We appreciate that we come from a country with a great many privileges and rights. When we travel at home or abroad, we are mindful of what it is to be British – to represent not just our school, but our region and our country.
Here we have identified just some of the aspects that characterise our Britishness.
Many of these were explored recently in an assembly themed ‘What it means to be British‘ which was delivered to the school by Mrs Grover (Assistant Principal, Head of Inclusion and SENCo).
Self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence:
These are a fundamental part of teaching and learning at The Cotswold School on a daily basis. In addition, we have peer and staff/student mentoring programmes as well as qualified staff who have responsibility for inclusion and pastoral care. Our regular PSHE days for the entire school challenge our students with ethical questions and extend their learning about themselves and the society in which they live.
Appreciating opposing points of view:
- We deem Student Voice important, as are the voices of staff and parents. Surveys and questionnaires are regularly conducted with results reviewed and acted upon,
- Discussion is very much part of our teaching and learning process in all subjects,
- Subjects such as History, English, RE, Philosophy & Ethics, Sociology, Psychology, Art and Critical Thinking as well as topics within Modern Foreign Languages all explore debate and opposing arguments.
- Studied in depth in subjects such as History, Philosophy & Ethics, RE and Sociology,
- We see democracy at work in our Student Council elections and voting practices, and within Governors and their committees.
Knowledge of public institutions and services in our country:
Our Governors oversee our school policies – both those that are statutory such as the Equality and Diversity Policy and those that we choose to operate. Formulating policies helps us ensure that we remain focused on lawful and fair practice in which the rights of individuals are respected no matter their background, abilities, race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
These policies are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are being played out in practice in the daily life of our school.
As a fully comprehensive school we very much feel our responsibilities as part of a larger public institution. As a highly successful secondary school, we play an active part in our local network: sharing our facilities and best practice in governance, management and teaching and learning with other schools both at primary and secondary level.
Additionally, we have welcomed representatives from the House of Lords and local politicians to come and speak to our pupils and have been enormously proud of the way our pupils have engaged with the speakers, posing challenging, mature and thoughtful questions. Never partisan in our politics in any subject, we encourage free democratic discussion and feel it vital that young people are engaged in our country’s democratic process, understand the importance of their role within it and appreciate the value of their right to vote.
Our school choir were delighted to perform for Citizenship Ceremonies recently held at the Coroner’s Court in Gloucester at which new British Citizens were welcomed to the community.
Respecting the law:
Cotswold School pupils are actively encouraged to accept responsibility for their behaviour and show initiative. We wholeheartedly believe in ‘behaviour for learning’ and this is practiced in all lessons – it is very much based on mutual respect and consideration for others.
Our stance on anti-bullying and e-safety is firm and are promoted through a variety of communications in lessons, newsletters, website and our social media sites. We highlight these interlinked issues through Anti-Bullying Week each year and by our meeting the rigorous and ongoing requirements of 360 Safer Online Accreditation.
We promote stewardship both on and off the school site – in terms of care for our school and its grounds, but also for the community beyond the school gates and the environment in general. Our Eco-Council are extremely active and the whole school engages in a large recycling programme.
We believe that all pupils and staff can make a positive contribution to the life of the school and to the lives of those living and working in our community and further afield. Our students take part in an enormous range of charitable fundraising – from fun-runs to our annual Fashion Show, from bake sales to stories of individual achievement, such as a student’s 100 mile sponsored walk to raise funds for her peers.