Character Education at HAMD
At Harris Academy Morden we are proud of the many ways we develop character. The information below shows how we are currently addressing the 6 benchmarks for planning and delivering Character Education.
Harris Academy Morden is an 11-16 mixed Secondary Academy serving its local community and proud of its cultural and ethnic diversity.
We believe in the power that a great education has to transform lives, not just by securing excellent qualifications but by developing every young person spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and emotionally, allowing them to mature into young adults fully equipped to realise their dreams and ambitions.
The Academy develops students’ strength of character from the moment they enter the academy’s gates. The Academy motto is ‘Courage, Challenge and Success’ – themes that are revisited regularly through assemblies and the SMSC programme.
We provide a comprehensive programme of PSHE, RSHE, SMSC, Safeguarding, Citizenship and Wellbeing. This is delivered to all students through weekly tutorial sessions, supplemented by SMSC drop-down days, assemblies and other activities.
We believe that in order to enable effective teaching and learning to take place, excellent behaviour in all aspects of Academy life is necessary.
We seek to create a caring learning environment in the Academy by:
• Promoting excellent behaviour and discipline
• Promoting self-esteem, self-discipline, proper regard for authority and positive relationships based on mutual respect
• Ensuring fairness of treatment for all and accepting their differences
• Encouraging consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour
• Promoting early intervention
• Providing a safe environment free from disruption, violence, bullying and any form of harassment
• Encouraging a positive relationship with parents/carers to develop a shared approach to involve them in the implementation of the Academy’s policy and associated procedures
We secure these standards by teaching all students our clear expectations of them and applying rewards and sanctions consistently. We are systematic in targeting students who are struggling at school for support and intervention and we provide a wide range of support programmes to cater for their needs. We work together with parents via our Home-School Agreement which ensure students receive a consistent message.
Our curriculum makes a significant contribution to students’ personal development. Every day students are expected to show resilience and have the determination to persist even when things are difficult. Our ethos fosters an environment where students are confident to voice their views, cope with struggle, ask for help when they don’t understand and identify their own strengths and weaknesses.
We have a strong culture of support and intervention to ensure all students have the basic foundation of knowledge and skills they need to progress through their education. This starts with good teaching, with strong teachers chunking knowledge and providing scaffolding to support learners to reach the required outcomes. This is supported by a range of additional support from targeted literacy interventions all the way through to after-school twilight sessions, Saturday, Easter and Summer Schools.
Our marking and feedback is designed to help students reflect on each piece of work and provides them with an opportunity to improve on it, promoting resilience and independence by helping them deepen their understanding and see their own potential to improve.
The academy offers a wide-ranging extended learning and enrichment programme, designed to nurture, develop and stretch pupils’ talents and interests. There are over 60 different clubs and boosters offered to pupils, including a variety of opportunities in both music and the performing arts. From September, students will be offered clubs in a range of sports and games, complemented by enrichment opportunities such as Korean Club, cookery, knitting and crochet, learning ukulele, journalism, drama and debating. Each year, students have the opportunity to become a Wimbledon ball-boy/girl.
During the school year we celebrate a wide range of calendar events such as European Day of Languages, Black History Month, Pride Week and World Interfaith Harmony Week. We observe Remembrance Day every year with an assembly and 2 minute silence.
The academy hosts shows at Christmas and in the Spring and Summer terms. All pupils are encouraged to get involved in different ways to suit their personalities and interests.
Within the Academy we have a wide range of opportunities for students to volunteer and serve our Academy community:
Each year, each of the 4 Faculties selects a charity and organises fundraising activities throughout the year. In addition, all students have the opportunity to donate to our annual Christmas Selection Box appeal, with the Academy distributing several hundred gifts to children in the local community each year.
Each year we partner with the National Citizenship Service to provide volunteering opportunities for Year 11s in the school holidays.
Our SMSC days regularly include visitors and work themed around charities and volunteering.
Harris Academy Morden is a diverse community. Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. The proportion of disadvantaged students is well above average.
The Academy is committed to inclusion and part of the Academy’s strategic planning involves developing cultures, policies and practices that include all learners. We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties. This does not mean that we will treat all learners in the same way, but that we will respond to learners in ways that take in to account their varied life experiences and needs.
We achieve this by knowing our students well. We plan our interventions in response to a wide range of data on attendance, behaviour and achievement as well as information on safeguarding and SEND. We analyse outcomes for a wide range of characteristics such as gender, SEND, Pupil Premium, EAL, CLA etc. and strive to close gaps between different groups. For example, each term we analyse attendance at after-school clubs and adjust our offer to ensure all groups are catered for and clubs are attended by students of all groups.