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Heriot’s young people have a big say in how their school is run; being involved is part of their education. Some inspired ideas have emerged from our pupils and they are often instrumental in bringing about change in our community and beyond.
Children’s Rights are at the heart of our school, as pupils are actively involved in decision making through regular attendance at Senior Leadership and Governors’ Meetings. Rights education is a key part of the Citizenship programme and the Rights Respecting Schools (RSS) Group meet regularly to consider how to promote children’s rights and are also part of UNICEF’s youth panels which discuss the progression of the RRS Award. Examples of their work in school include ‘toilet twinning’ and campaigns on gender equality and palm oil.
We engage with all of the strands of Learning for Sustainability in both curricular and extra-curricular areas in the Junior and Senior School to ensure that our pupils gain an awareness of local, national and international environmental issues, and a sense that they can each make a difference.
In the Senior School, the Environmental Action Research Team (EARTH) meets weekly to coordinate our recycling system, discuss environmental issues and watch related documentaries. In Junior School, our Eco Club meets weekly to help with recycling and environmental projects, including pen recycling through Terracycle.
Click here to read about our Eco-Schools Green Flag Award.
As a health promoting school, we introduce the concepts of healthy eating, nutrition and exercise, well-being and resilience early on in the Junior School. In the Senior School, pupils have led the way in ensuring that mental health is discussed openly and honestly. The exam years in particular can bring periods of anxiety and stress and our support teachers are well practiced in supporting well-being during these times.
We encourage our young people to be kind to themselves as well as to one another (in keeping with the beating heart of the school, to distribute chearfullie of kindness, of support and of generosity). Our pupils promote self-care to their peers daily.
Pupils have a formal say in school-related matters through the Pupil Councils and various committees. In the Senior School, Citizenship classes help to develop positive attitudes and a sense of belonging to society. Charity work and Voluntary Service offer opportunities to give back and to engage with a variety of community groups and current issues.
Our young people leave Heriot’s as thoughtful, socially aware and outward-looking citizens, understanding of their role in society and inspired by the long-standing vision of George Heriot and his support of others.