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About Us and Our Ethos

Our School


Totnes Progressive School is a non-punitive, independent school for children aged between 11 and 16. Our school gives students the confidence and support to enjoy their learning and realise their full potential.
We achieve this by having small class sizes, a non-punitive culture, an ethos of LARS (Love, Acceptance, Respect and Safety), bespoke activities program, no homework and a focus on nurturing relationships.

We start our GCSE courses in Year 9, this gives our students the time to fully explore the subject content without time constraints present in a two-year GCSE system.

Our ethos is delivered through our four guiding principles of LARS (Love, Acceptance, Respect, and Safety), which were created by the students to ensure that we all hold each other accountable to be the best versions of ourselves, and to treat each other with kindness.
In order to teach and learn with an open curiosity for what’s possible, everyone in the school, staff and students, uses LARS as guidance to help us make skilful decisions, ensure we are being kind to others, work through challenging situations, and recognise opportunities to learn from mistakes. This means that we are all learning together, from a position of innate goodness, rather than from one of fear or judgement.



Understanding and Care

We do not set homework at Totnes Progressive School although optional home study is set in year 10 and 11 by teachers to help us prepare for our GCSEs. We believe that maintaining small class sizes means that teachers are able to understand what makes every student tick; their learning styles, where they require support and where they need to be stretched and challenged. Lead by caring teachers who are passionate about developing their subjects, utilising carefully considered differentiation as well as high quality, regular feedback, our students are truly engaged learners.


A Non-punitive Culture

Totnes Progressive School has a non-punitive culture where we develop the ability to allow our innate goodness to guide our behaviour; in being kind and considerate to those around us, when making decisions, and when navigating challenging situations. This allows us all to learn and develop in an environment that expects the best of ourselves and of each other. Inevitably, we will experience poor behaviour. Instead of administering punishment, we see this as an opportunity to discuss what has happened, take appropriate action, and learn from it for the future.

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