Miss Mills, Head of Years 7 & 8, gives an update on how Year 7 and 8 pupils are learning and discusses this weeks theme of ‘values’, including the core Bethany values of kindness, tolerance and respect.
This week in tutor time Year 7&8 have been focusing on values. Exploring values in early adolescence supports pupils in fulfilling their need to belong, as well as helping them to learn to cope with the conflicting loyalties that come with gaining independence and navigating a widening circle of friends.
Establishing values early on supports happiness, academic progress and future contributions. It helps them manage the overwhelming need for autonomy at the same time as being heavily influenced by peer perception at this stage of their lives.
Year 7 have been introduced to the core Bethany values of kindness, tolerance and respect. They have explored how the school community demonstrates these and how these form the basis of rewards and sanctions. The tutor role at Bethany is key in helping pupils to gain an understanding of actions as an indicator of values. Merits and levels are discussed with tutees to give them the opportunity to reflect on what has gone well and what may need to improve. Year 7 can be a challenging time, and twice daily contact with tutors ensures pupils build a secure relationship with them to affirm values and find their feet in all aspects of school life.
Year 8 took these values a step further this week, learning about the motto of ‘seek what is right and follow it’. They were introduced to the Equality Act 2010 and its protected characteristics. They considered what should be included in a Year 7&8 charter, declaring that they stand by the protected characteristics and agree that no pupil should feel singled out. Year 8 also declared their belief in the right to expect kindness, tolerance and respect from others and how pupils could demonstrate this belief in their words and actions. Tutors were very impressed with the maturity shown by Year 8 during these activities.
The development of values is undeniably influenced by the media and social media. This is an additional layer for pupils to contend with as they develop their sense of belonging. In Friday’s assembly Mr Clough spoke to pupils about Bethany’s Acceptable Use Policy. Through the tutor programme and PSHCE lessons, our aim is that pupils will gain an increasing awareness of their own development through early adolescence; be provided with high quality support to increase resilience; and build strategies to cope with this exciting time in a young person’s life.