The Safe School and Community team are a branch of the police that reach out into local schools to provide clear, unequivocal advice on a range of social issues. Their goal is to provide a solid background, which will help the student to make an informed, moral choice. The team also seek to heighten awareness of problems in society and are always sure to provide information to the students so that they know where to go to should an issue arise. Topics covered by the team vary, but over the course of the school year it is typical for them to cover issues surrounding:
- Domestic Violence
- Cyber Bullying
- Binge drinking
The Christian Union
The Christian Union has always been in place to some degree at Harewood College. From September 2013 it has become a joint venture with Avonbourne on Friday lunch times (both 5a and 5b). Sian Price, a former Avonbourne teacher who now works for Crossteach (crossteach.com) facilitates discussions, debates and times of reflection for both Christian and non- Christian students. Both boys and girls being able to mix together in this relaxed and open atmosphere is both welcoming, inclusive and distinct for most students in their education.
‘What I liked about it was we had the chance to have good, open discussions. You could give your views and opinions and your ideas weren’t doubted or questioned.’ SS
‘Every Friday we get to watch videos or have discussions about issues that you want to talk about. It is open to everyone. I am not a Christian but I feel welcome there as we can talk openly about the messages in the videos or about how we feel about things.’ LD
Harewood College is uniquely placed in that we are the only International Trust in the nation. As a college we have increasing links to many countries around the globe, providing useful opportunities for our students to experience other cultures and to share the joys of our own way of life. Students regularly have opportunities to complete exchanges to France and have been as far afield as Hungary, Italy and Poland in an effort to explore the world around us. We are also associated with Camps International where we have assisted in building projects in Cambodia.
The college attracts a high proportion of students from abroad. The school are proud to lead the Borough in terms of representation from other cultures within the student body. We currently have 29 different nationalities and a range of different faiths. The college seeks to celebrate this in a variety of ways:
- Interfaith week
- Celebration Assemblies
- Multi faith room
- Taster week in canteen
- Theme days
- Language weeks
- Christian Union
- Curriculum links
- Community links
Harewood College believes that through diversity comes strength. We are proud of all our students and staff from all backgrounds and creeds and are grateful for the experiences they bring.
Drama in Education
As a college we have a long history of using Theatre in Education groups to help get across the difficult social and moral messages that the student body need to hear. We use the Safe Schools and Community teams-a police led drama team as well as cultivating links with ‘State of Play,’ led by Sharon Muiriri-an internationally acclaimed actor, director and facilitator (and former parent of a Harewood student). This group also specialise in the use of applied drama within social inclusion settings, and as such, cover issues such as gambling and drug and alcohol misuse to name but a few.
The school has audited each curriculum area to ensure that we have as wide a coverage as possible of spiritual/moral education. Of course, it is not just the province of Religious Studies to convey the ethereal aspects that are so important to the education of every child. At Harewood College, spirituality, morality and ethics run through every subject and can be explored as comfortably in English where prejudice and the need to have high aspirations can be shown through the novel ‘Of Mice and Men,’ as well as Science where issues such as stem cell research and animal testing will be analysed. In addition, we run a Personal and Social Health education course which also addresses spiritual and moral concepts through discrete lessons and the use of outside speakers.
The Reflection Space is an area in the school where members of the community can find a moment of quiet to reflect, pray, think, meditate or contemplate. It is open to all faiths and beliefs and is new to the College this year.
The aim of the room is to enable students the space to connect with their spirituality in a quiet, private venue.
Assemblies and Tutor links
Students meet both in Houses and Year groups. This enables us to tackle age appropriate issues at the right time. We aim to cover topics which are universal in their requirement alongside matters which celebrate the multi-cultural society that we have within the school. This means that issues can be varied and wide ranging-but they are never random. Careful thought is given a year in advance and cover both the religious and secular in their subject matter. Religious holidays such as Christmas and Divali or Eid are given due respect and students are encouraged to respect and understand others’ practices and beliefs-for example the practice of fasting for Ramadan.
In addition, we have thought for the week in tutor time. These cover a combination of spiritual, moral and ethical topics that are current in the news at the time. A selection of these include:
- Is there life after death?
- How Green are you?
- Food Waste
- Goodbye Arts…
- Help for Heroes
- Oh No, not that gay thing again
- How are religious leaders chosen?
- What is the Christmas spirit?
Some time ago the school brought in the Olympic Pin initiative. One of these pins-the yellow one-is awarded for service to the school or community. The response to this has been particularly gratifying, with students providing evidence of making a real difference in their local communities. This can take a wide variety of forms, from fundraising for charities of choice to volunteering in a Retirement Home. These activities have allowed our students to experience something over and above book learning and form a vital component in helping them to become well-rounded citizens.
In addition to this, the college seeks to widen horizons through trips to local centres of worship and local businesses.
Every year the head boys select four charities that we as a school then pledge to support. Often our students will have a personal connection which often adds meaning to our efforts. In recent times our charities have included:
- Young Carers
- Help for Heroes
- Alopecia Society
- Homeless Shelter
- Jeans for Genes
- Sam’s Haven
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