Vicky Gocher is Headteacher of Aldenham Prep School, part of the Aldenham Foundation.
Everyone loves a good acronym, well, we seem to love them in the education sector, and when you repeat something regularly it’s good to have a short cut. Within the Aldenham Foundation, St Hilda’s has G.R.I.T, Aldenham Senior School has its Attributes and the Prep has the 5Cs. Our Golden Values are Care, Courtesy, Cooperation, Consideration and Commitment to Learning.
As a small community we pride ourselves on knowing each other well and having a family atmosphere, but in every family there can be fallings out. By focussing on our core values both proactively and reactively, we remind the children what they have agreed to and how they wish themselves to be treated.
We are gentle, kind, caring and respectful to people and property. This starts in Nursery and works its way through to our Year 6 leavers. We are polite, thoughtful and have good manners. Courtesy means different things to each generation, but in essence having good manners is essential whether you were born in 1963 or 2013. We are friendly and helpful; thereby cooperating with those we know well, visitors, and all with whom we come into contact. We listen to each other and are honest. Ah, well, this is a Value some have to work at harder than others! But try they do, and when you hear one child congratulating another for doing either, or even both, you definitely experience one of those ‘special moments’. We work hard to be the best we can. The ambiguity of this last Value enables it to be championed in the playground, in the classroom, around the sand tray, on the field, in the woods, on the stage, when learning to use a knife and fork and when kayaking in the sea.
After all, each of us can only do our best. Albert Einstein said, “We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility”. By doing our best at all times to fulfil the aspiration of the 5Cs, Aldenham Prep accepts this responsibility.