THE AIMS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF GREENFIELDS SCHOOL
Greenfields is a local and international, non-selective, non- denominational mixed school, welcoming students between the ages of 2 and 18, of all faiths, cultures and nationalities, located in Forest Row, near East Grinstead, Sussex. It was founded in 1981 in response to parent demand for a school using the educational methods (known as ‘Study Technology’) of L. Ron Hubbard.
The purposes of the school are:
1.1 to arm students with essential knowledge and skills for living, and in particular the ability and confidence to study, understand and apply any subject whatsoever, using Study Technology (the technology of study as discovered and delineated by philosopher and educator L. Ron Hubbard) so that they can successfully follow whatever path they choose in life; and
1.2 to instil in all students the ability to communicate freely and confidently, competence, confidence in themselves, industriousness, responsibility, tolerance, and a moral and ethical compass.
Other aims of the school are to:
1.3 ensure that all students are happy throughout their time at the school and graduate feeling enthusiastic about life, having developed new friendships and gained a sense of achievement in an ethical, highly productive and motivated environment.
1.4 deliver at primary education level a formal, broad education focusing on literacy and numeracy as well as introducing children to the Study Technology
1.5 in the Senior School move over into tailor-made academic and pastoral programmes of study for each student so that individuals are enhanced and encouraged to blossom, more able to achieve ambitions in careers of their choice and to follow their interests
1.6 promote individual personal development through our Boarding provision which strives to contribute effectively to the school’s aim to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to live their lives to the full
1.7 provide educational opportunities through our EYFS area for each child to flourish as a unique individual, and become confident and able in skills that underpin their whole education. Using the EYFS learning programme in alignment with features of the Montessori philosophy and covering the seven areas of learning, regular observation and assessments are used to plan effectively for individual needs, including those children who may need extra support. With this in mind, Greenfields delivers separately to 2s, 3s and ‘rising 4s’ (i.e. those children whose birth dates fall slightly outside the Reception class starting age in September) using separate classrooms accordingly
1.8 provide an independent school education with low fees whilst maintaining a high staff to student ratio
1.9 furnish a full educational solution from age 2 through to age 18, Nursery to A Levels, so that parents have a complete pathway for their child, as has been voiced as needed by our parents
1.10 deliver an education to children whose prior school experience or progress may not have been adequate and permit such students to flourish and achieve results to the level of their potential
1.11 mirror the maintained school calendar in terms of delivery where possible, providing parents with a service for more weeks than a normal independent school
1.12 add educational value at every stage of students’ development
1.13 enable all young people who come to Greenfields School to achieve their full potential in all areas, whether or not they have special educational needs in one or more areas, whether or not they are able, gifted or talented in one or more areas, and whether or not they perform within an expected range.
2. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
2.1 Charity Status
As part of a charity with students from different backgrounds and faiths, local and international, Greenfields keeps its school fees low in order to be accessible to as many children as possible. The charity also provides a free tutoring service in East Grinstead.
2.2 Study Technology
The school is distinctive in that it utilises the technology of learning developed by L. Ron Hubbard, known as Study Technology. This teaches a student how to successfully learn and apply any subject. It emphasises learning knowledge and skills to actually apply it to a useful end, rather than simply learning to pass an exam or learning without any real purpose in doing so. The Study Technology directly addresses those factors that often block a student from succeeding in what he or she is trying to study – being bogged down in the nomenclature and other misunderstood words in a subject, not having enough of the actual mass or things one is learning about to balance the significance, and not progressing at the right gradient (either too steep, or not steep enough). Study Technology provides simple tools that any student can apply to overcome these common barriers to successful learning.
2.3 Executive Structure
The School has a Head Team, consisting of an Executive Head Teacher and the Heads of the Junior, Infant and Nursery and Senior Schools. They are overseen by the Chief Executive of the charity. The Chief Executive, the Trust Management Executive for Academics and Standards, a consultant and five charity trustees comprise the Board of Governance. This Board has overall responsibility for the school.
2.4 International Composition
Greenfields has a significant number of students from around the world, from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. Due to this overseas intake, Greenfields makes special provision to train overseas students in English in order to give them the option of obtaining English exam qualifications such as IGCSEs, for application in their home countries or elsewhere. Many students of various ages and abilities arrive at the school unable to speak any English, but Greenfields emphasises servicing the individual’s needs and places each non-English-speaking student according to assessment of their individual literacy level, progressing them through internationally recognised qualifications, from the very basic level taught on the Cambridge Young Learners programme (YLE), through Key English Test level (KET), Preliminary English Test (PET), First Certificate in English (FCE) and Cambridge English: Advance (CAE) and Proficiency levels. This is done in many cases in parallel to their studies of GCSE or IGCSE subjects. The school also uses the Rosetta Stone programme to enhance people’s lives through the power of language and literacy education.The Rosetta Stone programme adds value to the already-successful Cambridge curriculum so that our students benefit from the advantages of both.
2.5 Adding Value to a Non-Selective Intake
Being non-selective, Greenfields Junior, Infant and Nursery and Senior schools also provide facilities to support and encourage students by concentrating on adding educational value at every stage of their development. An entire division called Qualifications ensures that they are helped through each stage of their education with one-to-one assistance available as needed. The school strives to give Year 9 the widest possible choice of subjects ready for their examinations in Year 10 and beyond, in alignment with its aim to provide tailored, individual support. Greenfields uses annual assessments provided by Cambridge International Examinations for quality control purposes, and individual teachers use other formal and informal assessments to ensure that students are making progress within the school year. Greenfields School respects every child and young person as an individual and aims to give them opportunities to explore and realise their potential in their development of academic, sporting, creative and social skills.
2.6 The Student Consultant
The Student Consultant is a role separate from that of the Heads of Schools which oversees the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the students. This is accomplished by various means. Our ethics and morals system is overseen by the Student Consultant, whose full-time role includes ensuring that all values are actively promoted. Her office helps students to understand how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged. Collectively, we ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair and daily help students to distinguish right from wrong. The system assists students to respect the law and the basis on which it is made and brings students to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals. In cases where disagreement arises, the system includes restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts.
Greenfields pastoral care provision supports students in developing self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence, encourages students to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights, and models freedom of speech through student participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable students and promoting critical analysis of evidence. Greenfields’ ethics and morals system helps to implement a strong anti-bullying culture in which students, parents and staff views are valued and sought, and all students are made aware, where possible of others’ needs and how to support each other. This actively promotes respect for individual differences, helps students to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life, and challenges prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
Part of the Greenfields’ ethics and morals system is the use of The Way to Happiness, a universal moral code devised by L. Ron Hubbard, the developer of the Study Technology used in the school. This code forms the basis for moral behaviour in the school and consists of 21 precepts which children of all ages are encouraged to follow.The Way to Happiness is used in classroom environments and as a separate course. Its precepts embody, reinforce and promote British values. They are listed here for easy referral:
1. Take Care of Yourself
2. Be Temperate
3. Don’t Be Promiscuous
4. Love and Help Children
5. Honour and Help Your Parents
6. Set A Good Example
7. Seek To Live With The Truth
8. Do Not Murder
9. Don’t Do Anything Illegal
10. Support A Government Designed and Run For All The People
11. Do Not Harm A Person Of Good Will
12. Safeguard And Improve Your Environment
13. Do Not Steal
14. Be Worthy of Trust
15. Fulfil Your Obligations
16. Be Industrious
17. Be Competent
18. Respect The Religious Beliefs of Others
19. Try Not To Do Things To Others That You Would Not Like Them to Do To You
20. Try To Treat Others As You Would Want Them To Treat You
21. Flourish And Prosper
Precepts 6 to 9 support the rule of law, for example, while 11 and 18 support individual liberty and mutual respect; Precept 10 advocates democracy and British values. Precepts 20 and 21 are universally recognisable as the basis of many religious codes, including those of Buddhism and Christianity. British values are strengthened and promoted within and throughout the school using this code.
The student ethics system used at Greenfields is unique and based on a set of rules originally devised in consultation with the students themselves. All staff, and in particular the Student Consultant, who is in charge of the application of the ethics system throughout the school, consult student willingness to observe and confront their own behaviour and that of others, encourage responsibility to be taken for their own actions and those of others, and permit and support a redemptory and conciliatory approach to be taken in which reparation and amends is offered for misdeeds as opposed to punishment. Where discipline is needed, individual programmes are worked out in consultation with the individual student concerned and, when needed, his or her parents. These are followed where appropriate by pastoral care programmes to ensure that the individual is educated on any underlying principles leading to misbehaviour.
Greenfields’ zero tolerance approach to bullying is acknowledged as effective by students themselves. Students strongly support the school, commenting particularly on teachers helping them to learn. Greenfields students develop a strong moral awareness which pervades the whole life of the school, clearly understanding right from wrong. The product is students who are re-engaged with themselves, with the group, and with their studies, regaining self-respect and purpose, rather than the alienation, dissent and division common in other approaches, which can produce degradation and apathy.