The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in Sept 2014 due to recent events. These new regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school.
Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
Promoting British values at North Durham Academy
We agree with the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At the Academy students will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. In particular, our promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding and student leadership opportunities.
The curriculum is mapped across the whole school. Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community:
Student voice is significant in regards to life at the Academy. Our student elected year councils play a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the Academy a better place to learn. Students have a great amount of input in regards to what and how they learn in all subject areas, which promotes student voice.
Student questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of year councils and the student leadership team will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law
Our students will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our students to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the academy, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through tutorials, assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our students in the creation of the academy rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through Philosophy and Ethics we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, war veterans, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our students.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. We encourage children to choose tasks that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs, House activities and enrichment activities which students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our E-Safety and tutorials we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At the Academy we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the Academy and in the classrooms.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At the Academy we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which major religions are studied and respected. At the Academy we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.