Values and the Wider Curriculum
Wren recognises the importance of ensuring young people understand and appreciate the core British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance towards those of different faiths. Our policy on British Values can be found here.
In all lessons, we make the most of opportunities to discuss these principles through our philosophy towards Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education (SMSC). Please click here for details of how teachers are encouraged to plan for SMSC in their lessons.
The promotion of British Values at Wren also takes place however through a range of other activities specifically designed to incorporate these aspects. These activities include:
The Wider Curriculum
At Wren Academy, we firmly believe that every experience young people have at school contributes to their wider education and to their preparation for adult life. This means that, whilst what happens in lessons is of fundamental importance, we also stress the need for the highest standards elsewhere in the school day.
Consequently, punctuality to school and between lessons is much valued at Wren. Students are encouraged to be on time and are helped to understand the consequences of not being on time. Movement in corridors and other public spaces is orderly and considerate. Students are not expected to be silent around the Academy but they are expected to be caring and aware of the needs of others.
Our high expectations stretch to behaviour on the way to and from school. Students are made clear that they are representing Wren whenever they wear the Academy uniform. Representing the school well in the local community is extremely important.
Relationships between members of the Wren community are exceptionally good. Staff role model positive relationships, both between one another and with the students. Both staff and students use our Restaurant to socialise and relax at breaks and lunchtimes. Staff seek ways of resolving differences constructively and voices are rarely raised in anger at Wren. The quality of relationships helps foster an atmosphere of consideration and mutual respect.
Rules and Discipline
Students at Wren enjoy a calm and secure environment where they are free to move about the school, spend time with their friends and express themselves. This environment is made possible by our strong disciplinary code. At Wren, discipline is not an end in itself. It is not heavy handed or dogmatic. Rather it helps create a school where students are able to develop their individual talents happily and safely.
The application of our behaviour policy is always educative. Students are helped to reflect upon and learn from their mistakes. We place significant emphasis upon restorative justice in helping to resolve conflict and in ensuring that young people learn from their experiences.
On one day every half term, the normal curriculum is suspended for one of our Focus Days. On these days, students have the opportunity to learn in depth about key social and moral themes. Our citizenship, health and information and guidance curriculums are largely delivered through focus days.
Focus Days give us the chance to deliver this content in an in depth way, allowing students the opportunity to reflect, to think deeply and to discuss. Focus Days will frequently feature trips and external visitors in order to broaden and deepen students' learning experiences.
Assemblies and Tutorials
As a Church of England Academy, the collective act of worship is an integral component of our weekly assemblies and daily tutorial activities. We have a religious and/or moral theme for each week which is emphasised in assemblies then followed up by tutors with their groups. Each week, tutors are given a set of centrally generated resources upon which to base their tutorial activities.
Tutorial activities are planned to encourage students to reflect and to give their opinions about issues.
The House System
We have six houses all named after churches designed by Wren himself or under his auspices. These are:
In order to enact the democratic system as Wren, each tutor group elects its own house representative who goes on to serve on a house council. Proposals from each individual house council are raised to a combined house council which meets regularly with the Principal and members of the Academy Leadership Team. Our Sixth Form has house leaders who oversee the published programme of house activities and help to organise and motivate their houses. Ideas from the house councils are always discussed and whenever possible they are put into action.
Powerful and purposeful student voice is a central element of our philosophy at Wren. Each subject department at Wren has a group of student curriculum advisors. These students meet regularly with staff in the department and give feedback on areas for change and improvement. Another key role is that of student interviewer. All teachers invited to interview for a job at Wren must meet with a student panel as part of the assessment process. The insights given by the students are invariably very useful in helping to find the right candidate.
The Wren prefect team is chosen by both students and staff in an exhaustive annual selection exercise. This process ensures that everyone can have a say in choosing the prefect team and that those selected truly represent the wishes of the Academy community.