Chestnut Grove Academy
45 Chestnut Grove
Balham, London SW12 8JZ

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Health is a timetabled weekly lesson which encourages students to reflect on and promote their own personal ‘Health’ in the most holistic sense of the word. We have developed a curriculum specific to Chestnut Grove Academy which enables students to explore their mental, emotional, physical and sexual health.

In Health (Period 1 on Monday), students study a wide range of topics that relate to SMSC, including issues surrounding bullying, relationships, extremism and discrimination. Every half term, each student works on a project where they are able to showcase their ideas surrounding these controversial issues.

Tutor time enables students to consider a wide range of current affair issues as they hit the headlines. This often involves discussing newspaper articles and watching news clips.

Assemblies provide an important forum for enabling students to reflect on a wide range of issues which relate to SMSC and British Values.

Student leadership actively promotes SMSC by giving students the opportunity to engage in democratic elections and to participate in decision making which often has a SMSC dimension.

All subjects have numerous opportunities to promote SMSC development throughout the academic year. We firmly believe that SMSC will not always be an explicit component of a curriculum but can still be promoted through the values of the academy which will be an intrinsic element of every lesson.

Studying SMSC at Chestnut Grove Academy allows us to develop our students’ understanding of the world, beyond our timetabled subjects. In the past, we have recognised and investigated the Rainbow Laces campaign, set-up by Stonewall to challenge negative representations of homosexuality. We were fortunate enough to be visited by international rugby player Gareth Thomas, as well as Elly Barnes for our Presentation Evening. We have also commemorated Remembrance Day through the creation of individual poppies by our students, recognising the importance of remembrance, investigating the role of war in modern-day Britain and considering the impact of war on people all over the world. World Mental Health Day 2014 was also commemorated with the creation of individual pledges from students who wrote down what they will do in order to combat mental health discrimination this year. These are just some of the ways in which Chestnut Grove promotes SMSC development.

Section 241 of the Education Act 1993 gives parents the right to withdraw their children from any or all parts of the school's programme of sex education, other than those elements which are required by the National Curriculum Science Order. It is realised that, against school and government advice, under exceptional circumstances, a very small number of parents may wish to exclude their children from this programme. In this case, such parents should write to the Headteacher, stating their objections. It is then the responsibility of the parent to provide the student with alternative work to undertake while the sex education lessons are being undertaken. Parents can find out about when sex and relationships education will be taking place within the Health currciulum by looking at our curriculum guides. 

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