We are a school: we will educate a new generation to view the world critically, make their own decisions, and act in a way that benefits the wider community, not just themselves. This is summed up in our motto:
“think for yourself, act for others”
Cheney is a genuinely comprehensive school, in the best sense of the term, with a fully inclusive intake, which represents not just our catchment area, but also modern Britain. The ideals of the comprehensive movement have been met in Cheney, in a way that is very rare.
We value creativity over conformity; education over league tables; the needs of students over data; self-discipline over sanctions; nuance over simplification; curiosity over acceptance; honesty over reassurance; the judgement of our community over the judgement of the official world. We value emotional intelligence equally to academic intelligence; well-being equally to success; self-knowledge to factual knowledge; humanity to rigour.
This is not to say that the things we value less are worthless; in their place, and in their time, quite the reverse. In fact, we believe that if we get the first things right, the second will follow.
We are a school that is continually improving, and we will be open and reflective about things that can be done better: this will always be the case. We will provide a comprehensive education for the 21st century:
Curriculum, both in and outside the classroom:
- Engaging and challenging lessons in every class in the school.
- A comprehensive curriculum, with something for every member of a diverse community.
- Challenging lessons, which look to the future, and reflect the local, national and global context.
- Full participation in wider education beyond the classroom, whatever the barriers, in order to spread cultural capital and enrich lives.
- Teachers deliver information and knowledge, and foster critical thinking and independence.
- Teachers also continually improve their own practice, are open to suggestions, are reflective and engage in professional dialogue with their colleagues.
- Teachers respond to the needs of their classes, and adjust plans in the light of progress.
- Students (and adults) behave in a way which takes account of others, and is self-directed and self-disciplined, guided by three overarching rules:
- Be ready: students are ready to learn, mentally and physically.
- Be respectful: to staff, to other students, to themselves, to the community and to the environment.
- Be your best: students try to be the best versions of themselves every day.
- The ethos of the school, the content of the school day, and the quality of interactions will encourage students to think for themselves and act for others.
- Students will gain the information they need to be happy and safe; more importantly, they will develop the attitudes and resilience to enable this.
- School will help our most challenged families overcome barriers to learning at home and in school.
- Staff are well looked after so they can look after the students.
- All staff receive support, training and development opportunities appropriate to where they are in their careers.
- Each student leaves well equipped to move on to where they want to go next.
- Students leave proud of having attended Cheney.
- The community is proud to have a first rate school within it, and Cheney is held in the highest regard.
Promotion of British Values
At Cheney School we recognise not only the importance of allowing students to flourish academically but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we celebrate, promote and reinforce British values to our students. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and considered them to be democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At Cheney School these values are reinforced through a variety of ways and as part of our usual school practices. The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Cheney School and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
At Cheney School the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections held for our Head Boy and Girl and School Council representatives. We routinely hold husting events in the run up to general elections. The principle of democracy is explored across a number of subjects, in particular in History and Religious Studies as well as in assemblies and through our student leadership programme.
THE RULE OF LAW
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service, and Magistrates are regular events in our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within Cheney School, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in PSHE and form time activities.
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to democracy students at Cheney School are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where students feel safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum, from the concept of fair play in PE to a number of buddy programmes which promote mutual respect between students across different year groups.
TOLERANCE OF THOSE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. Students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school. Our Religious Education curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
Should you feel that the school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the school office and request to express your concerns with the Headteacher. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is undermining these values you should report this to the Headteacher or a member of the safeguarding team.