The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Leigh Academy Tonbridge, with democracy processes being used for important decisions within the academy community, for instance, deciding the termly enrichment programme, student voice through our elected Student Leadership Team including their involvement in the election of the Head Students and Prefects. The principle of democracy is also explored in the academy’s curriculum where applicable such as during Citizenship and History lessons as well as in tutor time and assemblies. Students also take an active role in senior staff recruitment, participating in student panels on interview days and also sharing feedback about interview lessons for other teaching positions.
We promote learning by: working collaboratively, enabling students to respond to teacher feedback, questioning students carefully and encouraging student dialogue.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the academy, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Leigh Academy Tonbridge. Students and parents are taught the rules and expectations of the academy which are highlighted in the home academy agreement, as well as the student class expectations. Students are taught the value and the reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service reinforces this message.
Our behaviour policy is transparent, and our classroom expectations are fair and just, with clear procedures if they are not adhered to. Our academy wide expectations are aimed at preparing our young people for the wider world, encouraging organisation, professional appearance (uniform) and punctuality.
At Leigh Academy Tonbridge, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff within the academy educate and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. We work hard to make sure that students feel safe to be themselves, working on LGBTQIA+, relationships, mental and sexual health issues, as well as identity and body positivity
Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety and Tutor Time activities. Students have a range of opportunities to engage with our careers and futures programme, including the chance to practice their interview techniques. Leigh Academy Tonbridge has a robust anti-bullying culture and has in place a clear and effective Behaviour for Learning Policy.
Our students are supported in competing outside of Leigh Academy Tonbridge, whether that is in a creative field, sporting or another field. Our students are celebrated every day with achievement points and end of term assemblies with certificates and awards. Students are taught the knowledge and skills to broaden the choices they are empowered to make about future work, travel and education and student viewpoints are integral to the option process for Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.
Respect is a strong part of Leigh Academy Tonbridge and is part of our core values of integrity, courage and imagination. Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the academy community treat each other with respect and this is reiterated through its teaching and learning environments. We ensure our young people understand that it is okay to have a difference of opinion and that it is important to listen to others. We have a restorative justice system in which a student and a member of staff (or student and another student) will have a conversation if a situation has arisen, allowing both parties to communicate and resolve the matter.
Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment. We share a thought for the week with the students to promote discussion and reflection in Tutor Time and our academy reading book read in Year 7-10 Tutor Time is selected to encourage thought and increasing the students’ awareness of others.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving the opportunities to experience such diversity within the academy community. Through our PSHCE curriculum, students will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. Study and develop an understanding of their place locally right through to internationally through the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. Students benefit from a number of international trips, as well as international visitors. All students study Spanish until the end of Year 11. Additionally, students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the academy and celebrate festivities throughout the calendar year.
Leigh Academy Tonbridge strives endlessly to ensure that its students leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our society.