Pupil voice is significant at Teesdale School with our pupil elected school council playing a strong role in our school. Students are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. Pupils have a great amount of input in regards to what and how they learn, which promotes pupil voice. For example, pupils have recently been involved in the selection of the new uniform, design of the new vibrancy area and are always involved in the recruitment process when appointing potential staff.
Rule of law
This understanding of the importance of rules is consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. We frequently use the connection before correction method so that pupils fully understand how their actions can affect others but also that certain actions can result in sanctions being applied. We have also introduced a new behaviour policy that students understand and is applied when required across the school.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. We celebrate achievements through a variety of means that include assemblies, certificates, postcards and reward stamps. In lessons, we encourage children to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests at lunchtime and after school in a wide range of curriculum areas.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life where students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms. Visitors to the school often comment on how polite and well-mannered our students are as well as complimenting their conduct at open evenings, parents evenings or during extra-curricular activities.
All schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the PREVENT duty.
To satisfy our PREVENT duty we have put in place the following across our school:
- Promotion of British Values
- Staff training, which has included an online courses as well as frequent discussions in staff briefings
- IT policies in place to prevent access to inappropriate material in school
- A broad and balanced curriculum that creates opportunities for debating issues connected to extremism
Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum
We educate our students across a wide range of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) topics in our tutor group sessions every week. For the first term this year, we are focussing on ‘Keeping Safe’ and educate our students through discussion, debate, written activities and group work around the following topics
- Water & fire safety
- Female genital mutilation
- Domestic violence
- Child sexual exploitation
- Internet safety
For the second term, our focus will be based around ‘raising awareness’, again through discussion, debate and structured lessons.
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Sexual health
- Self awareness
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
- Race and cultural discrimination