Anglo European School
Bulletin - w/c 19th April 2021
In the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder and the national discussions that are happening about women’s safety, we have all been examining safeguarding procedures relating to sexual harassment and sexual violence. Over the Easter holidays, Headteachers across Essex were liaising with the Local Authority who take a lead on safeguarding practice in schools, looking at how we can improve staff training, the curriculum and policy and practice in order to manage disclosures more effectively, when they are reported. The Senior Leadership Team met last Monday to review our school’s approach to raising awareness of the issues recently highlighted in the media. Our Citizenship staff have been preparing to implement the new Relationships, Sex and Education curriculum this term, which addresses, far more explicitly, and more regularly, issues such as consent, misogyny, sexual harassment, assault, abuse and discrimination.
Last week, two students at Anglo, made a disclosure to their peers and on Friday, a group of students chose to stand together in a show of solidarity. Collectively, they wished to send a message that sexual harassment and sexual violence have no place in our school. This is a message that the Senior Leadership Team and all members of staff completely agree with; sexual harassment and sexual violence have no place in our school and it will be challenged and dealt with appropriately, swiftly and severely.
Yesterday, all students had an assembly, delivered by Mrs Wootton, Assistant Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead, who takes a lead in managing all safeguarding matters in school and is highly trained to support students in sometimes distressing and highly sensitive matters.
Mrs Wootton explained to students that when there is an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual violence, it has to be dealt with immediately and very carefully. Protecting the victim is the most important thing and that means that the staff dealing with it have to maintain high levels of confidentiality and, wherever possible, respect the anonymity of the victim. This can be hard for students and sometimes parents to understand; that we can’t talk about it publicly and we can’t share the details of what has happened with people who might want to know or think that they have a right to know. This does not mean that we are not taking action, that we do not care or that we are doing nothing; it just means that the wider school community might not be aware of the action that is being taken both by the school and by the external agencies such as the police, social care and the Local Authority who will support us in following the law, policy and best practice.
However, in talking to the students on Friday, we reflected on the fact that students needed to trust this process and understand more clearly, what happens when something of this nature is reported and what the process may entail so that
they have faith in the system and the leadership of the school so that they know they will be believed, supported and listened to.
We have explained to our students that if they have day-to-day worries about something that has happened in school, such as friendship issues or worries about work, they should refer this to their Form Tutor, the Pastoral Managers or Year Leaders who are the right people to talk to and know them best. However, a concern about something which is very serious and requires safeguarding is very different and there are specific people that students and parents can specifically ask to be referred to.
Every school has to have a named Designated Safeguarding Lead and in this school it is Mrs Wootton. She leads the Safeguarding Team who include 5 Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads: Mr Priestley, who is also Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Foster, Deputy Director of Sixth Form, who has oversight of Sixth Form safeguarding matters, Ms Jones, Year 11 Year Leader, who has oversight of KS4 safeguarding matters, Miss Whitlock, who has oversight of KS3 safeguarding matters and Miss Jenkins, our Student Intervention Manager who, very importantly, does not have a teaching role and who is available to students during lesson times. These channels of communication are also open to parents; if you need to report a concern of this nature about your child, you can ask to speak with one of the safeguarding team.
These six colleagues work very closely as a team; sharing key information on a secure portal and benefitting from a wealth of training and experience. These colleagues are specifically trained to respond should there be an allegation of sexual assault or sexual violence in our school.
We have reassured all students this week that should they make a disclosure of this kind, that they will be listened to, their voice will be heard, and they will not be judged and will be involved in all the next steps, whatever they may be. At times, depending on how serious the incident is, we may have to involve other agencies such as the police and social care. If this is necessary, we will inform parents that we will need to pass on your contact details to them.
We know that these matters can be very sensitive, difficult to talk about and emotive language can be used when students feel strongly about such matters. We ask that you do discuss these matters openly with your children, reassure them that they are safe and that they should feel safe to make disclosures and report any concerns they have.
However, we would also ask that you discuss how they manage the information they might hear from their peers and social media particularly; to not assume that what they read and hear is the truth and be critical of the material they receive, asking questions about what they do not understand and seeking adult advice where they need it.
Where we do have to involve the police, it is really very important that nothing compromises a possible criminal investigation. We ask our students to consider carefully what they are posting on sites such as Snapchat or Instagram. We particularly need to guard against naming people on social media or suggesting that they have committed a crime that they have not committed, as this could become a very serious issue in its own right. We ask that you continue to monitor your child’s use of social media and regularly check their phones and communications.
We are aware that some of this happened on Friday; that people shared information on their social media and that people inappropriately and inaccurately used terms such as rape when talking about an alleged offence. These claims and much of the information that was circulated were inaccurate and raised heightened anxiety amongst other students and may have worried parents. Misinformation and rumours are dangerous and cause unnecessary worry and distress. They also do not help the victim and can compromise the wider investigation.
We completely understand the strength of feeling that was shown on Friday and we are proud that our students are well-informed, articulate and feel confident enough to raise issues of concern with us and express their views forcefully, openly and with conviction.
The message from our student community is clear: they will not tolerate sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual banter and demeaning sexual language used in our school. We agree with them and will do everything in our power to ensure that students who behave in an inappropriate or unacceptable way are challenged, sanctioned appropriately and educated about correcting such behaviour. We want every student to feel safe in school and on their journey to and from school. We also want students to feel comfortable and safe to report.
This involves a culture change in our society that is not going to be radically reversed over-night but we recognise the key part that educators and parents have to play in supporting our young people change this culture for their generation. This week we are conducting a series of forums for our students to come and talk to our Designated Safeguarding Leads and member of the Senior Leadership Team. This began yesterday as the Headteachers met with the Head Boy/Head Girl Team, and Mrs Wootton met with the Year 10 forum. Today, Mrs Gee met with a Sixth Form Forum and Miss Jones met with the Year 11 students to listen to student views, identify things we can change almost immediately and put in a longer, sustainable plan for improvement and change in our school which will be a critical part of our School Development Plan for the coming year.
We are proud of our students when they see that something isn’t right and they challenge it; this is a core part of our school ethos. We want to have these conversations properly, dedicating appropriate time to it and focusing our discussion on changing the culture in sustainable ways that will make a real difference to student and staff experience.
In achieving this, we have asked our students to think carefully about the language we use, think carefully about how we treat other people and how we share information when we receive it. We’ve asked them to report it to the best people who are trained to support them when they know something isn’t right and let us work with them, and other authorities where appropriate, to deal with the matter calmly, properly and supportively. Any harmful behaviour is never acceptable, whatever form it may take, but it is important that we have a balanced, well-informed and proportionate response, ensuring schools remain the safest place for children and take this opportunity to implement positive change in our society. We appreciate parental support in achieving these aims.
Trapped! An anthology of Short Stories
Congratulations to the 23 English students who were selected to be published in an anthology of mini sagas. The challenge was to write a 100-word story on the theme of 'Trapped.' The imagination and skill required to write a story with these restrictions is truly inspiring. We are sharing one such story below from Year 7 student Corin Spurling, which we found particularly compelling. Congratulations to all students.
CHARITY HEAD SHAVE!
Hi, I'm Maia, an IB student in Lower Sixth. I will be participating in the trip to Lesotho at the end of my year in Upper Sixth and I am raising money for it by doing a sponsored head shave! Please support this amazing cause. The people of Lesotho are really in need of our help, even more so now since the COVID pandemic. The death rate is high due to an AIDS endemic, many children are orphaned, and young people do not get access to education or basic products we take for granted due to extreme poverty. If you can help in any way, please donate through my JustGiving page - any donations would be greatly appreciated so I can do my part in helping this country severely in need of our assistance! The sacrifice of my hair will be worth it for your donations to this cause. Thank you.
Mrs Prema-Gadhia's Recipe of the Week
Sweet & Sour Green Mung
Green Mung have many health benefits – they aid in digestive health, lower cholesterol, and promote weight loss. Cooked in the right way, they taste delicious.
If you cannot find green mung – why not use this same recipe and use red split lentils instead? (You’ll need to adjust the cooking time as red lentils cook quicker)
The sugar and lemon juice at the end will transform this dish and you can enjoy with chapattis, naans, or simply by itself!
Happy Cooking – Mrs Prema-Gadhia
Preparing the Mung
· ½ cup green mung
· 3 cups water
· ¼ tsp turmeric powder
· ½ tsp salt
Method to cook the Mung
1) Wash the mung in warm water
2) Add to a pan, pour in the water and add the turmeric and salt
3) Boil on a medium heat for 20 minutes or until soft and mushy (If using red split lentils reduce the cooking time to 10-15 minutes)
· 1 tbsp sunflower oil
· 1 onion finely chopped
· 2 tomatoes finely chopped
· 1 tsp cumin seeds
· 1 tsp black mustard seeds
· 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
· Pinch of asafoetida
· ¼ tsp turmeric powder
· ½ tsp cumin powder
· ½ coriander powder
· ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
· ½ tsp garam masala powder
· 1 tsp minced garlic
· 1 tsp minced ginger
· 1 tsp minced green finger chillies
· 1 tsp sugar
· 2 tsp lemon juice
1) Add the oil to a heated pan
2) Add the cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds – along with the asafoetida*
3) Once the seeds begin to splatter, add in the chopped onions and salt. Cook the onion’s on a medium – high heat until translucent
4) Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir together
5) Once combined, add in the minced ginger, garlic and green chillies along with the dry spices
6) Stir, cover and cook on a medium heat until the tomatoes have mashed (this should take roughly 10 minutes)
7) Stir in the boiled mung, sugar and lemon juice and cook for a further 5 minutes. Enjoy!
*You can use a pinch of onion or garlic powder as an alternative
Thursday 22nd April - Year 10 Parents' Evening
Thursday 29th April Period 3 and 4 - Year 11 Individual and Form Photos
TERM DATES 2021/22
Monday 12th April to Friday 16th July 2021
Half term: Monday 31st May to Friday 4th June 2021