Promoting British Values at Central Academy
The DFE in November 2014 reinforced the need to promote fundamental British values:
“Schools should 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. This can help schools to demonstrate how they are meeting the requirements of section 78 of the Education Act 2002, in their provision of SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education)”.
At Central Academy, we encourage students to:
- develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
- distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
- accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
- acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England; display further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; encourage respect for other people; and
- respect democracy and support participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
As a result of Central Academy promoting fundamental British Values, students are able to:
- understand how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- appreciate that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
- understand that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
- understand that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
- accept that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
- understand the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
At Central Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Students have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class and year council meetings, as well as playing a key role within staffing appointments.
Students have an annual questionnaire with which they are able to put forward their views about the school, as a whole, but also complete subject specific questionnaires throughout the academic year.
The Rule of Law
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. Students 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 agencies such as the Police help reinforce this message.
Within school, 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 for students to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely; for example through our E-Safety and SMSC sessions. These are exemplified by hosting outside groups such as the Chelsea’s Choice production and Feel the Hate by Alter EGO.
Whether it is through choice of learning challenge or through participation in our numerous extracurricular clubs and opportunities, students are given the freedom to make informed choices.
Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. This is reinforced through our Binary Behaviour system which does not allow for students to disrupt the learning of others and assemblies each week which highlight Central Academy and British values.
In assemblies, we promote the following RRCA and British Values:
- To travel to/from school in a calm and dignified manner
- To be highly punctual
- To be dressed for a day of learning
- To be fully attentive during lessons and work exceptionally hard
- To complete all homework on time and to a high standard
- To treat each other and the adults in the school with courtesy and respect
- To respect the building we are in, your own property, the property of others and the property of the school
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs:
Central Academy is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the students. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our Philosophy and Ethics lessons and Personal development programme reinforce this.
At Central Academy, we actively challenge students, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including 'extremist' views.