The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools.
William Brookes School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. William Brookes School is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five key British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
William Brookes School uses strategies within the national curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow show some of the many ways the School seeks to instil British Values.
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- We have actively promoted the Shropshire Youth Parliament for many years and have had students stand every year for the last five years
- In PSHCE we run a series of lessons on Democracy in KS3
- We have an effective House system with students from KS3 and KS4 actively encouraged to stand for roles of responsibility. They then canvas their peers who then vote for those standing for election
- We have a School Council which meets regularly and ensures that students are given a voice to raise concerns or awareness about issues important to them
- We hold fortnightly student voice exercises and involve groups of students in the development of key policies
- Our Local MP has made visits to school talking to our A Level Government and Politics group
The Rule of Law
- School assemblies pick up on key issues of expectations linked to behaviour, tone and ethos
- We engage with external organisations like the Police and CEOP to deliver key messages such as e-safety
- Students are made aware of our expectations with many displays and messages around the school. Our Behaviour Codes are regularly re iterated in lessons and student planners and we work hard to explain behaviours in terms of consequences in and out of school
- Students are made aware of the possible sanctions should any extreme behaviours be repeated in the local community. A section of work in PSHCE works on the law and its role in society, providing the foundations for a fair and just community. It describes the effects and consequences of actions that occur outside of our laws
- A pilot series of "Rule of Law" lessons from Bingham University are now taught through PSHCE at KS3 and KS4
- We make sure students are supported to make good choices. This includes working with them throughout the subject preferences (options) process in Y9 and again in Y11 when discussing further education options and careers. It is at this time where we look to ensure that choices link to future aspirations through individual interviews with staff and/or a Careers Advisor from the LA
- We have lots of systems in place for students to report any concerns or share information they feel an adult should be aware of. This ensures that they feel supported, safe and happy, confident that they will be listened to and the information they share, acted upon
- Student voice exercises tell us that students feel safe and know what to do if they have any worries / concerns and seek views via a worry box in school
- A series of lessons on "Rights" and "Civil Liberties" are taught through PSHCE at KS3 and KS4
- We treat respect as a central element of our work at school. It is a term regularly used throughout our Behaviour Policy and is including in posters and in planners
- Students and staff show mutual respect with high standards of behaviour in and out of the classroom
- Respect is reinforced in the classroom during activities such as class discussions where listening to one another is positively managed
- Our House system was developed to encourage respect across all ages using the vertical tutoring system. This has established positive relationships between peers from different year groups with older students to acting as role models mentoring, supporting and coaching younger students
- A series of lessons on "Respect Yourself" and "Consent" are taught through PSHCE at KS3
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
- We undertake lots of work in PSHCE and RE about diversity, tolerance and cultural and religious barriers, engaging in cross-faith workshops and activities in special timetabled activities. Students gain the benefit of meeting people who discuss their faith openly and they have the opportunity to discuss how all beliefs are linked to treating each other with care, tolerance and respect. Students of different faiths have also been used in lessons to discuss and explain their own beliefs, for example, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christmas and blood transfusion as well as Muslim students on deciding whether or not to wear the burka
- Our RE/RS curriculum places emphasis on challenging social and religious stereotypes; learning about and from religion in modern day Britain as well as learning to understanding religious beliefs and teachings
- Students develop critical thinking and analytical skills as well as gaining a deeper understanding of religious and social context of the area they are living in
- Students study modern perceptions of different religious groups and we have responded to the medias portrayal of religion - with emphasis on the facts and opinions surrounding terrorism
- A series of lessons entitled "Prevent" are taught through PSHCE at KS3
All lesson themes mentioned above are also covered within the GCSE Citizenship course.