Ethos and Aims

At Sands we promote social equality – we work on the principal that every member of the community, regardless of age, status or experience, should have an equal say in the way our school is run. That is why we have no head teacher, or senior management team: all of our decisions are made by the School Meeting, which meets at least once a week, and to which every member of the school is invited to contribute ideas and opinions on a ‘one voice; one vote’ basis.

All of our rules are set by the School Meeting – we try to base them on common sense guidelines, according to the wishes of the majority. This allows for lots of discussion and debate, which is really the most important way of formulating opinions on an issue: it is much easier to choose to abide by a rule if you understand why it exists in the first place.


Sands is a small school which operates as a community with bonds of trust, mutual respect and personal responsibility. These same bonds under-pin each individual student’s journey towards becoming a self-directed learner.

Our Aims are;

  • To increase children’s personal engagement and investment in their learning, and to give them as much control as possible over their education, with strong support from experienced adults
  • To motivate children to make decisions, and to consider the consequences of the choices they make
  • To teach children respect for themselves, for each other and for their environment


We will achieve these aims by respecting and following the following Learning Principles;

  • Some of the best learning happens outside the classroom
  • Each child experiences learning differently
  • Close relationships with staff supports learning
  • Children need supported challenge
  • Children need the freedom to make choices and learn from their decisions


You can read more about our approaches to learning in our Parent Support Pack.