I talk a lot about Ethos and Culture and I think we, at Windmill, get this ‘right’. But what does ‘right’ mean? We all know that these words are important and we do very deliberately try to work on these in school development plans etc. I am increasingly proud of the fact that we are not a ‘short-term initiative’ school; decisions are considered and thought through to ensure that there is longevity and sustainability. We stick to our view (The Windmill view) that our curriculum should have (and only have) a child-centred approach. We must offer our children what they deserve; opportunities, enrichment, chances to be creative…chances to SUCCEED for everybody.
Back to the Ethos and Culture that I believe defines us. Simply put, our Ethos is what we are here for; our spirit and overall character. The Culture, I guess, is the way we do things here. The Windmill Way. Our Ethos is what makes us proudly unique and sticks us together as a team. It has often been said to me (from many many visitors) that there is a special ‘feel’ in our school. Not necessarily quantifiable or even tangible, but there is a ‘feel’ about the place that stands us out; a togetherness and overall happiness from all involved – children and staff.
Even though we perhaps can’t define the Ethos, it’s the thing that I want people to feel from the moment they walk into our school until the moment they leave. Children, staff, parents, visitors…
As I said above, the Ethos and Culture demonstrate and prove (for the right reasons) that we have a collective understanding of what we do, the reasons we do it and what our overall goal is.
Personally I am absolutely driven by my belief in working in a school-system that isn’t driven by Ofsted; where accountability and being held to account is healthy, developmental and non-threatening; where our children and our community are at the forefront of every decision we make; where staff feel trusted and empowered to make decisions for the right reasons; ultimately, where people are happy to be a part of Team Windmill and all that it involves. This is where our Ethos comes from.
I’m regularly asked questions about my beliefs about school and education…even here on holiday, in this ex-pat community, there are plenty of Brits around who have an opinion. I was chatting (over a pint at the local fiesta) to a retired university lecturer – I left that conversation buzzing about Windmill Primary and our Ethos and Culture; what we are here for and the way we do things.
Stay true to what we believe. It’s ‘right’. For every reason, it is ‘right’