At Harris Academy Falconwood we define personal development as how we enhance the whole of the students’ experience beyond what we offer through our academic, technical or vocational provision. Personal development involves knowledge, attitudes, skills, relationships and behaviour that can be utilised in and outside of the classroom.
Our curriculum encompasses a wide range of themes including:
- An extensive careers programme and support for students so they are ready for the next stages of their education/training.
- The opportunity to attend a range of extracurricular activities, including 100% uptake in Key Stage Three.
- An exciting enrichment curriculum including the Duke of Edinburgh Award and many clubs such as rock climbing, coding club, art, gardening and many others.
- A comprehensive assembly programme covering British Values, cultural days, and other important topics throughout the year.
- A wide range of educational visits, such as museums, universities and trips abroad.
- A Personal, Social, Health and Economic education & Relationships (PSHE), Sex and Health education (RSE, Being Great Human Beings).
- A range of focus days.
- A range of student leadership opportunities including head students and student voice (Student Council).
- Being Great Human Beings (BGHB)
- Focus Days
- British Values
- Enrichment and Club Mondays
- Educational Visits
- Student Voice
- Harris Experience, Harris Experience Advance and Purple Route
- Duke of Edinburgh
The Department for Education sets out five clear strands in their definition of British Values. At Harris Academy Falconwood we truly agree with these values. British Values are taught in a variety of ways, both via the curriculum offered through our subject areas and also through our Being Great Human Beings (BGHB) curriculum and through our enrichment opportunities. Every member of staff at Harris Academy Falconwood is responsible for identifying and delivering key messages linked to the British Values through their everyday interactions with students and by acting as role models by embodying these values in all that they do. We further promote British Values through weekly assemblies, focus days and trips.
What are British Values and how do we as an Academy engage with them?
We embed opportunities for democratic decisions to be made throughout our curriculum as well as during the broader experience that our students have during their time at the Academy. Democracy is also explicitly taught through the citizenship curriculum. Further details can be found on the citizenship subject area page and curriculum overview.
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Harris Academy Falconwood, and consequently our students possess a strong sense of equality and understanding of what is right and wrong.
At Harris Academy Falconwood we are rigorous with both our behaviour and rewards policy that is understood by our staff body and students alike. Our behaviour policy is consistently reinforced both inside and outside of the classroom. At Harris Academy Falconwood, we truly believe in teaching our students the ‘rules’ of our Academy to ensure they consistently feel safe but are aware of the consequences of behaviour choices. Through this teaching, students are aware of how their actions affect others in the community and where needed, we work closely with students to ensure they are better equipped to make the right choices.
At Harris Academy Falconwood, we believe in encouraging our students to speak confidently and express their opinion in a safe environment. Students are also taught that they will have their opinions challenged and they have a right to reply giving their account. This is also fostered through our whole-school Oracy strategy of ABC talk (Ask, Build and Challenge). We encourage our students to make good choices and understand that it’s their right to receive an empowering education within a safe environment. Students are encouraged to exercise their rights and personal freedom, whilst appreciating that everyone is entitled to their individual voice. We consistently reinforce that practicing kindness is fostered in our values of ‘serving’ our community and any stereotyping will be challenged. Through this practice our students feel confident to express themselves as confident individuals.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Staff and students treat each other with the utmost respect and courtesy. Students learn that their behaviours affect their rights and those of others. All members of our community are required to treat each other with respect. This message is communicated to students through assemblies and our Being Great Human Beings Curriculum, as well as in everyday interactions with staff and students, and creates a Culture of Kindness where everyone can thrive in a safe environment.
Prevention of bullying is very important within the Academy and is addressed through the Being Great Human Beings Curriculum, assemblies, surveys and our Anti Bullying Policy. We celebrate Anti-Bullying week with a series of whole school events to promote difference and equality in our Academy. This is led by our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and Miss Whittingham, our Pastoral Year Lead. At Harris Academy Falconwood, we teach our students about the importance of being respectful when using the internet ensuring that bullying is rare at our Academy.
Harris Academy Falconwood is rich in cultural diversity and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Students learn that all members of the Academy community deserve to be treated with respect and that differences are to be accepted and celebrated.
Throughout our curriculum, teachers take opportunities to promote mutual respect and understanding. In Religious Education this is a particular focus as students learn about all World Religions and are taught about the importance of respecting and understanding different beliefs people have.
Assemblies, the Being Great Human Beings, and Citizenship Curriculum actively challenge stereotypes and reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others no matter their ethnicity, beliefs, gender or disability, serving each other through kindness where all students thrive and succeed as a result.
The core Citizenship curriculum is implemented through one 85-minute lesson per fortnight. Students across the Academy study the same themes each year in spiralling complexity. These sessions teach the core knowledge and allow students to develop their oracy skills, and promote critical thinking throughout.
Citizenship is offered as an option at GCSE for students. The curriculum is further developed and enhanced through the Academy’s assembly programme, our focus days and wider initiatives and strategies implemented within academy life.