The Rule of Law

The school rules apply to all pupils equally, and all pupils are equally subject to the rules. Staff take great care to be scrupulous and fair in their application of the rules, and to avoid any kind of favouritism. The school has high expectations of pupil conduct and this is reflected in our Behaviour Policy. The pupils are also encouraged to go beyond what the rules set as a minimum standard, and are rewarded for supererogatory actions using the schools’ rewards system.

In the Curriculum, younger pupils have the chance to reflect on why rules exist, and how there is a way to achieve fairness, both in the classroom and across the whole school. They also study rational, secular approaches to deciding on moral issues. For example, Year 8 students study a unit (The ‘If’ Odyssey) where they are introduced, simply, to different ethical theories for deciding what is right, such as Utilitarianism and Kantian deontology. Older students learn about these issues in greater detail, such as when studying Ethics in Year 12, or a unit on ‘Conflict, War and Terrorism’ in Year 10 Philosophy/R.S.. Through this, students are taught “to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law”*. In History lessons, students learn about the rule of law in Britain and the significance of Magna Carta and other milestones in UK history. In PE, students learn the importance of applying rules fairly, for example, when deciding an outcome between conflicting viewpoints.

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they 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 help reinforce this message, when students learn about the reasoning and purpose behind particular sets of rules such as fire and road safety.