Our Vision, Values & Aims

Our Vision: To build champion Learners


Our Ethos of champion learners: We believe that every child has the ability to excel in almost any area of learning. Excellence isn’t the result of a natural talent, but instead is the result of: opportunity, expert tuition, purposeful practice and personal effort. These are the ingredients which make ‘Champion Learners’. Everything we do as a school is done with this vision in mind.


We believe that champions are built not born.


Our values are the attributes that underpin our vision: Champion learners are taught …

Respect for themselves, their families, their communities.

Pride in their attitude and work; striving for their best effort.

Bravery to attempt things with will be hard and challenge them.

Success to aspire to be the best version of themselves. To believe they can change the world.



Our aims exemplify our vision and values. They are what we want for every child, every day.  

We build champions by ensuring that every child:

1. knows how to stay safe, healthy, happy and make sensible choices;

2. has respect for themselves, the environment and their communities;

3. is a resilient, brave and inquisitive learner;

4. achieves our high expectations;

5. aspires to be their 'best self' and to change the world!


Where does our vision and ethos come from?


Our vision, ethos, values and aims were formulated by all our stakeholders (parents, children, staff and governors) initially in 2011 and are reviewed every four years (most recently in 2019).

In 2011 the idea of ‘Champion Learners’ was inspired by the Uncommon Schools Network in the Bronx, New York. These schools, serving some of the poorest communities in the US, achieve consistently excellent outcomes by codifying great teaching and providing the sort of extra-curricular activities that you’d expect in the most prestigious private school. We linked these ideas with the work of Angela Duckworth on effort in ‘Grit’ and Matthew Syed on ‘The myth of talent’.


The result? Blackhorse went from the bottom of the county league tables in 2011 (with only 11 parents wanting reception places in the school) to near the top of the academic league tables with Blackhorse now being the second most oversubscribed school in South Gloucestershire.


The future? We are always striving to be better Champion Learners. We are currently focused on achieving our current (2019-2023) Four Year Strategic Plan in order to strive for ever better Champion Learners.


Our Values characters are discussed throughout the school (and are also the 4 house mascots):

So that the children can get to know and understand our school values, we have 4 characters which represent each of the values (Respect the Wonder Dog, Proud Pony, Brave Bear and Samda the Successful). Stories about these characters are told in assemblies illustrating the value we are trying to instill. The characters are led by our hapless super hero 'Captain Champion'. He often lacks the values that we champion but, with the help of his friends, is learning to be a better super-hero by adopting our values.

Our Values characters at Blackhorse