Citizenship and Community
At Verulam PSHE is taught in Years 7-11 and alternates with lessons on citizenship thus preparing our students for the world beyond school. Along with RSE, our plans in these areas cover three strands: Health and well-being, living in the wider world and relationships.
The most visually obvious way we encourage citizenship and community is throughout the House system. The system is embedded within the school’s ethos as noted by Ofsted:
“Leaders update the house point totals for the week and a running total for each house is displayed on the school’s website. This has helped to develop a strong sense of community and competition within the school.”
Ofsted report November 2022
Our involvement with and focus on citizenship and community are summarised here:
- We support our local food bank by collecting items for a month each year. This is run as a House competition led by the House Captains for each of our six H In addition to this, the most enthusiastic House Reps and House Captains follow this by spending an afternoon volunteering at the Food bank warehouse, sorting goods delivered and seeing the other end of the donations process. Students find this experience very rewarding and take this enthusiasm back to their forms.
- The Annual Abbey Service of Thanksgiving in October always supports a nominated charity. This charity is chosen by our Senior Prefect Team in Sixth Form. The Senior Team then lead the fund raising linked to the Service. In 2022 the chosen charity was SAHWR (St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s refuge)
- This was then followed in November by our support of the United Nations Go Orange Anti-violence Against Women Campaign.
- We also regularly support Children in Need raising over £1,000 in 2022
- We keep a focus on mental health by supporting the Ask Twice campaign which links to our ‘Five Fingers of Faith’ and the concept of ensuring others are able to talk about any issues they may be facing.
- This year we will be launching a House competition whereby each House will support a local mental health charity and compete to raise the most for their charity. The representatives of each form meet with a representative from their House charity to find out more about the charity and to discuss innovative fundraising ideas. This is called the March Mental Health Charity Challenge.
- Sixth Form work with Primary school: Our Senior Team works with local primary schools to discuss transition to Secondary School to help to settle any Year 6 nerves around this topic.
- We also have a number of students who have qualified as football referees and they offer to referee at our local primary schools.
- In addition, we invite local primary schools to our amazing Drama performances and get very positive feedback!
- Two of our three CED (Curriculum Enrichment Days) are centred around citizenship.
- One of our Year 12 Curriculum Enrichment Days is spent getting to grips with the working of the United Nations. We do this by assigning students in pairs to different nation states which they then need to study in depth to understand their nation’s issues. They then come together to address one issue and come up with a proposal that would be acceptable to the nation they are representing. The Model United Nations event for Year 12 is thought-provoking and challenging for students.