At Countesthorpe Leysland Community College, we actively promote the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We believe that a strong sense of citizenship, and respect for positive values, underpins academic success. The promotion of these values is through the inclusive ethos of the college, a wide range of enhancement activities, curriculum subjects, the assembly programme, and our comprehensive tutorial programme.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced, offering students many opportunities to learn about themselves, society, and the wider world around them. Through our PSHE and Citizenship Tutorial Programme, students learn about different political ideologies and are encouraged to develop their understanding through research, questioning, presentations and debate. Students focus on a range of topical issues, such as extremism, cyberbullying, and the role of the media and pressure groups in influencing political opinion. All students at KS3 and KS4 study RE, examining the culture and beliefs of the six major religions. At KS4, Y10 and Y11 students study a short course GCSE in RE, in which key religions such as Christianity and Islam are explored in the context of philosophical and ethical questions.
Our annual Citizenship Liaison Project, organised and run in conjunction with our family of schools, has focused over the past few years on: the City of Leicester; the General Election; the Commonwealth; and this year was entitled, ‘Our World in 2017’. These projects build community cohesion across the college and family of schools, with work being shared with students via the plasma screens. This year’s winning entry was a hand-painted account of the Syrian War, looking at causes, effects and consequences, in which every member of a tutor group contributed a panel.
The college was pleased to host the premier run of ‘Going to Extremes’ in Spring 2017- a dynamic theatrical performance developed in a collaboration between the Prevent Strategy and Alter Ego Theatre Company, which looks at the reasons why young people might be drawn into extreme beliefs and behaviours and how this can be prevented. We hosted three performances for our older year groups, and it was well-received by the students who commented on its power and relevance.
Our assembly and tutorial programmes are also an opportunity for students to celebrate important values and are important to the ethos of our college. We use our assemblies to share the individual and team successes of our students, as well as to raise awareness of topical issues. We have a varied programme of guest speakers to encourage students to make valuable contributions to society. Many of our students take part in the Duke of Edinburgh award and all sixth form students undertake a community service placement.
Our college is twinned with the charity ‘Volunteer Africa, 32° South’, based in Chintsa, South Africa, and has raised money in annual Charity Weeks since 2011. In Spring 2017 we raised £2075 by each tutor group organising an activity, such as a cake sale, concert or fancy dress theme. We have regular updates from the charity so that students can see exactly where their donations go, and this encourages a sense of responsibility and partnership. The charity week itself facilitates community spirit, enterprise and teamwork. It encourages students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the global community.
We have an active student voice at Countesthorpe where members of the Student Council are elected by their peers to represent them and act on their behalf. Our sixth form student ambassadors play a key role in running events and supporting students across the college as mentors. This is an area of the college we want to further develop so students have even more opportunities to take on roles and responsibilities as we know the positive impact this can have on students and the college as a whole.