Book: A School Built on Ethos by @JamesHandscombe via @CrownHousePub

Ideas, assemblies and hard-won wisdom by James Handscombe

A School Built On Ethos - Ideas, Assemblies And Hard-Won Wisdom

£14.99*
8.6

Content

8.0/10

Accessible

9.0/10

Authority

9.0/10

Practical

8.0/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • This is not necessarily a book resource offering pick-up-and-go assemblies.
  • The stories, philosophy, poetry and art shared in this book show how visionary education can make social change possible.
  • Key reflections are shared with James advocating that building an ethos frees others to build alongside you.
  • An ethos of ambition, perseverance and legacy is shared throughout.
  • An extraordinary range of topics and accompanying narration shows how James established success into a privileged school whilst instilling life-long values into his students.

Supported by Crown House Publishing


What’s your school ethos? How would you define it? Where did it come from? Is the ethos in your school forced from above, and not a reflection on reality? Profound questions indeed, and sometimes it is quite difficult to define an ethos exactly, but the ethos of a school community reflects the people, attitudes and aspirations of everyone within.

In his book, James Handscombe reflects on his journey trying to build an ethos of ambition, perseverance and legacy. Appointed as founding principal of the Harris Westminster Sixth Form in London, James shares a selection of the assemblies that have underpinned and elucidated its ethos. The book starts, obviously, at the beginning – but this is the beginning of the school and James’ role in leading the expectations of the community. The first assembly shared reminds of the importance of exams and organising oneself for the task and challenges ahead. This assembly, and many of the others shared, embed the tricolon of values to the community, and the book continues with this focus with the importance of teamwork emphasised also early on. Key reflections are shared with James advocating that building an ethos frees others to build alongside you, allowing team members to be doing things you would love to do and giving them space to instil skills into students. 

The assemblies through the book are not only the ones delivered by James but also by Nic Amy and inspired by many more. To be clear, this is not necessarily a book resource offering pick-up-and-go assemblies, however, it can offer inspiration for assembly topics that help build and develop a school ethos. The book doesn’t tell you what to do – it’s not that kind of book – however, the extraordinary range of topics and accompanying narration shows how he established success into a privileged school whilst instilling life-long values into his students.

When exploring the ethos of any school, attention needs to be given to negative elements to help build positive. An ethos is not about conformity but should be built on aspirations, inspirations and reflecting the exact purpose of the community served. The stories, philosophy, poetry and art shared in this book show how visionary education can make social change possible.

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About @digicoled 379 Articles
Colin Hill - Founder, researcher and editor of ukedchat. Also a bit of a tech geek! Project management, design thinking, and metacognition.

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