Aims and Ethos

Ethos

Banbridge Academy was founded as a private school in 1786 and moved to its present location, Edenderry House, in 1950. The attractive grounds of 40 acres create an impressive setting for the suite of buildings and extensive sporting facilities. The new extension and programme of refurbishment completed in 2011 provide modern and impressive facilities in which learning can take place and in which the aims of the Academy can be achieved.

Banbridge Academy is a co-educational and non-denominational grammar school which seeks to provide a regulated and happy environment with a pleasant atmosphere in which its pupils and staff can strive to achieve their full academic, personal and professional potential. The school seeks to provide a wide, stimulating and enjoyable educational experience rooted in values of honesty, openness, integrity, tolerance and respect for each individual as a person.

Mission Statement

Banbridge Academy’s mission statement is the pursuit of excellence in a caring and supportive environment.

Aims

Our central aim is for everyone to be happy at school, known personally and cared for individually. Our emphasis is on nurturing the whole person and to that end in addition to our academic pursuits a rich diversity of artistic, dramatic, musical and sporting activities are also on offer.

Our specific aims are:

Academic

To assist, guide and stimulate pupils in working for academic excellence and to their full potential and to gain useful and relevant for adult and working life.

Social

To socialise pupils by the development of positive, co-operative and tolerant attitudes and behaviour and an awareness of their own cultural heritage and of wider horizons.

Personal

To assist each child to reach personal fulfilment and happiness and to develop the qualities of self-esteem, self-reliance, physical and spiritual well-being, moral responsibility and self-discipline.

Professional

To provide for the professional development and fulfilment of the staff both as an intrinsic aim and as a means of achieving the other aims of the school.

Extra-curricular

To provide a wide and useful extra-curricular programme which provides outlet for a range of interests and opportunities to promote the acquisition and development of skills and abilities.

Banbridge Academy is at a new and exciting phase in its development having completed a major extension and refurbishment project 2011, providing up to date and modern resources, ensuring for our school community that learning and teaching can take place in bright, stimulating well equipped surroundings, with access to the latest in technological advances.

At the core of all we do in the Academy there is a strong caring ethos, deriving from the quality of relationships based on the strong foundational values of respect for self and others, tolerance of difference and diversity, honesty, integrity and trust, diligence and thoroughness. These are still at the heart of how we live and work together in this school, combined with the belief that as we benefit from education, so in turn an onus is placed on us to make a positive impact on our society.

Good schools, like all successful organisations, reflect carefully and regularly on their practice and on progress made towards the achievement of their goals and the realisation of their vision. There is embedded in their culture a process of rigorous self evaluation and review, combined with a commitment to continuous improvement and the establishment of action plans to reach their targets and we in the Academy are no different. We are committed to the pursuit of excellence in a caring, supportive environment and we embrace the culture of continuous improvement based on rigorous self evaluation.

This school development plan recognises key strengths, identifies areas where improvement and development are needed and establishes action plans to move forward. In drafting each section of the plan we have made use of material from many sources and readily acknowledge the valuable support we received from the SELB CASS, whose documents, ‘Supporting Post Primary Leadership and Management’ and ‘The School Improvement File’ complemented the Department of Education publication’s ‘Every School a Good School’, ‘Together towards Improvement’ ‘IQ:RS Improving Quality: Raising Standards’ and ‘ The Reflective Teacher’

There are many challenges facing education today. Curricular changes and developments seem to have been a constant feature of the education landscape over many years but undoubtedly the current climate of financial restraint imposes severe limits on what can be achieved. In spite of those constraints and in that context our school development plan charts a path which will help us move forward to address the priorities we have established to ensure that our young people will fulfil their potential, develop an appreciation of learning as an enjoyable, continuous process and leave us equipped with the skills and values that will support them for the rest of their lives.