Schools have an important role to play in helping young people to develop and manage their physical and emotional well-being, and to live and work with others in different contexts.
Key areas include: social interaction; developing a healthy mind, body and lifestyle; and knowing one’s own strengths and weaknesses and how to develop competences.
Our Personal Development Programme is delivered during tutor time. The mini lessons are designed to encourage students to discuss and debate a wide range of topical issues that directly affect their day to day lives. Topics are challenging and age relevant. Whilst most of the PD lessons are delivered by the tutor using a wide range of teaching methods, some lessons are delivered by guest speakers such as dentists, police, youth mentors, drama companies, etc.. Discussion is a regular feature of lessons and students become confident in articulating their own opinions and responding appropriately to the contributions of others.
Learning experiences can be opportunities for developing the skills to reflect critically on and manage one’s own lifestyle, and to communicate and collaborate with others. They can also encourage young people to have an attitude of aspiration and the desire to set and achieve goals, and of tolerance – valuing diversity and respecting others, and being prepared both to overcome prejudices and to compromise.
Throughout the year we hold charity events and celebrate national awareness days such as Black History Month, Holocaust memorial and Anti-bullying week. We are also proud to hold ‘EDFEST’ each year which is a cultural festival to celebrate the diversity within our school community. Annually our sixth formers also lead the whole school community on the Young People’s Parliament vote which for many is their first opportunity of exercising their democratic rights.
By extending learning beyond traditional academic priorities, including careers education, and participation in the arts and sports we enrich the lives of our learners.
The school offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities which caters for the needs and interests of our learners. The majority of the clubs run after school such as gymnastics, Formula One and Debate Mate. Other clubs such as chess club run at lunch times. Students develop their skills and self esteem through their attendance at these clubs. We encourage all students to attend at least one club each week.
Furthermore, our school offers a wide range of educational trips. These include retreats, Parliament trip, Battlefields trip, Rome and many more. We always look to ensure any students wishing to attend these trips who may be from disadvantaged backgrounds are not excluded from these experiences. We think all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, deserve a well-rounded, culturally rich, education. These invaluable experiences on offer develop the whole learner.
At St Edmunds we believe a ‘whole school approach’ is important as it engages the entire school community (school leaders, staff, learners, and families).
We promote the areas currently identified as British Values (individual liberty, democracy, rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance) within the curriculum and the wider ethos of the school. Specific days devoted to student values and wellbeing supplement the weekly programme of tutorial activities and themes, assemblies, and curriculum planning that ensure we prepare our students for life in a modern multicultural country.
Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard, and suggestions implemented, through representation on our various student forums (student council), charity committee and through curriculum area student surveys. Our students also take part in the elections for Head Boy and Head Girl where students vote and can be elected to serve as a member for one year. All students have the opportunity to vote in the Young People’s Parliament election.
The rule of law
The importance of laws and rules in society and school community are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as through tutorial time and school assemblies. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws and rules, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when these are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, students are actively encouraged to make good choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through ICT (e-safety), and RE lessons.
Our Catholic ethos is centred around our core values of respect. Students have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what these mean and how they can be demonstrated through our Behaviour for Learning programme. We not only expect mutual respect between students, but also between adults working in the School and our students and this can be seen in action on a day to day basis.
Tolerance of those of different faiths, beliefs, and orientation
This is achieved through enhancing students’ understanding of their place in a diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudicial actions are followed and supported by themes in some curriculum areas (e.g. ICT, History, English and RE) and in house tutor time. Each year we hold ‘EDFEST’ which is a cultural festival and celebrate the diversity within our school community.