Simon Balle All-through School has a unique ethos, which is highly visible to everyone who knows our school. Our ethos is shaped by both our beliefs and our purpose for education.
We believe that:
- Education is a key driver to ensure that all human beings flourish so that they can become happy, successful people who live well together as part of a community
- Each individual is valued for who they are and what they bring. Everyone will be treated fairly and with dignity
- Mindset and intelligence are not fixed and we have the highest aspirations for all
We believe that it is our purpose to ensure we are education “tomorrow’s citizens today” and as such they need:
– Knowledge, skills and wisdom to achieve well and make wise choices
– Hope and to be aspirational
– In a diverse world, be able to work well with a range of people and live in happy communities
– Treat others and treat themselves with dignity and respect
These precepts will govern all our decisions and actions. We have a clear set of values that underpin this ethos and a vision for all our young people to aspire to.
The Simon Balle Student
The Simon Balle Student will have had a dynamic educational experience. They will have achieved the highest possible grades and will be able to go out into the globally competitive world with the skills, attributes and behaviours equipped for the twenty-first century.
Our students will be motivated to achieve their very best, be resourceful and resilient, able to accept others for who they are. They will be contented people, creative in their thinking, respectful and responsible in their actions.
Simon Balle students will have discovered what they find interesting and be passionate about their learning. They will possess confidence and have a sense of self worth, being empowered to make decisions and to self improve.
We have received notification of a new website called Educate Against Hate
We would encourage you to take the time to look at it using the link here: http://www.educateagainsthate.com/
Model United Nations at Haileybury - March 2018
Some of our KS4 and KS5 took part again in the annual MUN at Haileybury School. We then received this email from a parent:
"I wanted to say a great big thank you for enabling my son to participate in the M.U.N. conferences this year, he has absolutely loved the experience. It has been great to see him so enthused and motivated. He voluntarily researched crisis in Myanmar and spent a long time crafting his resolution.
On Friday night after the first session at Haileybury he came home fizzing with excitement at having met so many people from all over the world including students from Spain and America. He met a girl from Wembley who has written a similar resolution to him and then spent nearly two hours collaborating on a merged version. I wasn't listening to the whole conversation but it was a very mature negotiation on the text and structure that would work best. He is so lucky to get exposure to such things at 14 and the skills learned here will be valuable as he grows up.
He was so delighted that he got his resolution passed twice. He has had a really stimulating weekend and enjoyed all aspects of it including being given the independence to just get on with it! Thank you so much.
I am sure that if there any more opportunities like this in the future he would jump at the chance to participate again."
You can also see the website post relating to this visit by clicking this link http://www.simonballe.herts.sch.uk/haileybury-mun-2018/
A Changing World - January 2018
This assembly was delivered (Jan 2018) to look at the two sides of the Brexit argument and the need to research, in order to come to your own conclusion. It also showed the power of direct democracy via the referendum and parliamentary sovereignty.
PDF version: A Changing World
British Values (lesson in period 5) - Dec 2017
This was delivered to students in December 2017 getting them to reflect on the British values in groups. The aim was for students to debate, analyse and draw examples from their own experience on democracy etc.
PDF version: British Values - Lesson in Period 5
Student Mock Election - June 2017
Below is the text from 2 website posts about the student mock election held in June 2017.
8th June: We are delighted to announce brisk turnout at the Simon Balle Polling Station. To aid their electoral literacy students are given the experience of how actual votes are run from registering with the election official on entry to the polling station, individual polling booths and a ballot box. We run an open count at the end of polling.
However, due to Electoral Law our ‘declaration’ will be on Friday 9th June!
I, Miss Philpott, (unofficial!) Returning Officer for the Simon Balle Students constituency declare that: the total number of votes given to each party was as follows:
Donald Trump - Jan 2017
This is an example of an assembly delivered after Donald Trump became President of the United States. The aim was to look at how democracy operates in the United States and the checks and balances on power. This provided a chance to compare the British democratic system to the United States.
PDF version: Assembly 2017 - Trump
Radicalisation and Extremism - May 2017
After major incidents of terrorism staff are taught how to approach this with students. This is an example of a staff training powerpoint delivered this year. Either use the Slideshare image below or click on this link Radicalisation and Extremism to download a pdf version of the powerpoint used.
Challenging Misconceptions - November 2015
The article below was written by ex Simon Balle teacher Andrew Jones. Mr Jones left us when he gained promotion to Head of Religious Studies & Sociology at Goffs School in Cheshunt but has kept in touch with members of staff here. Considering the recent events in Paris, Egypt and around the world I thought it was a very powerful article to share with the Simon Balle All-through School community. Andrew, who also writes for The Guardian, has also given us permission to use a precis version of his article as part of our Period 5 programme. Although it is a long and thoughtful document, I would like to draw specific attention to the '3 ways to challenge misconception in school' at the end.
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Simon Balle these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is deeply embedded within the school. Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard through many mechanisms but especially the School Council and Student Leadership Programmes. Important feedback and decisions drive our school Improvement Plan and permeates into everything we do, for example the curriculum, teaching and learning, charities and careers. The election of Form and Year Representatives is based solely on student votes and our school behaviour policy involves rewards which are run by our sixth form leaders. Democracy is also taught through mock elections (General Election) and also key referendums (Scottish Devolution). This is a great way to allow students to be part of the key discussions and decisions which shape and mould our nation.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced throughout the school day. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Lessons on the rule of law are taught both explicitly in Period 5 lessons and assemblies but also implicitly in the regular curriculum. Visits from authorities such as the police and magistrates are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through a provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our PSHE and Period 5 lessons. This may be through teaching and learning, in their choice of challenge, how they record information or feedback to their peers, or through participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs.
Our students are encouraged to be active citizens prepared for the outside world and are given the freedom to make choices every day and in many different situations and arenas.
Simon Balle has a unique ethos which is highly visible. Our ethos is linked to our values. We believe that everyone is special and can contribute to the life of our community. Some people describe our ethos as ‘holistic’, where we look at developing and respecting the whole individual in order for them to play a full role in our global environment. We have a strong moral purpose and believe that everyone should not only take responsibility for their own actions but model those behaviours they expect to see in others. This is modelled by staff, student leaders and echoed in our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing student understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies, curriculum opportunities and ‘deep learning days’ facilitate discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.