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School Vision and Values

Building Learning Powers

Hornbillers are caring, courteous citizens of Hornbill School who are powerful learners because of their: curiosity, creativity and courage and their reflective, resilient and energetic ability to communicate and explore.

Helping children become better learners

‘Term on term, year on year, a Learning Powered school breeds young people who are more curious, more willing to take a risk and give it a go, more imaginative, more creative, more thoughtful, more ready, willing and able to learn with and through others. It’s developing this adventurous spirit that counts’.

Professor Guy Claxton, originator of Learning Powers

Learning in More Depth

The Learning Power approach to learning that we implement at Hornbill School is based on the work by Professor Guy Claxton. It is based on the idea that we are all capable of becoming better learners.  Learning Powered approach applies the idea directly to the work of teachers in the classrooms, to provide a practical framework for fostering lifelong learning in all young people.

At Hornbill School we are striving to be the best we can be, recognising that we all have different strengths and interests. Bas a Learning Powered School it allows us to do this and build the children’s learning power through a variety of strategies and techniques.

Key Principles

• A learning culture that encourages children and teachers to become better learners
• Allowing children to approach difficulties in learning without fear of failure
• Allowing children to take small steps within their learning
• Develop greater confidence in what you set out to achieve
• Not an additional to teaching – always grounded within planning

Why are we Building Learning Power?

We believe that Learning Powers allow us to develop a common language for learning across the school. The language is used in all classrooms, with all children. This helps everyone talk about understanding of learning to learn. We hope that this understanding will begin to spill over into life outside school, where you will be able to reinforce the ideas by encouraging the children to use their learning language in their everyday lives. Our Learning Powers are on our school logo:

Our Values

Our values based, multicultural school promotes a happy, safe & caring environment that is committed to helping all children experience success, whatever their background or abilities. Our children build their learning power as part of a learning community in which they all become resilient & self- assured whilst achieving the highest standards on all they set out to do. The health, safety and wellbeing of every child is our paramount concern.

What is Values – based Education?

Values-based Education (VbE) is a successful worldwide transformational movement for positive change.

Approach to Education

Values-based Education empowers educational settings to underpin their life and curriculum with universal positive human values such as respect, integrity, honesty and compassion.

Values – based not a Values Education

Values education teaches learners about values. Values-based Education provides a teaching environment in which learners experience those positive universal values first hand throughout their schooling.

An effective Values-based Education environment has three core foundations.

  1. All adults model the positive universal values that the school community itself has chosen.
  2. The values are developed into an ethical vocabulary which empowers learners and staff to articulate basic and advanced ethical concepts.
  3. The school creates time and space for children to develop reflective practices so their values experiences can be processed into a living guide to self- and interpersonal awareness. 


The outcome of developing such an ethical vocabulary is ethical intelligence, which Neil Hawkes, founder of VbE, argues is the most important intelligence for the sustainability of our world.

The outcome of Values-based Education is self-leadership, which enables each individual to work towards fulfilling their wonderful potential.

Visible Improvements

Schools that have successfully embedded VbE in their whole-school approach see improvements in:

  • staff and pupil relationships
  • respectful, responsible and kind behaviour
  • quality of teaching and learning – motivated and brave teachers and learners
  • educational standards and outcomes
  • parent and wider community engagement
  • levels of independence and ambition
  • learners’ ability to self-regulate and manage emotions
  • child-centred pedagogy and learner voice
  • staff contentment, recruitment and retention

Here is a four-minute Doodle that brings VbE to life. A short animation by Stephanie Giles:

Here is a talk by Dr. Neil Hawkes in which he explains aspects of VbE:

Our Ethos

The culture of our school will be based on the principles of dialogue, inclusion and mutual respect. All contact between staff, students and parents will be characterised by a code of common courtesy and good manners. Partnership, working together and celebrating our diverse cultures, are the corner stone of our school community. 

We are committed to providing a service to our students who are recognised as the most important group within the school community. Staff will demonstrate due consideration and respect for their students. Students’ rights to voice opinions will be recognised and staff will work with students to deal with their concerns. 

When dealing with difficult situations we will seek to resolve problems by mediation, respecting the feelings of all involved.