When looking for schools we advise parents to understand the ethos which shapes the pupil’s school experience. At Longacre, we call this ‘The Longacre Way’. A simple set of seven choices which we all make as a community to make sure that school is an inspiring, happy and fulfilling place for every child.
The Longacre Way is the subject for the first assembly of every single term, is written at the beginning of every pupil diary and the end of every parent calendar, is pinned to the wall of every classroom and is evident each day in lesson and break time alike. The signpost outside the main school building, passed multiple times a day by every member of the school community, points the Longacre Way. It is something that the children know off by heart and which means a great deal to all of us, young and old alike.
At Longacre, we choose:
- To treat others as we would like to be treated
- To be honest
- To listen
- To do our best to be our best
- To share
- To be kind and helpful
- To be forgiving
There is no such thing as a perfect school, nor is there any child who has gone through an entire school career without hitting a bump in the road at some point. It is in those moments when one really sees a school’s priorities and its values. For children, there must be balance between freedom and structure, challenge and success, childlike naivety and growing maturity. A school with strong values will strike the right balance, and help its pupils to do the same.
As parents, sometimes you will need the school to flex to your individual circumstances. Sometimes you will want them to use the benefit of their experience and take some of the responsibility for decisions off your shoulders. Tempting as it is to reach for league tables, average public exam results, destination lists or any other seemingly objective metric, actually the best insight into a school’s qualities comes from an understanding of how it is proactive, or responsive, in moments of need. As so often in life, these are judgement calls. As parents, school choice very often comes down to whether you trust the school’s judgement – that of the Head, the teachers, your child’s tutor.
Like the Longacre Way, the school’s motto comes directly from ‘Chum’, the founder of Longacre who started this incredible school in 1946 and was Head for four decades. The motto is ‘A happy heart goes all the way’ and this is a belief that we hold dear – central to everything we do for children, staff and parents.
How do we make the happy hearts who skip into school each day? How do we give children confidence, rekindle a lost spark or nurture a burgeoning talent? How do we celebrate the unalloyed joy of the primary years and build the success of Longacre? By following the Longacre Way, of course!