'The starting point for learning is a positive ethos and climate of respect and trust based upon shared values across the school community, including parents of children and young people.' Journey to Excellence, Education Scotland
The notion of what the ethos of a school is can sometimes be a difficult concept. It suggests that everyone involved in the school community has common beliefs, values and behaviours which encourage pupils and staff to feel respected and safe, their achievements and attainments celebrated, and have equal opportunities to be involved in the life of the school.
Being supported by a positive ethos and culture is core to GIRFEC aims of improving outcomes and wellbeing of all young people, with the responsibility of all to ensure they are safe, happy, active, nurtured, achieving, respected, responsible and included.
Reflecting both Curriculum for Excellence and GIRFEC principles, Education Scotland has developed a series of improvement guides which cover each of the areas of excellence. The guides provide information on the differences between a school that is good and a school that is excellent.
- Promoting positive relationships within a learning, caring and inclusive school community
- Supporting children and young people
- Providing positive experiences for the whole school community
- Promoting positive healthy attitudes and behaviours
- Aiming high
- Enabling all children and young people to achieve
- Encouraging enterprising attitudes and behaviour
For children and young people with autism it is important that their unique profile and needs for support are encompassed by a holistic approach to their learning. Schools have the potential to make a positive impact on their health and wellbeing through promotion of inclusion and equality through awareness of positive relationships and behaviour. As young people with autism are at risk of experiencing bullying behaviours, effective anti-bullying approaches should be in place.