Our school ethos is to ensure that each student develops as a complete person, both academically and pastorally. We also expect all members of our school community to share a core set of values appropriate for life in modern Britain. Therefore the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students is equally important as their academic progress and achievements.
The personal development of our students is enabled by our broad and balanced curriculum, pastoral support programme, extra-curricular activities and trips/visits that broaden their life experience. Further details of the impact on students and examples of activities and events can be found below:
Astley CHS Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:
• ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
• sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
• use of imagination and creativity in their learning willingness to reflect on their experiences.
• In PSHE all year groups have explored healthy lifestyles and a variety of other topics which create discussion and reflection.
• Pupils have opportunities to reflect on learning experiences both in and out of lessons. For example, team talks following sports matches to reflect on how the game was played and agree the next steps; a reflective log in Art where pupils assess what they have done well and identify the next steps to make progress.
• In Science, PSHE, RE & History lessons, pupils study various topics that contribute to their perspective on life.
• RE visits to the Sikh temple in Newcastle and during activities week “The Multi-cultural experience” enhance student’s spiritual experiences.
• Pupils are able to celebrate and appreciate “Our Planet” during PSHE lessons and learn to protect our environment.
• Pupils celebrate other religious festivals and some take leave to participate in such activities.
• Regular RE lessons explore different religions and the way other people view the world.
• We celebrate Christmas with Christmas assemblies and our annual Christmas fayre which involves many people from around the local area. Other assemblies take place during key religious occasions.
• All of our students will have had the opportunity to visit Milkhope Farmhouse in the Cheviot hills (which we lease from the Forestry Commission). Main focus is appreciation of the outdoors and working together.
Astley CHS Pupils’ moral development is shown by their:
• ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
• understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
• interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.
• Pupils at Astley have always shown an interest in and respect for other people's feelings and values. Within lessons, pupils investigate and offer their views about moral and ethical issues. For example in PSHE the topic of marriage and Divorce looks at the ethical issues in a modern society and whether Marriage is a thing of the past or still relevant today?
• In History, pupils study the impact of how the Germans treated different sections of society and the current issues within the world. These issues are often backed up in PSHE & RE lessons.
• Our weekly quiz for tutor groups also keeps students up to date with moral & ethical issues.
• Looking at right and wrong: History pupils learning about the Suffragette movement. Many discussion/debating issues in PSHE & RE lessons.
• In RE lesson, pupils study the topic of euthanasia.
• Charity activities always have a high profile within Astley CHS. We currently have a community and charity group in year 9 which meets every other Wednesday. They organise all sorts of events including Christmas presents for the elderly and Easter eggs for children in hospital. We support many charities such as Macmillan coffee morning, Comic Relief, Milkhope Renovations and The Sam Wilson Fund.
• We have had several theatre companies and rock bands who have been in school and worked with pupils on Moral issues such as relationships, drug/alcohol use and making good decisions.
• Assembly on the Holocaust and other key events which remind us how fragile we are as humans.
• Enrichment for year 9 students on Wednesday week one covers various moral issues including relationships, substance abuse and homophobic bullying.
• Sixth Form students are challenged to think about many issues in subjects such as Psychology and Sociology in particular.
Astley CHS Pupils’ social development is shown by their:
• use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
• willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
• acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
• Astley students like to participate in a variety of social settings. For example, in Year 9 English, classes have the opportunity to learn in a variety of settings. Expectations for learning are carefully transferred from classroom to ICT suite, to Library.
• The warm relationships enjoyed by pupils with teachers and with each other is commented on by all visitors to the school and our welcoming atmosphere is apparent at all times.
• We recently hosted 28 Danish teachers, who found our school a social and welcoming place to be. They commented on the calm atmosphere around school and how smart and pleasant our students were.
• Transition week from middle school to high school is always appreciated by students and parents – various activities are arranged for students to get to know each other and help with their confidence.
• Astley Standard - Pupils work together as a team to decide the story, communicate clearly to their audience and work to a deadline.
• Competitions such as the weekly quiz, pupils working in teams to achieve merits with the support of their peers.
• In Science, PSHE & RE pupils study the reproduction & relationships.
• The School Council and Form Representatives use a variety of different skills to communicate their messages to a variety of audiences.
• Christmas Dinner for the elderly is always a great occasion, those that live in the local Community are invited to attend and be part of the celebrations. In addition, we normally take out in the region of 50 hampers for the elderly each Christmas.
• In Geography pupils investigate flooding and learn the social consequences of flooding, as well as other natural disasters.
• Activities week, Outward Bound, Milkhope, Ardeche, Alton Towers, New York, Paris, Battlefields and London are just a few of the trips that have been arranged for students in recent years.
• The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme (Silver award) is offered to all 6th form students. We currently have 33 students in year 12 who are taking part in the award. The bronze award is this year also being offered to lower school.
• The National Citizen Service work with a number of our students each year – the aim of this program is to directly develop students’ confidence, social and employability skills. Over 40 students in year 12 and 25 in year 13 have taken part in the program. A fair few of the current year 12 did the NCS program in year 11.
Astley CHS pupils' cultural development is shown by their:
• understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and those of others
• understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
• knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
• willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
• interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.
• The cultural environment of the school is a warm and caring one created so that pupils may thrive. Our students say “please” and “thank you”, hold open doors, say “good morning” etc.
• Pupil successes are celebrated in as many ways as possible; posters around the school, achievement assemblies and celebration events all help to show pupils how they are valued as individuals.
• We have a half-termly prize draw for each year group which celebrates achievement. Each year group has £100 of prizes, which the 50 highest achieving students can access.
• The PE Department encourage a wide range of opportunities for girls in what may be perceived as typically male dominated sports for example all of our girls teams are regional rugby league champions and our Year 10 girls RL team are National champions! We also have a girl’s football team.
• Humanities trip to Newcastle is always very popular with year 9.
• All students take part in Activities Week and experience various cultural activities, such as visits to various parts of Britain.
• English students regularly experience the theatre and visit venues such as the Theatre Royal in Newcastle.
• Displays celebrate and value both academic and extra-curricular achievements throughout the school.
• Our assembly rota includes a variety of different topics designed to promote thought and reflection. In particular, The Charlie Hebdo and British Values assemblies in particular help students to understand the world we live in a little better.