The View From My Study – 26 April 2024

In 1215 King John signed the document that came to be known as the Magna Carta. This is perhaps one of the most important documents in western civilisation because it provides the principles upon which individual liberty and the rule of law are based.

King John agreed to the terms of the Magna Carta following an uprising of rebel barons who were unhappy at the way he was raising taxes to fund his wars with France and imprisoning people without trial. John had also fallen out with the Pope and so church services were banned in England which upset the powerful church leaders.

Once London fell into the hands of the barons, John had to concede that no-one, including monarchs, could be above the law. Although he signed it reluctantly, and then later set about trying to get it annulled, this was one of the first steps towards parliamentary democracy. Moreover, the document was pivotal in the parliamentary cause during the English Civil War and there are strong influences from the Magna Carta in the American Bill of Rights, written in 1791, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, penned in 1948.

At Bilton Grange we recognise that individuals have rights but we also know that these carry responsibilities too. The pupils are taught that: everyone has a right to be heard and therefore everyone has the responsibility to listen to others; everyone has the right to express their opinion and therefore everyone has the responsibility to show respect to other ideas which may be different to one’s own; everyone has the right to feel safe at school and therefore everyone has the responsibility to look after each person in the community, their belongings and the property of the school.

Valuing the individual is so important to all that we do at Bilton Grange. We want children to be themselves and develop their own personalities and character. For that reason we do not have a long list of school rules; rather, we encourage the children to form sensible decisions and opinions based on a strong set of instilled values. We know that children do not always get it right but it is what we strive for and, in a way, our rules really boil down to two things: be kind and treat others as you would like to be treated.

HM’s Breakfast will be served again tomorrow morning from 8.15am in the dining room. This will make a nice start ahead of the talk for Upper School parents in the Ravenscroft Hall which starts at 9.00am. Allison Harvey from the RAP Project will be talking to parents and pupils about Social Skills for Life. Please do come along to the breakfast even if not an Upper School parent. If I do not see you, have a good weekend!

Gareth Jones, Head

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Ethos & Values

Headmaster’s Welcome