1. To develop a well integrated and self-disciplined community, with an international dimension, in which the values of Quakers are seen to underpin the school.
2. To help all pupils to progress at a pace appropriate to their age, aptitude, interests and ability, to achieve the best external examination results of which they are capable and to leave school equipped to lead a full and responsible life in the adult world.
3. To provide, and encourage the use of, the widest possible range of opportunities, e.g. sporting, creative and recreational, outside the formal curriculum.
>4. To help pupils to grow in self-respect and to appreciate and enjoy the benefits of good health.
5. To encourage pupils to consider others before self, to look for the good in people and to be honest and trustworthy at all times.
6. To encourage service to others within and beyond school.
7. To provide, in conjunction with parents and guardians, care and support for pupils as they develop and mature.
8. To help pupils to value their fine surroundings and the work of those who maintain them and to extend their appreciation to an understanding of wider environmental issues. The above statement resulted from discussions during the academic year 1995/96. Staff, members of School Committee, parents and pupils have all contributed.
Ackworth was founded as a Quaker school in 1779, to educate Quaker children 'not in affluence'. Much has changed since then but we still state in our aims that Quaker values underpin the school. At the heart of the Quaker faith is the statement in the first Advice:
Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.
Hence the emphasis on silence which still shapes our day at Ackworth and which is such a feature of the school, giving as it does a reflective feel to our daily lives. Having listened, a Quaker tries, however imperfectly, to translate faith into practice. Quakers are enjoined to look for that of God in everyone, and if Ackworth really is a Quaker school then it should be friendly, welcoming and encouraging for all concerned. We should be catering for the needs of the individual child. There should also be an active social witness. Quakers have traditionally been very much concerned with promoting peace, and with penal reform and ending slavery. We have much to live up to.