The Holmesdale School has a long established, distinctive and positive ethos which guides our work and the education of our students. Preparation for adult life underpins our school’s aims and the well-developed culture which is established across all aspects and functions of the school. We are committed to the success of each of our students and this is reflected through the school's values and aims to deliver:
- Exam success - we want our students to get the best possible qualifications
- Challenge, relevance and engagement - we want our students to be fully involved in their learning
- Appropriate skills for living, for work and for happiness
- Active citizens
- Self-identity and a feeling of self-worth
- Opportunities and experiences that ignite our students
- Healthy habits that are embedded for life
The Holmesdale School supports and delivers a firm commitment to developing and upholding British Values.
We have our own School Council made of up of elected Form representatives. Students are taught in a variety of ways including tutor time, assemblies and in subject specific content about the importance of democracy.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout all aspects of life at Holmesdale. Students and parents/carers are taught the value and reasons behind our rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety and tutorial sessions. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge or participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, our students are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We place a considerable emphasis on promoting diversity within the student and staff body. Lessons, assemblies and tutor time sessions reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes, just as our students and staff are able to share their cultural heritage and experiences.
Within the wider curriculum and its delivery, we expect all students irrespective of gender, ethnic origin or beliefs:
- To participate in PE lessons
- Female students in all years can be taught by a male PE teacher
- All students are expected to take part in PE, Art, Music and Drama lessons
- To participate in wider activities and discussions, for example, during tutorial time, that uphold British values
- To show tolerance of different faiths and beliefs, including Christianity.
Radicalisation and Extremism
The School believes and actively supports the view that all students should be protected from radicalisation and extremism. Our approach to this is in line with the Government’s CONTEST strategy (the counter terrorist strategy) and PREVENT (stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism).
Radicalisation is the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism, and in some, cases participate in terrorist groups. Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to the fundamental British values.
Our 100% commitment to safeguarding student welfare means we are vigilant to monitoring vulnerability to radicalisation including:
- Family tensions
- Sense of isolation
- Distance from cultural heritage
- Experience of racism or discrimination
- Feeling of failure
Any concerns must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Officers.
A cross-curricular approach
We deliver a cross curricular approach to the delivery of SMSC, including British Values
- via current affairs – via our weekly tutorial discussion sessions centered on a topic in the news such as Extremism
- via assemblies
- via student leadership – actively voting in school elections to elect posts of responsibility
- via Religious Studies lessons – predominantly Christian but exploring beliefs and values of other faiths including multicultural celebrations
- In subjects where we map how other subjects deliver knowledge and understanding of key concepts that link to British Values.