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British Values

At Thornden School, we actively promote positive, inclusive values. These include democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. We believe British values are those values expected of anyone living in Britain, regardless of their nationality, culture or religious belief.

Our ethos reflects these values. We place great emphasis on building positive relationships in school, amongst the students themselves and between staff and students. We strongly believe students should not merely be taught such values but that they are embedded into school life.

We strive to support our students to develop into confident, happy, successful young adults who have empathy towards and an understanding of those less fortunate than themselves.

The information below reflects how Thornden works to promote positive values through the ethos and life of the school, for example through a broad and balanced curriculum, and through social, moral, cultural and spiritual development.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development at Thornden School

 The SMSC development of pupils is intrinsic with the aims and ethos at Thornden School.

 Thornden aims to:

  • Help all pupils to discover all their abilities and talents and to develop them in the most positive and constructive manner.
  • Support and encourage pupils during the years of adolescence so they are prepared for their role as adults in the wider world.
  • Help all pupils to grow up as healthy and responsible individuals.
  • Encourage pupils to develop qualities of self- discipline, confidence, creativity and sensitivity.
  • Actively encourage pupils to respect the needs and rights of others.
  • Promote the skills and understanding necessary for pupils to achieve the highest possible individual academic achievement, and the skills necessary for pupils to develop a critical awareness of the natural, aesthetic, historical, ethical and technological environments. 

The ethos at Thornden combines a focus on achievement with a strong concern for the social development of each individual. All pupils are valued as individuals. There is a broad and balanced approach to learning including a very extensive extra-curricular programme. The latter provides wider social learning experiences and helps to support a sense of belonging and achievement. 

Within the curriculum, subjects such as PSHE (including Citizenship) and RE have particular links to SMSC, however all subjects and areas of school life contribute to the pupils’ SMSC development at Thornden. The following gives an overview of some of the ways in which SMSC is evident at Thornden but is in no way exhaustive.       

The pupils’ Spiritual Development is nurtured at Thornden by developing their:

  • Ability to be reflective about their own beliefs (religious or otherwise) and perspective on life
  • Knowledge of, and respect for other 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 learning
  • Willingness to reflect on their own experiences.

KS3 PSHE tutor programme: SEAL ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Knowing Myself.

KS4 Core RE programme (entitled Ethics & Belief): pupils study a range of contemporary issues. As part of the study of these issues, pupils consider the views of others, including some religious views, and their own. Examples of the issues covered include Poverty, Prejudice and Discrimination (Racism, Sexism and the Holocaust), Medical Ethics (Abortion, Euthanasia and FGM), Non-Religious Movements and Cults.

RE: pupils produce a display piece reflecting the different aspects to their personality, they write about or even create, their own shrine like area reflecting the different things that are important to them in life, produce presentations about what is sacred to them and write poems or song lyrics entitled ‘I Believe…’. All RE assessments also give pupils the opportunity to evaluate issues linked to the concepts they are enquiring into, this requires them to consider and justify different perspectives regarding the issues as well as their own.

A range of different religious and non- religious views/ beliefs are studied e.g. Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, agnostic, humanist and atheist, the influence of Christianity on society today, Christian Perspectives and Ethics in relation to personal, social and world issues e.g. Euthanasia, Crime and Punishment, including the death penalty. Pupils consider a range of issues e.g. Religion and Life, Relationships and Families, Religion, War and Peace, Social Justice and Human Rights in the Yr. 11 RS GCSE, themes paper. Islam and Christianity are also studied in the Yr. 10 RS GCSE religions paper. The study of Islam includes misconceptions about this religion e.g. the true meaning of the Muslim concept of Jihad.

Pupils are encouraged to complete tasks in a variety of imaginative and creative ways. Each unit of work at KS 3 and a number of units at KS 4 include a group presentation task which can be presented in a variety of ways e.g. poster presentations, power points, movie maker, role plays, talks etc. Other individual home learning and classwork tasks can be completed as the pupils’ choose e.g. identity collages and t-shirts, Hindu Samara board games, Easter advent games, poems, song lyrics, newspaper articles, 3D models and cakes!

Mathematics: pupils look at patterns in the world around us. We try to install a sense of awe and wonder when looking at symmetry in nature; the Fibonacci sequence; very big and very small numbers and infinity.

Art: most KS3 & 4 projects have inherent elements in them, which promote the expression of personal thoughts visually. An example of this is in Yr. 8 pupils produce portraits by studying the way they look and making comparisons to how others in the class look.

English: at KS3 pupils are exposed to a wide range of poetry that enables them to learn about themselves and others in the world around them. They are encouraged to explore their own identity, beliefs and values within the context of the poetry that they read and then use their own imaginations to respond either through their own writing or performance of poems. In years 7, 8 and 9 pupils also study a whole novel that is carefully chosen to enable the pupils to reflect meaningfully on their life and others. Those studied in the chosen novels include family bereavement, war, religion and historical events. Pupils complete reflective reading logs and respond creatively and critically orally and in writing to the issues that arise.

Geography: there are opportunities for pupils to experience a sense of ‘awe and wonder’ throughout the curriculum, for example, as through the study the rainforests, Pinatubo, Aboriginal People and they even have the opportunity to visit Iceland. Study of place at different scales, e.g., local area fieldwork to St Catherine’s Hill to evaluate the costs and benefits of the M3 motorway expansion; decision-making exercise on whether the Navitus Bay wind farm should go ahead; how our consumption has impacts in different parts of the world.

History: Pupils study a range of topics, which encourage them to reflect on the way people’s lives are shaped by events around them. For example, the ways that events such as the Norman invasion, the Industrial Revolution and terrorism impact upon people’s lives.

Music: there are a range of units of work that enable the pupils to develop an awareness of the power of Music and how music can be used to express and reflect thoughts and feelings. In Yr. 7 pupils study fanfares and Remembrance Day, Rap music and African drumming. In Yr. 9 they study music in Film and stage music. They also look at the Blues, slavery and the slave trade. Pupils also have opportunities to perform in school and community concerts extending their personal experience.

PE: teachers and pupils have a sound understanding and respect of how beliefs can contribute to the personal identity of pupils. Jewellery/clothing restrictions and those with fasting times are respected and considered without question. Pupils are also given opportunities to discover more about themselves and others by experiencing a wide range of roles through different activities and different roles. E.g. captaincy, coach, official, team organiser and leadership as well as analysing their own and others performance.

Dance: A Martin Luther King SOW explores non-violent protest which taps into Christianity through MLK’s work, considers the path of Ghandi, pacifism to combat aggression etc. A City Life Unit explores everyday movement and gestrures encouraging pupils to learn empathy, observation and understanding. Yr8 Bollywood explores the idea of life in all things, the spirit within a tree and focuses on the Chipko story. Yr9 Street Dance considers the spirit of creativity within Hip Hop that helped a community rebuild itself.

Drama: All drama schemes encourage the use of imagination and creativity in learning.

ICT/Computer Science: There are several KS3 modules concerned with internet safety and the impact of ICT. Within internet safety there is a particular attention paid to the impact social networking sites have on our relationships and how they are now interacting with the world around them. There is also a unit on how technology is shaping the world and the impact it has on their lives. The KS3 units allow for the students use of imagination and creativity when they are working on a piece of work, for example creating a movie poster. At KS4 the students’ studies modules linked to ethical, cultural, and legal issues around technology and how computers have shaped the modern world. They also complete a programming project that allows them to use their imagination and creativity.

MFL: Lessons dedicated to religious/national festivals e.g. Christmas/Easter/Eid/Ramadan e.g. Christmas/Easter/Eid/Ramadan. Learning about other cultures – value of learning other languages/tolerance of other cultures. Breaking down of religious/cultural stereotypes.

Science: KS3 lessons on digestion, exercise and the human machine. Each unit in Science allows pupils to think and apply their prior knowledge to explain observations and express their ideas

Extra- curricular opportunities: helping pupils in their quest for individual identity, with opportunities to further develop areas of interest and skills, and to discover new ones. E.g. music (choirs, brass ensemble, flutations, Sax Mad, Jazz Band, String Orchestra, Wind Band, Rock Band and Percussion ensemble ), sport (football, rugby, basketball, badminton, dodge ball, hockey and gym) drama productions, dance, Glee, MFL trips and exchanges, RE Film Club, debating, an Amnesty group, a media group and Duke of Edinburgh.

The pupils’ Moral Development is nurtured at Thornden by developing their:

  • Ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to really apply this understanding in their own lives, and to recognise the legal boundaries, and in doing so, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • Understanding the consequences of their behaviour and actions.
  • Interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues; offering reasoned views about these and the ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoint of others on them.

KS 3 PSHE, tutor programme: SEAL - ‘Risky Behaviour’. Citizenship – ‘Being a citizen’, ‘Rights and responsibilities’, ‘Introducing rules, laws and the Justice System in relation to bullying’, ‘What rights do you have at home in the UK?’, ‘What rights are you entitled to under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?’, ‘How rights and responsibilities change as we get older’, and ‘Responsibility and Justice’, and the Youth Justice System. Sex Education lessons and Health Education lessons.

KS 4 PSHE programme: e.g. Health Education, Sex Education, Citizenship - ‘Pressure Groups’, ‘Justice: How does the law affect you?’ and ‘Justice: How are citizens involved with the legal system?’

KS 4, Core RE programme (entitled Ethics & Belief): the pupils study a range of contemporary issues and consider the views of others, including some religious views, and their own views in relation to them. Examples of the issues studied include, Poverty, Prejudice and Discrimination (Racism, Sexism and the Holocaust), Medical Ethics (Abortion, Euthanasia and FGM), Non-Religious Movements and Cults.  

RE: examples include ‘The Holocaust’ with a presentation from a survivor, how we know what is right and wrong, if there are some actions so bad they can never be forgiven, reasons why we punish as a society and the death penalty. The pupils also look at the arguments for and against violent and non-violent protest. One of the three main skills in RE is EVALUATION which requires pupils to consider reasons to agree or disagree with a statement related to the religious concept, moral or ethical issue in question before giving their own opinion about it.

Mathematics: Pupils investigate percentage interest rates in terms of loans and savings. They may look at discrepancies between rates and begin to have a basic understanding of how banks make money.  Pupils also look at bias when considering questionnaires.

History: pupils study the treatment of the Jews in Medieval England, the Holocaust, Slavery and the Empire, causes of WW2, the dropping of the atomic bomb, dictators and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Science: KS3 pupils look at mosquito noise and consider if sound should be used as a weapon, they consider if smoking should be banned, if money should be spent on space flight, if athletes should be allowed to use drugs and if they should be allowed bio-enhancement. At KS4 the pupils consider a range of issues including: genetic engineering, IVF, intensive farming, stem cell research, quarrying, overhead verses underground cables, recycling and the impact of deforestation.

Geography: pupils consider the provision of water and water aid, and drug/human trafficking, Australia’s ‘Sorry Day’, deforestation in the tropical rainforests, and the different effects of tourism. At key stage 4, a case study of Nigeria and Lagos allow an insight into life in a low-income country.  The uneven global distribution of resources, with a focus on water, allows pupils to understand the causes and consequences of water insecurity

Performing Arts: Dance - there is a Martin Luther King SoW exploring the moral position of both sides, segregation and equality, Yr 8 Lindyhop understanding the continued segregation of culture through genre, Bollywood theme of work based on the Chipko story. Yr 9 Street Dance looks at the emergence of Hip Hop as a creative outlet from a violent and gang led society. Yr 7 Holocaust Day Dance/Drama work. Drama - KS3 pupils study a SoW related to bullying and at KS4 the pupils study Secrets Paul King Plays i.e. ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’; Pupils also create a production based on the aftermath of an accident which deals with disability.  Music - pupils study a unit entitled ‘Music in the Media’ which is an opportunity to consider how music is used in a variety of different media, why the use of music in TV and advertising is important and to make critical judgements about how music is used in the media.  Units on Blues, Rap, and Reggae look at the moral meaning behind the music.  Descriptive music, where music is used to portray and describe objects/animals/poems. 

English: Issues relating to questions of right and wrong and human conflict on a local and global level are explored throughout the literature and English programme at KS3 and KS4. By studying poetry, novels and a wide range of non-fiction texts pupils read and produce texts that require questions to be raised, considered and debated. Pupils in Year 7 study ‘The Boy in the Strip Pyjamas’ and explore the implications of moral responsibility.  In Year 8 and at GCSE level, pupils study units on 'Conflict' which includes the examination of poetry and prose that reflects on the morality of war.  In Year 9, students study 'American Culture' and explore the implications of historical racial tension in the USA.

Art: The whole nature of Art and Design as a subject is based on the communication of ideas, ideologies and values. GCSE pupils, for example, have to illustrate one of the ‘seven sins’, using their sense of consideration and responsibility (and morality to some extent) to create a striking image that informs but does not offend.

Design and Technology: Food - pupils undertake an environmental / sustainable project which considers the use of convenience foods and labour saving equipment, advantages/disadvantages. Textiles - pupils discuss waste, make recycled roll bags and recycled door stops. They discuss environment and sustainability. Resistant Materials - the use of materials and environmental issues are studied. Graphic Products - when looking at packaging the pupils consider the 6 ‘R’s environmental issues, the use of materials and non-renewable sources of materials. These themes continue into Graphics GCSE as well. Finally in Systems and Control Electronics when looking at personal alarm circuits the pupils consider moral aspects in relation to privacy, trust and personal space.

ICT/Computer Science: pupils consider internet safety and dangers associated with disclosing personal information. At KS4 the students’ studies modules linked to ethical, cultural, and legal issues around technology.  Pupils will also have the opportunity to look at the data protection act, computer misuse act and copyright, designs and patent act, creative commons licence, the freedom of information act and the ethics involved in computing in both KS3 and KS4.

PE: pupils are taught about the codes and conventions of conduct agreed by the activities and society. They are encouraged to make judgements on moral issues as they arise by applying moral principles, insights and reasoning. GCSE pupils look at examples of social change and attitudes, e.g. Jessie Owens and they are expected to set a good role model example to our feeder school children when they teach and assist them. Sports captains are expected to set a good example for the lower school children and have a code of conduct to follow e.g. no bad language and being pleasant to other children as they would want them to be to them.

MFL: Discussions about healthy lifestyles – smoking, drugs, social issues (relationships). Also KS4 – racism, homelessness, poverty, gender equality, environment and school rules. KS3 – Environment, injustice and racism.

Business and Economics: Pupils look at how the actions of one stakeholder group can have an adverse effect on the members of another stakeholder group. Pupils look at how big business can exploit their dominant position and how government attempts to regulate this.  Pupils look at international trade and the relationship between wealthy nations and the developing world, acknowledging that although practices may be legal, they are not necessarily ethical.

The pupils’ Social Development is nurtured at Thornden through developing 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 volunteering, co-operating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • Acceptance of and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
  • They will develop skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain. 

KS 3 tutor programme: SEAL ‘Listen well’, ‘What motivates?’ ‘Doing different things’, and ‘Excitement and socialising’, ‘Peer pressure’, ‘Stresses and strains’ and ‘Risky Behaviour’.

KS 3 tutor programme: Citizenship, ‘Democracy and electing tutor reps’, ‘Local government and democracy’, ‘Introducing central government’, ‘The democratic and electoral process’, ‘Introducing the idea of precious liberties in relation to the themes of identity and diversity’, ‘Identity and Diversity in our local area’, ‘Introducing being a citizen (Rights and responsibilities)’, ‘Helping others’, ‘What rights do citizens have?),‘How do rights change as we get older?’, Responsibility and Justice (The Youth Justice System)’.

KS 3 tutor programme: Charity Work, Internet Safety, Interim Reports – Analysis and target setting, Road Safety, Arson, Anti-Bullying, GCSE Option Choices and Careers Fayre, Sex and Health Education lessons.

KS 3 ‘More to Me’: This is a Thornden school award to recognise the participation and contributions made by pupils to life at Thornden and to the wider community. This includes extra-curricular activities, voluntary work and charity work.

KS 4 tutor programme: Interview Preparation, Charity Work, Compiling Progress Files and Personal Statements, Reports – Analysis and target setting, Careers – work experience and visits by a careers advisor, careers interviews and how to write a CV, Yr. 10 Enterprise Day.

KS 4 Core RE programme (entitled Ethics & Belief): pupils study a range of contemporary issues and consider the views of others in society, including some religious views, and their own views in relation to them e.g. Poverty, Prejudice and Discrimination (Racism, Sexism and the Holocaust), Medical Ethics (Abortion, Euthanasia and FGM), Non-Religious Movements and Cults.     

KS 4 PSHE programme: Health Education, Sex Education, Citizenship (how do you become a Citizen and what is citizenship?’ ‘Government and public spending’, ‘Pressure Groups’, ‘How does the law affect you?’ ‘How are citizens involved in the legal system?’ and ‘Do politics play a role in punishment?’).

KS 4 Thornden Award: The emphasis of this award is on recognising and rewarding the incredibly diverse and challenging activities that pupils at Thornden are involved in. There are 4 strands to the award; personal development, community contribution, academic performance and school leadership. These 4 strands enable pupils to demonstrate the unique contribution they make locally, nationally and ultimately to the international sphere.

RE: a range of different religious and non- religious views/ beliefs are studied e.g. Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, agnostic, humanist and atheist, the influence of Christianity on society today, Christian Perspectives and Ethics in relation to personal, social and world issues e.g. Euthanasia, Crime and Punishment, including the death penalty. Violent and non-violent protest is considered as means of resolving conflict. Pupils consider a range of issues e.g. war & peace, poverty & wealth, medical ethics, human relationships, and prejudice & discrimination in the Yr. 11 RS GCSE, ‘Christian Perspectives and Ethics’ units. Islam is also studied for Yr. 10 RS GCSE and includes misconceptions about this religion e.g. the true meaning of the Muslim concept of Jihad. In addition, Year 10 pupils represent Thornden on the Hampshire SACRE Youth Voice group meeting termly at the council offices in Winchester.  

History: the campaign for the vote, democracy verses dictatorship and issues to do with terrorism. Pupils also are able to take part in visits during KS4 to places like Berlin in their study of German history and the rise of the Nazis

Geography: pupils visit St Catherine’s Hill, Winchester, to consider the M3 development and points of view regarding the destruction of Twyford Down. Year 10 Geography pupils visit the South Coast to see how humans can have an impact on natural processes. Pupils also study different global groups e.g. the Favela dwellers in urban Brazil, the Aboriginal People in Australia, and the Maasai in Kenya. At key stage 4, a case study of Nigeria and Lagos allows an insight into life in a low-income country.  The uneven global distribution of resources, with a focus on water, allows pupils to understand the causes and consequences of water insecurity.

ICT/Computer Science: safe working practices when using the Internet (cyber bullying, grooming and social networking sites). The students also get the opportunity to look at ethic and environmental issues.  In a KS3 module there is also the chance for students to discuss how body image appears in the media.

Mathematics: throughout KS3 and 4 pupils learn basic numeracy skills – how to calculate simple and compound interest relating this to financial awareness, solve real life problems such as, ‘Which would be the best buy?

English: English: In our Year 7 scheme 'Power of Language’, students examine news articles that deal with the emerging issues of modern life, including the role of technology in social interaction.  In Year 8, pupils study poetry from other cultures to explore issues connected with modern, multicultural Britain through literary portrayals of the challenges faced by migrants and those with hybrid identities.  In Year 9 they study ‘Of Mice and Men’ and Romeo and Juliet which encourage students to think about the strengths and weaknesses of community and identity.  At KS4, students study presentations of gender, identity and power as themes that run through a range of text types.

MFL: Look at volunteering and charity work as part of GCSE course.

Design and Technology: Food Tech: healthy eating project (Please also refer back to the contributions D and T make to the moral development of the pupils as these also impact on the social development).

Business and Economics: enquiry into business opportunities and how money is rarely an entrepreneur’s motivation but more satisfaction, achievement and independence. Showing enterprise and the idea that we control our own destiny through being creative, taking risks, showing initiative and being self confident. How to get the best out of staff through effective motivation. Different forms of poverty and how this can impact on well being, unemployment; the causes and effects, and government spending, the drawbacks of economic growth and sustainable growth.  Pressure groups and the importance of corporate social responsibility in today’s business world.

PE: as essentially a social activity recognising and valuing the worth of every individual; developing a sense of community; building up relationships with others through team and partner work. It involves listening to the opinion of others, accepting judgements and sharing ideas with peers and adults. PE is about negotiating skills; being able to give and take; it is about acting considerately towards others – showing respect and tolerance towards those less able in the team. It often involves adopting the role of teacher/coach which means taking personal responsibility and acting in a safe and considerate way. Pupils are also encouraged to appreciate the efforts of others through observation and learn to be a supportive audience. Schemes of work, such as Paralympic lessons encourage pupils to consider athletes with a disability and the disabled in general in society.

Dance: Yr7 Martin Luther King, Yr8 Rock’n’Roll/ Lindyhop and Yr9 Street Dance units all explore social positioning, society in 1950s and 1970s America and the role of African American influence in Lindyhop and Hip Hop.

Music: students perform their work for one another in all KS3 lessons. All KS 3 assessment work is a performance of the pupils’ own composition or a performance of an existing piece of music. These performances may be individual but more often are in pairs or in small groups. At GCSE the students will do a solo performance and a group performance that is 30% of the course. Pupils perform in school and community concerts; rehearsing and working with other pupils in extra-curricular groups. The wind band for example encompasses pupils from year 7 to 11 rehearsing and working together making music.  

Science: all enquiry/practical lessons contribute to the social development of the pupils. In addition, Science (as with all curriculum subjects at Thornden) consistently encourages and helps pupils to develop the skills to become self- managers, effective practitioners, independent enquirers, creative thinkers, team workers and reflective learners, throughout all lessons.

The range of teaching and learning strategies across the curriculum: RE - in every lesson opportunities are incorporated for discussion/debate and there are written evaluation answers in every summative assessment which require pupils to consider reasons people may agree and disagree with an issue related to the work studied. There are opportunities for pupils to develop their social skills by listening to one another and for independent learning including paired and group work. Modern Foreign Languages - Pupils often work collaboratively in pairs/groups for speaking, comprehension and critiquing language particularly at KS4. Topics – at KS4, pupils learn to discuss wider social issues such as Fair Trade, Poverty, and the Environment.  At KS3, pupils cover topics such as social media. Music - work in pairs or small groups are an important part of Music lessons in KS3 and music making in school. As a plenary, classes often listen to student’s performances and compositions ‘so far’ and then discuss how to improve and develop them.  The Year 10 SoW is also very much based around creating ensemble performances/compositions in groups of 4-5. Dance - All lessons require pupils to work in a supportive and tolerant way building an awareness of teamwork and creative partnerships. Pupils learn to push their own physical limits through the study of technical movement. They also work in pairs and groups to develop creative skills to build on their work.  Maths - there are team games and mathematical mysteries to solve throughout.  English - there is regular group work e.g. Dragon’s Den. PE - there are opportunities for the pupils to work with different groups of pupils throughout their school career.

Cross curricular projects: e.g. an Environment Project in Yr. 7 which involves Science, Geography and MFL, the Holocaust which involves cross curricular input from RE, Geography, English, Art, Drama, Dance and History.

Drama productions: incorporate pupils of differing gender and ability from across every year group.

Extra-Curricular activities: PE - Pupils are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities and inter-tutor group competitions – thereby mixing with even more people from their own year group and those from different age groups. If selected to represent the school they meet with pupils from other schools with similar interests e.g. district sports day. They may be encouraged to join a sports club e.g. Trojans. Music – various choirs, bands etc. The school musical staged at the end of the summer term encompasses solo singing, duets, small group singing and chorus/large ensemble singing. Every endeavour is made to have as many pupils play in the orchestra as possible for this annual production. There is also an opportunity for pupils to play and perform alongside music and peripatetic staff. English – Thornden Live open to all year groups and abilities. MFL: Trips & Exchanges – Encountering and socialising with people from different backgrounds.

Student Voice: tutor representatives, year councils, the school council, sports representatives, the year 11 concert committee, the year 11 yearbook team and year 11 prom committee. Pupils’ views are also sought through subject evaluations, questionnaires and focus groups e.g. RE (KS3&4), Science and ICT, homework surveys, and pupil attitude surveys. Pupils are also involved when recruiting staff e.g. pupils’ feedback on lessons taken by teachers being interviewed.

Participate in the wider community: interschool competitions and fixtures through PE, Science and MFL quizzes, debating competitions, outreach work with primary schools e.g. PE, Science (a visit to Life Lab for KS 3 pupils and work with Southampton university and the well woman survey) and Music (school bands and choirs perform at community fetes and charity concerts).

Members of the wider community are also welcomed into school: a Holocaust survivor, a former prisoner, married couples from Students Exploring Marriage, Firgrove Pregnancy and Advisory Service, an Anglican minister, a representative from the charity LIFE and 2 doctors for a medical ethics discussion, and individuals from different careers linked to Science, author visits and sporting role models.        

The pupils’ Cultural Development is nurtured at Thornden by developing their:

  • Understand and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
  • Understanding and appreciation of different cultures in the school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • Ability to recognise and value the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities
  • 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 identity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. This is shown by respect and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio economic groups in the local, national and global communities.   

KS 3 tutor programme: Citizenship - pupils are introduced to the themes of identity and diversity in Yr 7. In Yr8, they build on this and look at identity and diversity in our local area and in Yr 9, each tutor group takes part in a ‘Life in the UK’ tutor group challenge. Pupils also look at democracy; Yr7 ‘Democracy and electing tutor reps’, Yr 8 ‘Local government and democracy’, Yr 9 ‘Introducing central government’ and ‘The democratic and electoral process’,

KS 4 PSHE: Citizenship - pupils consider ‘Who are the British?’, ‘How do you become a British citizen and what are your rights and responsibilities as a British citizen?’, ‘What is a democracy, how does it compare to other forms of government and how does the democratic process work in the UK?’  

KS 4 PSHE RE (entitled ‘Ethics & Belief): Pupils study a range of contemporary social issues. As part of the study of these issues, the pupils consider the views of others, including the views of some different religions and cultures. Examples include; War and Peace, pupils study the views of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists with regards to war. Medical Ethics (Abortion) pupils study the views of different Christian denominations and Religion and Human Relationships, pupils look at marriage in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.

RE: A wide range of cultures and traditions are studied including five main world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism). Lessons are concept based and as such the pupils explore important concepts, in order to understand their impact and effects on the way people live today. There are also opportunities for pupils to visit a Hindu mandir, a Sikh Gudwara, a local mosque and local churches. The Head of RE also ensures that the dates of some of the main festivals and special days are displayed in tutor rooms. Details of these and other special days are featured in the daily pupil bulletin e.g. the Muslim new year, Yom Kippur, Guru Nanak’s birthday, Divali, St George’s Day and other patron saints days.

MFL: Pupils have the opportunity to study French / German / Spanish at both key stages. Understanding of the cultural backdrop and an integral part e.g. drawing comparison between home, school, media etc. Furthermore, we study festivals celebrated in countries where the languages are spoken – religious and otherwise.  The language classrooms display positive cultural images.  Trips and exchanges also promote cultural understanding.  Special events, for instance, European Week are celebrated by MFL and across the school.

Maths: Pupils learn about Pythagoras’ Theorem and historical aspects, which show how mathematicians from many countries have contributed to modern day maths. When looking at reflections they consider tessellations and Rangoli patterns.

English: A strong relationship between the library and the English department ensures that reading for pleasure is widely supported as part of the KS3 and KS4 curriculum. Author visits and events are arranged on a termly basis and are rolled out to all age groups; authors are invited to talk about their work to whole year groups with a combination of presentations and Question & Answer sessions. All year 7 visit the theatre to watch a pantomime. At KS4 opportunities are sought to go to the theatre to watch performances of plays being studied as part of the curriculum and also for pleasure. A wide range of literature, especially poetry is studied at KS3 and KS4 and this offers a wide range of opportunities to study work from other cultures and traditions.  

PE: Pupils consider the social cultural factors that affect participation.

Performing Arts: Dance - SoW cover a range of cultural groups and historical periods which influence both the genre being studied, but also the theatre being created by the group. Lessons also aim to challenge the stereotype of dance being a ‘girls’ subject providing positive and strong opportunities for boys to demonstrate strength, masculinity and sensitivity in their work. Music - pupils study African Drumming, Pentatonic Music, Chinese, Japanese, Folk, Indian, Reggae, Blues music and music from the Romantic Era and Indian music unit of work. At KS4, the pupils listen to and analyse a wide variety of music, e.g. Baroque/Classical, Pop/Rock, Film/Musicals and World Music. There is also an opportunity for pupils to develop their appreciation of music through a number of enrichment opportunities, performing in the annual ‘Musical in Concert’ and the school musical. Performing classical music in some extra-curricular ensembles such as string orchestra, and advanced string group. Trips to the Mayflower Theatre, a backstage tour of the Mayflower Theatre. A trip to Disneyland Paris. A T-sing workshop and concert led and run by Dominic Peckham for Thornden students and other local Secondary Schools, an annual African drumming workshop.  Drama: Has an inclusive nature; cultural and religious beliefs may crop up during improvised work.  Britain’s class system is explored in KS4 with Blood Brothers by Willy Russell.

Geography: In Year 7, pupils consider what it is to be British and investigate evidence of migration to our country through time and how it has influenced the nature of places within the UK. Pupils study the Amerindian way of life in when enquiring into Ecosystems and Sustainability, they study Aboriginal People and the threat to their culture and religious beliefs and Favela dwellers in urban Brazil. At KS4, pupils study population growth in Lagos and what life is like in a mega-city. Differences in development are studied looking at the causes and consequences of uneven global development.

Art: The Programme of Study practiced at Thornden is one in which the pupil is encouraged to establish their own interpretations of both contemporary and historical objects, artworks, processes, techniques and styles which have contextual meaning in relation to their projects, and in terms of cultural values. Each project undertaken in KS3 and 4 has an element which gives pupils the opportunity to engage with these objects and values; and therefore make links with their own experience of the world and how they relate to historical events and artistic processes that shaped them. Pupils study masks, poetry, collage and photography etc. from artists and designers, past and present, from around the globe, experiencing differences in style and meaning; helping to inspire them as they go on to express their own individuality through the process of making.

Design and Technology: Food Tech - pupils consider cultural influences on cuisine. Textiles - pupils design juggles to appeal to a young culture. Graphic Products - pupils consider Company promotion and cultural issues regarding image. At KS4 when the pupils study Graphical images they consider what may cause offence to minority groups. They also consider the cultural and moral implications of graphic products and the use of anthropometric data when designing products.

Science: pupils consider the importance of scientific discoveries and how they have affected the way people think, feel, create, behave and live e.g. the importance of Darwin’s theory of evolution in influencing thinking; the importance of Newton’s discovery of gravity in governing our lives; the importance of electricity in the way we behave and live; the discovery of microbes in the way we live our lives; the importance of Semmelweiss is recognised in the way we live and need to wash our hands; the importance of the discovery of the atom in allowing us to select the correct metals, for example, to suit our lives as well as many other impacts of Science in culture.

PE: A positive image of different cultures is promoted through the growing number of contemporary sportsmen and women from different ethnic groups achieving success in a variety of sports. The camaraderie and equality of sport at all levels is also used to further enhance the sense of equality of different races, ethnic groups and cultures. When selecting and developing resources, in particular for GCSE theory, teachers strive to ensure that they show the achievements and attributes of different societies both past and present e.g. Ancient and present day Greece. They show children of different ethnic groups involved in activities, they positively and realistically portray children from a variety of ethnic and cultural groups, and class backgrounds.

History: the campaign for the vote, democracy verses dictatorship and the development of parliament.

Business and Communications: Pupils are taught the importance and significance of certain laws which affect employment practices including the Race Discrimination Act, Equal opportunities legislation, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Disability Discrimination Act. From the discussions about these, pupils develop an understanding that different cultures have to be integrated and that diversity is an important issue in the world of work today.

ICT/Computer Science: Students look at the historical aspects of ICT and Computing including a trip to the National Museum of Computing.