Promoting British Values at Southmoor Academy (2020-2021)
Teaching British values at our school is an important way to enable students to embrace the key values that they need to be equipped for life in modern British society. Students at our school develop self-knowledge, are better able to make the right choices and make contributions to the wider school and their community by studying and promoting the British values of: democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect; and acceptance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
The DfE has recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and acceptance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these five values will be reiterated this academic year.
At Southmoor Academy, these values are regularly reinforced in the following ways:
The Personal Development curriculum
British Values are taught explicitly as part of the Personal Development curriculum. Topics studied include: what are the British Values?; understanding modern Britain; Morals & Ethics; Stewardship; the UK Government and Parliament; Crime & Punishment; Law & Order; Diversity and Prejudice; Human Rights and Community Cohension.
In addition, British Values are taught throughout our school curriculum in every subject area.
The school has a Student Council which meets on regular occasions. This Student Council is elected by the student body and consists of students from each year group, ensuring that there is a breadth of experience and opinions. Election of the student leadership council reflects the British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action to our students.
The Student Council discuss issues that have been raised by the student body and then present these issues to the Headteacher/Principal/Senior Leadership Team. The issues put forward to cover a wide range of issues, both pastoral and academic.
As a result, students take ownership of not only their school but also of their learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility.
How we influence and shape democracy is explored in many ways, though lessons, current affairs and assemblies. These weekly themes are linked to our school values. These are often connected to national or international celebrations and commemorations such as: International Day of Peace; Martin Luther King Day; and Remembrance Day.
In Personal Development, students learn about British Democracy and how young people can participate at a local and national level.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at the Southmoor Academy, and consequently, our students possess a strong sense of equality and understanding of what is right and wrong.
We have a rigorous Behaviour Management system that is in the student planners and understood by all staff and students, with reminders through regular training and assemblies.
Students are taught the ‘rules’ of the school along with the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules and the law are broken. An integral part of our Behaviour Management Policy is the use of restorative justice. It aims to increase student awareness of how their actions affect others in the community and ensure students are better able to make the right choices.
We have a local Police officer who works with our students to educate them on how young people can be affected by crime and how to stay safe.
In Personal Development, students learn about the rule of law by learning about the importance of shared values and responsibilities of British citizens.
Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries so that students can make informed choices and respectfully express their views and beliefs.
Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and are advised how to exercise these safely and respectfully, for example through our assemblies, Personal Development curriculum, current affairs and tutorial activities. In lessons, students can make choices about the tasks and challenges they complete through differentiation and stretch/challenge, as well as being able to choose from a varied programme of extra-curricular activities.
Stereotypes are regularly challenged and we are working hard to raise the aspirations of all of our students with regular discussions about potential career possibilities and providing opportunities to experience different career and further education opportunities. All students have equally high aspirations for their futures.
In Personal Development students learn about individual liberty by learning about how they can express their rights and personal freedoms safely.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Staff and students treat each other with the utmost respect and courtesy. Students learn that their behaviours affect their rights and those of others. All members of the school community are required to treat each other with respect; this is a high profile message that is communicated to students. Our Behaviour Management policy means that students know that their choices affect their rights and those of others. We also provide a model for civil resolution of conflict through restorative justice.
Anti-bullying has a high profile within the school and is addressed through the Personal Development programme, assemblies, surveys and our Anti-bullying Policy. We celebrate Anti-Bullying week with a series of tutor activities and whole school events to promote difference and equality in our school. Students are also taught about respect and bullying in the online world through our curriculum and e-safety lessons.
In Personal Development, students learn about mutual respect through relationship education, e-safety and the work they complete on shared community values.
Acceptance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Southmoor Academy is rich in cultural diversity and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Students learn that all members of the school community deserve to be treated with respect and that differences are to be accepted.
Elements of Religious Education are taught through Personal Development in KS3 and KS4, which promotes mutual respect and understanding between those of different faiths or beliefs.
Assemblies and tutorial activities actively challenge stereotypes and reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others no matter their ethnicity, beliefs, gender or disability. Assemblies cover a variety of topics, including Yom Kippur; International Day of Peace; Black History Month; Ramadan, Diwali; International Day for Tolerance; Hanukah; Martin Luther King Day; Chinese New Year; and Passover.
The weekly Principal/Headteacher Blog celebrates cultural events and celebrates the successes of all students.
At Southmoor Academy, we actively challenge students, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to the values we hold as a school and those that underpin the fabric of a democratic Britain. We take our responsibilities seriously as set out in the Government’s Prevent Strategy designed to tackle ‘extremist’ views and prevent children from being radicalised.
In Personal Development, students learn about acceptance and different forms of discrimination including discrimination against people due to their gender, religion, disability, sexuality and ethnicity, as well as how to challenge discrimination in society. The curriculum educates students about the dangers of radicalisation and extremism.