Teaching British Values
Promoting British Values at Twickenham Academy (2016-2017)
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 five values will be reiterated this year (2016/17).
At Twickenham Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
The school has a student Council which meets each term. There are two students from each tutor group on the council, ensuring that there is a breadth of experience and opinions. Two students from each year group council represent the school at the Junior Leadership Team (JLT). These students meet each term, and give feedback to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) each term and the Governors once a year. The council offers student voice and is genuinely able to effect change within the school, for example they were responsible for the improvement of lunchtime play area.
Twice a year students complete questionnaires on a full range of school issues. Their opinions are then used to feed into future planning.
How we influence and shape democracy is explored though current affairs, themes of the week and assemblies. Weekly themes include: International Day of Peace; Martin Luther King Day; Elections and Student Voice.
2. 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 Twickenham Academy and consequently our students possess a strong sense of equality and belief in what is right and wrong.
We have a rigorous behaviour policy that is in the student planners, and understood by all staff and students.
Students are taught the ‘rules’ of the school. They are taught 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 laws) are broken.
We have a full time Police Community Support Officer who works with children on aspects such as E-Safety, and students can access e-safety support on line.
3. Individual Liberty
At Twickenham Academy 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 from where students can make informed choices, through a safe environment and empowering education.
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 and tutorial activities.
Stereotypes are regularly challenged and we have worked hard to raise the aspirations of all of our students with regular discussions about potential career possibilities. All students have equally high aspirations for their future prospects.
4. Mutual Respect
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 have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are required to treat each other with respect and this is a high profile message that is communicated to students. Anti-bullying has a high profile within the school and is addressed through the tutorial programme, assemblies and surveys. Students are also taught about respect and bullying in the online world though our curriculum and E-safety lessons.
5. Tolerance of those of different faiths and 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. We have a strict behaviour policy which excludes students for racist or homophobic bullying. We exclude also for verbal abuse to staff and fellow students. The weekly Newsletter, celebrates cultural events, and celebrates successes of all students. 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; Passover.
At Twickenham 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 seriously our responsibilities as set out within the Government’s Prevent Strategy designed to tackle ‘extremist’ views and prevent children being radicalised (2011). This statement will be reviewed in July 2017 in consultation with Staff, Parents and Students.