Welcome from the Headteacher

At Grafham, we will continue to meet each new challenge given to us and constantly raise the bar in trying to achieve more.  Given the range of initiatives and challenges we currently face, in particular in supporting and promoting young peoples’ health and wellbeing, it is important that we do not lose our focus on raising academic outcomes for every student.

Our work is becoming highly innovative which adds a new creative twist. This ensures we take learning and caring to another level, thus heightening its impact.


What characterises our school and the work we do is our determination to constantly improve teaching, learning and caring, and to ensure that we never miss any opportunity to do so.  We should never use a young person’s complex needs as an excuse for underachievement. We must insist on the highest possible of standards from ourselves – our students deserve this from us. Other establishments have not succeeded with our boys because of an inability to secure high standards, and allowing learning barriers to obstruct both social and academic progress.

I have an unrelenting belief that we CAN make a difference to the lives of all young people. However, this requires commitment from across the school, parents, key stakeholders and all partner Local Authorities, to develop a common understanding to enable quality joint planning, a long term commitment to share good practice, a willingness for staff to take calculated risks and a sustained change in practice which leads to empowerment of staff to confidently try new ideas.

If a child is to matter, then the quality of their relationship and all their achievements must matter too. I believe the success to high quality teaching, learning and caring is firmly rooted in a school’s ability to evaluate its own practice effectively. Pointing the finger of blame solves nothing – plan, prepare, innovate and have the attitude of ‘we could try that’ so that the necessary adjustments are made in the young persons’ personalised programme and that the next level of intervention produces a positive impact.

We aim to encourage a love of learning and thereby make every day a rewarding experience for students and staff.

We want all our students to:

• experience a highly personalised, balanced but challenging curriculum.

• feel safe, happy and develop lively enquiring minds with a love of learning.

• have high self-esteem and develop a sense of self worth.

• work with independence and become responsible for their own learning.

• value and care for others.

• be successful and achieve more than they ever thought possible.

• have their achievements celebrated.

• become good citizens by being self-disciplined and courteous.

• become proud and positive contributors to the local, national and international community.

• care for the ecosystem and be sensitive to the global natural environment.

We want all staff to:

• continue raising standards of teaching, learning and caring so we truly become a ‘world class school’.

• develop professionally therefore remaining at the cutting edge of 21st Century education.

• feel valued and supported by all fellow colleagues.

• be successful in transforming the lives of the most vulnerable children in today’s society.

• have job satisfaction through the development of mutual respect.

• enjoy a healthy work-life balance.

 We want all parents and carers to:

• feel welcomed in school by adhering to our core values and beliefs.

• work in partnership with all school staff to ensure students have consistently positive messages.

• be well informed by clear communications.

 We want Governors and Trustees to:

• work as critical friends and partners of the school.

• know the school and staff and students well.

• offer constructive advice and be supportive.

• promote the school in the wider community.

 We want the wider community to:

• develop excellent relations with our school and begin to understand our ethos of transparency.

We aim to help all young people:

• develop lively, enquiring minds with the ability to question and challenge rationally.

• acquire knowledge, skills and understanding.

• learn how to be a learner.

• use language and numbers with confidence and enthusiasm.

• develop respect for religious and moral values and tolerance towards ways of life which differ from their own.

• understand the world in which they live and the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations.

• respect and care for other people and the environment.

• grow in aesthetic awareness and make best use of opportunities for their creativity and imagination.

• develop agility and physical co-ordination and the ability to express themselves through movement.

• develop habits of self-discipline, acceptable behaviour, courtesy and good manners.

We guide each young person towards maximising their potential:

• through the provision of a personalised and innovative education.

• through positive encouragement and high expectation.

• by developing self-esteem and fostering self-confidence.

• by providing a happy and safe environment in which our students  may work confidently.

• by ensuring outstanding progression through the setting of aspirational but appropriate goals.

• by preparing our young people for future education and a fulfilling life.

Our Mission:

To build better futures for our students and their families by working together to overcome barriers to social, emotional, mental health and academic development. We will deliver an outstanding, inclusive, personalised curriculum through a multi-disciplinary approach in order to equip our students with the skills and experiences needed to embrace life-long learning. 

Martin Sanders, Headteacher