School Values

The school has adopted a set of six values through consultation with students, parents and staff:              

  • Challenge
  • Support      
  • Effort    
  • Resilience                 
  • Respect          
  • Safety         
  • Aspiration

The Aims of Islay High School

To achieve this vision and to live and work by these values, Islay High School should be a school where:

  • Students feel safe, have good relationships with staff and peers, feel confident they will get support when they need it but know that they will be challenged in their learning, thinking and development.


  • Student development is tracked and monitored by appropriate teachers through academic, vocational and personal achievement but also by a prescribed set of skills founded on the principles of Mediated Learning.


  • Students have a genuine say about how the school is run through the Student Leaders and tutor class system.  Any pupil who has a concern about the school is encouraged to speak to the Head Teacher or any member of staff and will be listened to.


  • Leadership permeates throughout the school.  While the vision, aims and strategic decisions of the school are led by the Head Teacher, these are developed in collaboration with staff, students and parents.  Any member of staff can take on a whole school leadership role.


  • Staff are confident in their jobs in an atmosphere of trust, knowing they will be supported by the Head Teacher and senior members of staff when needed, are reflective in their practice and motivated to develop their professional skills.  They understand that there are high expectations of them as professionals.  There is a high degree of consistency by staff in their professional practice.  They are encouraged to be creative, collaborative and innovative in order to inspire students to achieve their best in all aspects of their lives.


  • Parents are well informed of their children’s learning and what happens in the school more generally.  They feel they are listened to by the school and that any issues or concerns raised are dealt with promptly.  They are encouraged to take an active role in the school.  They trust and support the school in maintaining good discipline.


  • The school is a vibrant and central part of the community and that everyone in the community understands that the development of our young people is a shared responsibility between schools, parents and the community itself. There are a wide range of partnerships between the school and organisations in the community (colleges, businesses, estates, distilleries, trusts, etc).


  • The learning and teaching is the most important aspect of the school and is constantly evaluated and improved where possible to ensure it is of the highest quality. It is positive, dynamic, fosters independent learning and creativity and learners develop and understand the skills of learning.


  • The building is clean, tidy and orderly and is fit for purpose.  It encourages learning, creativity and positive social interaction.


  • The curriculum offers as wide a range of courses at as many levels as possible given the resources available in the school.  It meets the needs of the most able to the least able.  It offers pathways in both academic and vocational education.


  • The school offers a good progression in Gaidhlig for Bowmore Primary School students who have attended the Gaelic Unit.  Where possible, these students will be taught Gaidhlig separate from the Learners’ Gaelic class.  Gaelic is encouraged, supported and promoted throughout the school.


  • There is a vibrant vocational education delivered with courses which have equal status to academic courses. The courses are developed and delivered in partnership with appropriate organisations and businesses on the island so students develop the required skills to be successful in whatever college course, trade, job or business they go into.


  • Ensure that each student continues to be issued with their own tablet PC and ensure that digital technology is used to enhance the quality of learning and teaching, encourages creativity and improves communication and efficiency of operational systems.


  • The school offers as wide a range of extra-curricular activities as possible including residential trips, providing opportunities to students for wider achievement.  The school recognises and values the role that community clubs and youth organisations also offer young people with regard to wider achievement.