Here at St Aldhelm’s, we understand the importance of SMSC being integrated within every part of school life. It is imperative that pupils are aware of and discuss Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural issues with a well-rounded understanding of beliefs, values, and experiences.
We work hard to ensure that, by the time pupils leave St Aldhelm’s and move onto sixth form, college, apprenticeships or into the big wide world, they are confident young people with a strong moral code, as well as a deep understanding and respect for different beliefs.
It is also imperative that pupils feel safe and supported during their time with us.
Our School Values
All secondary school pupils go through many changes from year 7 to year 11, and it’s therefore our school values that, we believe, helps them transform from young teenagers to older youth ready for the world outside of our Academy walls!
As a pupil at our Academy, it is our vision that you will:
To feel part of our school, to feel safe, supported and respected
To gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your passion for subjects, for learning and for life itself!
To grow and mature as an individual, to flourish in your outlook, love for subjects, becoming ready for the world beyond your school
Assemblies and Tutor Times
Each year group has a termly theme, taking a strand of a Spiritual, Moral, Social or Cultural aspect of the overarching theme and creating more specific personalised objectives for the term.
Below is an example of some of the topics covered under each part of SMSC
At SAA we believe it is important to regularly welcome visitors of all backgrounds into our school to speak to our pupils. We understand how powerful it can be hearing someone sharing a personal experience or testimony about a topic we are focusing on. When the focus is around careers, it reminds pupils that there are many opportunities and jobs for all different type of people! When it’s around faiths, it’s a reminder that we can listen, engage and speak openly and freely about what is important to us. Sometimes the assembly will be around a characteristic such as being tenacious. Many times we have had visitors in sharing examples of how life has thrown surprises along the way and how these barriers or speed bumps can be overcome! A lesson we all need to be constantly reminded of!
We regularly have visitors from the emergency services sharing advice on how to keep safe, whether this is online, making sensible decisions, or thinking about fire safety, or the immediate area pupils live in and how best to look after themselves. All of our visitors make a huge contribution to our values of Belong, Explore and flourish!
Here is a small snippet of some of the areas we touch on during the year at SAA.
All pupils in all years had the opportunity to stand for student council – to represent their year group, offer ideas and set initiatives in motion! All pupils presented a two-minute speech. Ballots were then held and the most voted students joined our school council!
Rev. Peter from our local church The Good Shepherd came and spoke to our pupils about Remembrance. These were extremely powerful talks as he shared brave and poignant stories of his father and grandfather who served.
Learning about famous women who have made a powerful difference in society was one of our focuses this year. Here our pupils were learning about Elizabeth Bennett Anderson the first female doctor!
This is a picture taken from our series ‘Dreams and Goals.’ We had a variety of speakers in to talk about their dreams and how they reached their goal. Here, two very brave women spoke about how they swam the British Channel and the mental and physical hurdles they had to overcome to reach their goal. This was very inspiring!
This is the Director of Secondary Education at Ambitions Academies Trust sharing the importance of mental well being and keeping us healthy in a busy world! Teenage mental health is a huge issue at the moment and we know the importance of discussing this issue in depth across our school.
Tutor times are broken into sections per week– one PSHE Jigsaw related topic for discussion, one practical task (for reflection, encouragement, class bonding) and one reading section as a class – to run alongside our school focus – on improving the love of, and ability to read well.
There is a 30 minute tutor time in the morning, allowing all pupils to have an opportunity to speak their views on issues around SMSC, listen to visitors, have a ‘go to’ teacher should they have concerns or worries, as well as a bonding opportunity with the members of their tutor groups. These sessions are also used for pupils to receive any important messages from their Head of Year. There are a further 20 minutes of reading time in the afternoon each day.
The tutor time and assembly time will have a song theme each week – it will relate to the particular year group theme (it will be playing as pupils enter assembly and their tutor times.
All teachers at St Aldhelm’s understand that the main focus is on pupil discussion as a group, listening, reflecting and sharing thoughts and considered opinions. The emphasis is not getting through lots of slides, but listening and engaging in class discussion and if the pupils focus on one aspect – a question, a thought, an opinion as a group – then so be it!
Going the extra mile!
Assemblies and tutor times enrich our pupils’ lives and experiences. But we also believe that taking pupils learning outside of the classroom can help them grow a deeper love and understanding for the subject they are studying. Here are small examples of this in action.
Here our pupils performed at the Lighthouse with other schools from Poole.
The choir from St Aldhelm’s taking part in a Christmas concert at the Lighthouse Poole.
Multifaith day – a variety of people of different faiths came to share their beliefs, answer questions and model how to have a faith, listen to others and be respectful in conversation and about our differences.
St Aldhelm’s is a partner school with the Lighthouse. This means that we often receive many opportunities to go and see a variety of artists, shows, performances and back stage opportunities. This is a relationship we as a school treasure! Our pupils have benefited hugely from many experiences here.
Working with Artists in Residence (AIR project) our pupils designed and made our school values, which now hang, completed in our theatre! Belong, Explore, And Flourish!
Our Hair and Beauty students having a pampering session (as well as learning the ropes of a local salon!)
Our girls’ footy team! Building up a nice reputation for thrashing most of the other schools in our area! Go girls!
Italy 2020 ski trip – an experience our pupils will never forget!
At St Aldhelm’s, we encourage out pupils to think outside of themselves, raising money for charities and causes close to our hearts. Remembering that we can always help others when we work together!
Here is a short selection of events and activities we offer at St Aldhelms to enhance pupils’ learning and deepen their understanding of SMSC. For more information or if you would like to come and be part of what we are growing, perhaps offering yourself as a speaker in one of our assemblies, then please do get in touch with Mrs. Clare King (Assistant Vice principal SMSC) at [email protected]