Be Smart Days 2017-2018
This is the first year we have delivered Be Smart drop down days. Generally, the days have been very well received with 96 students writing an optional comment that they value the Be Smart days by ‘learning a lot’. 58 students commented that they enjoyed the enriched curriculum the Be Smart Days provide as they ‘learnt things not covered in other subjects’. The three days this year have been themed around Careers and Aspirations, Respect and Tolerance and Health and Wellbeing.
Be Smart Day 1; Careers and Aspirations
Be Smart day 1 included a motivational speaker called Jeremy Dry from Maximising your Potential, who held a previous role in BBC journalism. 84% of year 11 students suggested this was their favourite session of the day. The day also included a careers fair, money matters (a session on economic wellbeing), career planning and research and York University. Students were engaged throughout the day and spoke very positively about the careers fair and career planning.
Be Smart Day 2; Respect and Tolerance
Be Smart day 2 was themed around Tolerance and Respect, this was decided following half term 1 where we resolved to challenge some of the negative behaviours and stereotypes embedded within the perceptions of some students. This day included; A personal presentation from a Holocaust survivor, Rule of Law, Fake News, LGBTQ, Life as a Refugee, Prevent workshop and Consent.
Students were overwhelmed to meet Arek, a holocaust survivor, 65% of the year 8 and 9 students involved suggested this was their favourite session of the day. A further 32 students decided to write a personal letter of thanks to Arek after being impacted so significantly by the presentation.
25% of the students who took part in the Prevent workshop rated this as their favourite session. This session focused upon the theme of the Jo Cox Foundation- ‘We have more in common than divides us’. This was led by Mick Amos who works in partnership with The Farnley Academy.
75% of students questioned stated the consent sessions had a positive impact upon their decision making. Years 7 and 8 learnt about personal boundaries and the taking and distribution of indecent images. Years 9 and 10 took part in a session around the Thames Valley Police video of ‘Tea and Consent’. Students really enjoyed viewing this resource and thought the following planned activities were engaging and relevant to them.
Be Smart Day 3; Healthy Lifestyles
Our final Be Smart Day will commence on 6th July, with a focus on Healthy Lifestyles. The sessions will approach healthy choices from a range of perspectives, including mental health, physical health and healthy eating.
Mental health will be explored by the Y7s and 8s in the ‘What is Mental Health?’ session. The aim of this session is to provide students with an understanding of what mental health is and how they can monitor theirs. They will also look at healthy relationships and how this can impact upon their happiness and mental health.
For the Y9 and 10s, Leeds-based provider Teen Connect will be visiting to discuss mental health in more detail. They will talk to them about how they can track their mental health and also who they can contact within Teen Connect if they feel that this is something they need to discuss further.
Combining mental and physical health, the Heads of Year will be running a body positivity workshop for whole year groups. This will focus on how social media impacts their mental health and the way they feel about their body, as well as what they can do to challenge those perceptions.
Healthy eating sessions will be run for the Y7s, 8s and 9s to help them understand portion control and how everyday factors might impact the food choices they make. They will also investigate how food packaging can help them to make a more positive choice.
Drugs and alcohol awareness sessions will be run by external provider Forward Leeds for the Y10s, aiming to help the students understand the short and long-term effects of substance abuse.
Finally, all year groups will take part in a sporting event where the impact of exercise on physical and mental health will be highlighted to the students. This is following feedback from the student evaluations stating that they would like more physical activities on the Be Smart Days.
Following a number of homophobic incidents in school, we decided to focus our SMSC Heroes campaign on the LGBTQ community. Each member of staff has a poster displayed on their doors featuring a person they admire from the LGBTQ community, which explains what qualities/achievements they aspire to. This has been a really positive move for the school and the students have shown great interest in reading about the people we admire.
Again as a result of a number of homophobic incidents within school we made the decision to work with Stonewall in becoming a more inclusive and accepting school community. Our PSHCE coordinator became an accredited Stonewall Champion, who then went on to train all of our teaching staff on how to tackles homophobic, biphobic and transphobic issues when they arise in or out of the classroom. In addition to this, students took part in the No Bystanders campaign.
They first heard an assembly on how insulting a person’s protected characteristics can impact them throughout their whole lives and were then asked to sign a contract stating that they wouldn’t be a bystander to such incidents. This is displayed in every form tutor base.
Throughout the year there have been a range of assemblies which have focused upon SMSC and MBV themes. These have included Black History Month, Democracy, They Royal Family and many others centred upon these themes. The 16 Day Campaign assembly provoked discussion around the position of women within society and the right to life free from abuse and violence. Students often talk about this and the no bystanders assembly which they have suggested have had the most significant impact upon their perceptions of society.