Vision and Aims

Vision and Aims

Marchbank Free School recognises that children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) respond well to structure as it helps them to feel safe and secure – they like predictable routines and respond well when they feel confident that they know what is going to happen next.


Marchbank Free School recognises that children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) respond well to structure as it helps them to feel safe and secure – they like predictable routines and respond well when they feel confident that they know what is going to happen next. However, we also understand that children need the opportunity to develop a creative response to the world.  

It is common for children with SEMH to underperform in achieving expected developmental stages when compared to their mainstream peers. There are numerous reasons that may have been factors but consistent evidence suggests their experiences of emotional damage or turmoil may have restricted them from securing expected milestones. The Free School environment and curriculum allows children to revisit those development areas that have not been secured and offers them the experiences necessary to move through the stages which are so important in building the foundations necessary for future development and learning. Marchbank believes that learning comes easily when it is offered to a child that is developmentally ready. 

Our vision is to provide an environment where primary children with SEMH and associated difficulties can access an education that aims to develop the whole child in a healthy and balanced manner addressing their physical, emotional and intellectual capabilities through a developmentally appropriate curriculum. 

At Marchbank we celebrate our values and incorporate them into our everyday life.  

They are: Marchbank aims.pdf

Throughout their time in Marchbank children are supported in developing these values through their taught curriculum and through the way people treat them and they are expected to behave. All adult members of Marchbank provide positive role models of these values at all times. 

The ethos, environment and curriculum combines to help the children develop qualities which are crucial to enable them to be successful adults; to be articulate, creative, self-reliant, skilled at listening, imaginative and inquisitive. 

With a deep understanding of child development, a broad curriculum and creative methodology, we place the changing needs of the individual child at the centre of our work.  

We afford equal attention to the physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and spiritual needs of each child with a curriculum that is designed to work in harmony with the different phases of their development. 


Our aim is to equip children with the skills they need to access secondary education where they will continue to develop and leave full time education as well rounded human beings who are resourceful, creative, responsible and curious with the skills necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st century with the problem solving skills required for a sustainable future. 

Marchbank Free School has: 

• A strong and distinctive sense of purpose 

• The capacity and willingness to innovate 

• A powerful collective ethos that is shared by all staff 

• High quality planning that is financially sound 

At Marchbank Free School we: 

• Continue to engage with and keep abreast of innovative approaches to education in the changing landscape whilst maintaining careful evaluation of children’s progress. 

• Boost academic success by developing reading and writing skills. The teaching of literacy; speaking and listening, reading and writing combines a structured phonic approach, a varied amount of multi-sensory strategies, and an abundance of rhymes, stories, and drama to engender a love of reading as well as enable the children to become independent readers themselves 

• Strengthen children’s social skills and appropriate play skills (turn taking, waiting, asking, sharing, helping, complimenting) 

• Promote children’s use of self-control strategies such as effective problem solving 

• Increase emotional awareness in children by labelling feelings, recognising the differing views of themselves and others 

• Provide a pictorial and artistic approach to all subjects to involve the whole child, not just the intellect, in learning 

• Use an approach that fosters greater concentration and involvement from the children and stimulates deeper and wider interest in subjects 

• Encourage the development of critical thinking, objectivity and careful consideration in upper key stage 2 

• Celebrate excellence through appreciation of an individual’s best work and recognition of a child’s contribution to the school community 

• Teach children how to manage their emotions so they are able to develop the skills they need to deal with frustration, anger or conflict in a restorative manner, acknowledging their feelings but also the feelings of other people who are involved and identifying ways of repairing any damage to relationships 

• Build positive links with other local schools where pupils may continue their secondary education and where they can be valued for their high levels of maturity and motivation. 

Marchbank Free School has responsibility to the wider community and demonstrates:

• A willingness to be inclusive

• A strong sense of partnership with children, their parents/carers and the community 

• An appreciation that ‘education’ is about more than just schooling 

• An active involvement with other schools and the wider learning community 

• A close relationship with EVAT to take advantage of the wide range of knowledge and expertise it offers and for pupils, their families and staff to benefit from the wide range of resources offered. 

• That they employ staff who are highly skilled and have a desire to work in this exciting field of special education. They are child centred, have had training in child development and have an understanding of the difficulties some children with statements or Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) for SEMH may experience. 

• A staff team that are trained to a high level with annual appraisal targets which aid their future development and develop their experience and skills to ensure they deliver the highest level of education. 

As part of the Education Village Academy Trust ,Marchbank Free School are part of the wider Trust community. Details of the Values and Ethos of EVAT can be found here:

EVAT Mission Statement