Students enjoy their time at Limehurst and are proud of their school. Ofsted 2013 found students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development to be outstanding and said “Pupils feel free to express their thoughts and ideas, in any situation, without fear or favour”.
Students are directly involved in working through the SMSC issues and core values that underpin the school and how these can be shared across the school. Key school values that underpin the behaviour system have been developed by students. Our students are tolerant, confident and articulate and understand and greatly respect each other’s faiths and cultures. This allows them to understand and appreciate different cultures, which prepares them to become responsible citizens. Students participate in a number of volunteering experiences through the school’s involvement in the Leicestershire Cares scheme and Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award scheme.
Ofsted 2013 stated that “Students appreciate, value and promote the school’s rich multicultural diversity”. Students are encouraged to consider their responsibilities through the SMSC themes used in assemblies and the wider curriculum. They are able to look at important and sometimes controversial issues such as forced marriage, domestic violence and CSE working with key organisations and individuals. Students from a very wide range of backgrounds develop as confident, articulate and tolerant young people as they move through the school. They show respect for each other and understand different faiths and cultures, and they also understand the importance of Britain as a country that respects diversity and uses the law to underpin the rights of its citizens. Through the curriculum and ethos of the school, they are able to explore the importance of British values and how such values define life in modern Britain and allow them to participate fully and contribute positively to society. Whole-staff training with Prevent has helped the school to identify local risks, identify at risk students and work in partnership with parents, community groups and other agencies to keep children safe from radicalisation.
The curriculum gives opportunities for students to gain insight into how the democratic process works and the importance of our system of law and order. Personal Development sessions use mock elections to explore the way in which the democratic parliamentary system works and they are able to put forward and defend differing viewpoints. Students visit local places of worship and welcome visitors from other faiths as part of the RE curriculum. The Humanities curriculum, in particular, provides numerous opportunities for students to learn about themselves, their histories, their beliefs, cultures, values and those of others. Through key topics, students are given insight into the lives of others and the decisions that are made that have consequences for individuals and society as a whole.
The curriculum explores issues of conflict, racism and intolerance and allows students to discuss and reflect on the impact of these issues and to look at examples of how they can be resolved. They understand that some views are unacceptable and that prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour should be actively challenged. It also looks at love, kindness, pride and self-sacrifice with key role models who give positive examples of the value of these qualities. Lesson observations show that the teaching and learning environment is one in which students are regularly encouraged to reflect on their own experiences and learning; are able to share their views with others and have a safe, respectful context in which to explore moral and ethical issues.
Ofsted 2013 noted that students point to the trust they have in their teachers, and the quality of their working relationships, as a strength of the school. Students take pride in and are encouraged to celebrate diversity and to see differences and similarities in a positive light. They work together developing a range of social skills. The school has an active School Council and student voice is a key consideration. They take responsibility and reflect on key issues affecting themselves and their school.