Promoting British Values
The DfE have 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 tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year (2014). At Ditton Park Academy these values are taught in the following ways:
One of the fundamental values at Ditton Park Academy is the right of all members of the community to be heard and the responsibility of others to allow this to happen. This is taught and reinforced through all lessons, teaching and modelling to young people, how to make their needs and wishes heard in a way that society and school life finds acceptable. This is done throughout every lesson and taught explicitly through PSHE, but also through experiences of the wider curriculum including enrichment activities. Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our school councils, focus groups, Slough Youth Parliament and student questionnaires. The elections of tutor or year group representatives are based solely on pupil votes and we also run an election campaign in parallel with the General Election. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which have been consulted on with pupils and we have a differentiated system according to their needs and interests.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws or rules, whether they are those that govern the classroom, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. During induction, our students are taught the value and reasons behind the school's rules, what they mean and how they look when people are following them. There is part of the PSHE curriculum discussion and debate about the rules that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws and rules are broken. Visits from a range of organisations including the Police form part of our regular curriculum. The fundamental right to feel and be safe is paramount in all aspects of the school.
Within school, young people are actively encouraged to make positive choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, staff with whom they have a positive and supportive relationship and boundaries that are secure. Young people are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised as to how to exercise these safely. In addition, young people are encouraged to consider their responsibility in making their choices and how these will impact on themselves and others in the immediate and long term future. This may be in PSHE, target setting or at any point within the school day.
Part of our aim for every child is to develop a healthy respect for themselves, to build self-esteem, self-worth and confidence as a learner. This is our core purpose and is threaded through learning and teaching, behaviour and safeguarding policies. It is part of daily discussions in classrooms. It is modelled daily by all staff and is an expectation of the whole community.
Tolerance of Difference:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their own and others needs and impressing upon them that they belong; to the Ditton Park Academy community; to their local community and their world community. We celebrate and embrace difference through celebration of achievements, developing an understanding of students’ place in a culturally diverse society. We do this by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity through working with visitors from a range of cultures and belief systems. PSHE learning involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are routine and 1:1 work following any incidents reinforce this learning. Feedback from pupils following PSHE modules on community cohesion is very positive. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
Nick Caulfield, Executive Principal