a quality of experience in outdoor education, art, sport, music, drama and all other aspects of our co-curriculum

To develop positivity of outlook, leadership and self-reliance in all our pupils through successful and caring relationships and rewards

The York House Way

The York House Way is very much the basis and foundation of our pastoral care and a positive source of self-belief, confidence and motivation in terms of pupils' academic studies. It is all about focusing on the person, building positive, resilient, respectful, responsible, passionate, empathetic young men and women. This is achieved by instilling important values intending to put them in the best possible place to reach their potential, not only in their studies and extra-curricular activities but in preparing them for their next stages of life and the many varying situations that they will encounter. As we contemplate a future world for our children full of opportunities, but also plenty of challenges and uncertainties, it is these qualities, not just a robust set of exam results, that will give our pupils the best chance of success. We set the students clear goals to aspire to which come in three main principles or pupils aims and call this commitment to personal development "The York House Way".

These aims have been learned from an extraordinary man called John Ridgway who had time, as he rowed across the Atlantic in 1966, to refine his thoughts.

Positive Outlook - look up at a lofty mountain, expect to be stood on the top later and you almost certainly will be. The opposite is also true!

Self-Reliance - do your own laces up. Pack your own bag, Make your own bed. The best end of this is that those who have real self-reliance have capacity left to help others - now that is one route to a happy life. 

Leaving People and Places Better Than When You Found Them - If you are feeling cold and wet on the mountain look around you, identify someone worse off than yourself, and concentrate on cheering them up. It's the beginning of leadership, and you'll forget your own feelings. 

We have created themes from each of these pupils' aims aligned with memorable quotes from speakers we have welcomed to assemblies and speech days in the past. These allow us to really target and focus on each aspect of the York House Way more specifically with greater effect. We use these to guide our assemblies, house days, PSHE, and tutor times but also focus on specific themes termly so that teachers can reinforce through their lessons and around the school by encouraging and celebrating this behaviour. 

Positive Outlook Themes:

•             I understand my emotions   "take a meta moment."

•             I give of my best "don't just try...TRYYYYY!"

•             I take opportunities  "what's stopping you?"

•             I am adaptable  “accept and adapt”

•             I show resilience. "the power of YET."

Self-Reliance Themes

•             I love knowing things “knowledge is power”

•             I make the most of the power of practice “practice makes progress”

•             I use innovative strategies to solve problems “whatever you do be creative”

•             I communicate effectively “use your words wisely”

•             I use technology safely and wisely “finding the balance”

Leaving People and Place Better Themes

•             I am always kind “be an upstander, not a bystander”

•             I am polite and well mannered “manners matter”

•             I am a collaborator and a team player “teamwork makes the dreamwork”

•             I can be a leader when I need to be “leaders eat last”

•             I take care of my environment “think globally, act locally”

The York House Way is a vital part of the fabric of school life. Children are encouraged to develop character and learning habits in their lessons, with our broad and balanced curriculum carefully designed to provide countless opportunities for personal and academic development. We have an extraordinary range of co-curricular activities, making use of our extensive facilities and outdoor learning areas to broaden pupils' opportunities and further develop their skills and passions. In addition to this, we have created a programme of wonderful residential trips, from Yr 3 onwards, culminating in the Yr 8 Scotland Trip and the famous "survival Island". Pupils are encouraged to be reflective, with our teaching staff always looking for opportunities to help them reflect, develop and grow. In their time at York House, every child will take their journey along The York House Way. It is our role to ensure that the journey is a successful one and a happy one. 

Our belief is that the way we are doing things here is something just a little different from the mainstream by identifying these concepts as our primary pupil aims. But probably the most crucial, single purpose is to create a culture and to share a common language based around the York House Way. It is now embedded in what we say, what we write, hashtag and tweet, it is what we do, it is essentially who we are. It drives our curriculum and pastoral decisions and provides clear outcomes for co-curricular activities. It is a phrase that now embodies the school, its staff and its pupils; it is a phrase that now defines York House.