Welcome to the Ethos Page! I am delighted and privileged to be your new Head of Ethos and I hope that you will visit this page regularly to keep up to date with our latest news and events. Please feel free to comment on any of the blog entries below!
Teacher of English, Community Leader and Head of Ethos
'We are a vibrant school community which empowers girls to become resilient and to fulfil their potential as future leaders.'
The school’s mission statement encapsulates our ambitions and aspirations for all of our students. We are very proud of our vibrant House System which encourages students of all ages to mix in an environment of friendly competition. We create leadership roles for students of all ages across the school as Prefects, House Captains, School Councillors, Sports Captains and Learning Mentors. The Leadership Ladder recognises and celebrates this participation in the life of the school and the wider community and we are delighted that over 300 students have completed at least one level of the Leadership Ladder over the last year. We have a very active and powerful School Council which works closely with staff to lead developments across the school: key successes this year include National Take-Over Day (students effectively ran the school for a day!), Smile Week, Please and Thank You Week and a huge amount of charity work.
DGS House System
All students and staff at Didcot Girls’ School belong to one of our seven houses. Each house namesake is a successful female role model and pupils learn about these inspiring women through tutor activities and House assemblies. The House system is led by the student House Captain Team which promotes activities and plans and delivers assemblies and competitions each term. House Captains also award House Star badges to students in termly assemblies and host Celebration Breakfasts.
House competitions run each term with a strong focus on literacy and numeracy and on the celebration of multi-culturalism and healthy lifestyles. All students are invited to take part and work with girls in different year groups, creating a positive school community combined with friendly competition. Students receive Merits for participation and the House with the most Merits at the end of the year is awarded the prestigious House Cup.
DGS School Council
“Here to hear”
One of the things that we pride ourselves on as a school is our School Council, a body of students from all year groups that work together to provide a positive school community. The School Council provides a forum for students to voice their opinions and views and influence how the school is run. We believe that listening to and acting on student opinion is integral to our safe and happy school community.
All of the events below have been planned, organised and run by students from the School Council over the last year:
- Takeover Day- Gave students the opportunity to take over virtually any job in the school including Headteacher, Caretaker, Science Technician and even the School Chef!
- Theme weeks including Smile Week, Resilience Week, Please and Thank You Week, Healthy Schools Week and Anti-Bullying Week . These are designed to promote the school values .
- Interviewing potential teachers to the school.
- Swap Shop - Students brought in things that they no longer used, such as CDs and books, and swapped them for something else.
- Zumbathon - A fitness event where students and staff performed Zumba for charity.
- Learning Detectives – School Council members became “Learning Detectives” and shared lesson ideas with teachers.
- Maggie’s Tea Party and Picnic
Thought for the Term
The school values of respectful relationships, inclusivity and high quality teaching and learning are promoted to students through the ‘Thought for the Term’ which is shared through the School Bulletin, school website, Assemblies, Staff Briefings and in Tutor Time. Students are encouraged to develop their views on ethical and philosophical issues through debate about the ‘Thought for the Term’. Pupils and staff share their own personal experiences and reflections each term on this theme.
The Leadership Ladder is a unique part of the wider curriculum at Didcot Girls’ School. Students are encouraged to develop their personal leadership skills and to take on leadership roles in lessons, at extracurricular clubs and in the wider community. Pupils develop their skills through a range of opportunities including public speaking events, mentoring opportunities and
Throughout the year, students work towards completing Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Leadership Awards. The Leadership Ladder steps are a bespoke set of challenges that students aim to complete and are monitored by tutors. A blazer badge is awarded on completion and students wear these with great pride.
By inviting female role models to speak in assemblies we aim to inspire pupils to aim high in their future career aspirations. students reflect on how their leadership skills will benefit them in their future career and throughout their time with us. Our aim is for students to be inspired by successful female role models, develop a personal drive for excellence and become confident leaders with high aspirations for their futures.
We celebrate our students many achievements through the vibrant rewards system devised by the School Council. In addition to this, we host termly Celebration Breakfasts for students who have excelled in some form of leadership and performed particularly well for their House. Praise letters are sent home after each set of reports and Praise Postcards are sent home by staff to acknowledge individual successes and achievements - and treasured by their recipients! Whole school assemblies are a highlight of each term and another vehicle through which we recognise and celebrate the huge range of student achievement in the school.