Promoting our British values at Bradon Forest School
The Department for Education 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 2011, and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2015. At the heart of these values are good relationships in which teachers, parents and students work together towards common goals.
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 Bradon Forest these values are both integral to our school values and ethos and reinforced on a daily basis in the following ways.
Students have the opportunity to contribute to school life through Student Voice. Each tutor group elects School Council representatives who meet each term. Students are given the opportunity to debate and discuss democracy in many areas of the curriculum. Opportunities for all students to learn about democracy and participate in the democratic process are seen particularly in Religious Studies, English, Humanities and Citizenship; although all subjects will involve discussion, turn taking, debate and decision making. Students are also placed into Houses where they are given the opportunity to work together to achieve a common goal. Students are invited to work along staff and governors in the employment of new staff and are regularly invited to be part of the interview process via student panels. Recently students were consulted and given the opportunity to vote over the new uniform and the timing of the lunch hour.
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 assemblies. Students have been involved in the creation and monitoring of the consequences system through their student councils.
Students are taught the history, value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us. The consequences system is shared at the start of the new academic year and revisited through assemblies and tutor periods throughout the year. The school host visits from outside agencies, e.g. The Police and Fire Service, to help reinforce the importance of this message.
We have a positive culture in our school where students are able to make choices in a safe environment. Our curriculum celebrates the rich history of liberty in Britain through discussion of such areas as the arts, sports as well as the spoken and written word. Differentiated planning by teachers allows students the opportunity to have a more personalised learning experience. The school curriculum enables all students to make guided choices regarding future academic pathways. We offer a wide range of activities designed to allow every student the opportunity to take part in an extra-curricular activity in which they have an interest.
Students are also taught about the importance of E-Safety through assemblies and Citizenship and ICT/Computing lessons.
Students are involved in selection of contractors for the school canteen and are able to make educated choices at break and lunchtimes.
The Consequences System engenders our basic belief in mutual respect. This is integral in our school wide classroom rules and is reinforced in day to day teaching, tutor activities and assemblies. All staff in school promote and demonstrate respect for others and this is also reflected in older students in their roles as House Captains, Prefects, Peer Mentors and Sports Captains. We have successful Peer Reading Schemes and English and Maths Ambassadors whereby older students mentor younger students in improving their learning in key subjects. Achievement is celebrated across the school; in assemblies, using House Points, through postcards home, Student of the Term Awards and through our website and newsletters. At the end of the academic year the school holds a Celebration Evening which last year involved over 150 students. The school promotes strong anti-bullying measures, with students actively involved in all aspects from policy development through to group activities. Year 10 Peer Mentors meet Year 6 during induction week and continue their work with them throughout Year 7 building strong relationships.
Tolerance of those of Different Faith and Beliefs
Bradon Forest School believes that tolerance is built through enhancing students’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity through the curriculum and in extracurricular activities. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice- based bullying have been led by senior staff and this is reinforced in learning particularly in RE and PSHE as well as other subjects across the school. The school also offers various opportunities for students to become knowledgeable about other faiths and beliefs through visits abroad and visits from outside speakers of different faiths and cultures. The school has a zero tolerance approach to racism and very few instances are reported.