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 values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Southall these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Promotion of Fundamental British Values and SMSC
Southall School has British Values at the heart of its ethos and curriculum. We actively promote them and challenge those who contradict them in word or actions. SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education which is a real strength of our school. SMSC is taught throughout our curriculum and permeates school life. We value SMSC as a way to enrich our pupil’s experiences and their outcomes.
Our long standing School Values were created by students and encapsulate those of Britain. They are clear, unequivocal and phrased so that all our students can understand them. These are:
· Be kind and support each other
· Listen to one another
· Treat everyone fairly
· Try our best and let others do the same
· Always care for the school and the things in it
These values are displayed in all classes and also are at the heart of our Behaviour Way – so that students can be shown which value they are breaking if needed. Symbols are used to enhance meaning.
Our School Aims also reflect British Values:
· To help each student develop their academic, social and practical abilities to their highest level.
· To help each student achieve self-confidence, initiative and independence.
· To create a caring, sharing and learning school community with relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
To promote Democracy:
The school has an active Southall School Parliament, made up of democratically elected students, who hold Parliament every two weeks and inform decision making around the school.
Surveys of students, parents and staff are carried out at least annually to gather opinions about all aspects of the school and results influence the school improvement plan.
The school operates a system of Restorative Practice to resolve conflicts in peaceful and fair ways. Every person involved has a voice in this process.
In PSHE & Citizenship lessons, students are given general knowledge of public institutions and services and how these are held to account, a grasp of the political, legal and economic functions of adult society, and with the social and moral awareness to thrive in it.
In all lessons, students are encouraged to express and argue their points of view in an atmosphere of respect.
‘My ideas are listened to’ – Student Survey
To promote the Rule of Law:
Students are actively taught to distinguish between right and wrong, and to make reparation as needed.
Students are taught that there are positive and negative consequences to their actions, and that breaking school rules has clear and predictable outcomes, as with British law.
When school rules are discussed, students can see how they are designed to protect everyone in the school community.
We work in partnership with the police to give advice on personal safety but also to reinforce messages that some activities are illegal and what the consequences might be.
An emphasis on sports, and the rules of team games in particular, promote awareness of the necessity of laws.
‘We learn to work as a team and to follow rules’ – Student Survey
Our school aims to help each student achieve self-confidence, initiative and independence.
We actively teach students to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as knowing their rights.
We challenge stereotypes in all areas of the curriculum.
We are truly inclusive, so that all students can participate fully in all areas of the curriculum.
Bullying, though rare, is taken seriously and addressed swiftly.
Freedom of speech, and the responsibilities that come with that, are modelled through student participation that ensures protection of vulnerable individuals.
Use of the Student Survey and School Parliament ensures that all views are taken equally into account.
‘I can make choices at school’ – Student Survey
Respect and Tolerance:
The curriculum and ethos promotes respect for individual difference.
Respect and Tolerance is taught directly through assemblies, Themed days, Creative Curriculum at Key Stage 3, PSHE and Citizenship lessons and also embedded discreetly in other curriculum areas including Art, Music, PE and English, help students acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life. Each pupil also Social Skill programme
Visits to different places of worship, celebration of festivals such as Diwali and Eid and the Creative curriculum help students understand a range of faiths.
Prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour is challenged and recorded, with students made aware of the seriousness of such incidents.
‘In our school it’s ok to be different’ – Student Survey
Our pupils follow Southall School Social skills programme and each week they are given a different social outcome to work on. At Key Stage 3 each class has a Social Communication lesson each week where they are encouraged to interact with each other and embed their social skills in differing contexts.
At Southall we encourage our pupils appreciate cultural influences, participate in cultural opportunities, understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. We help our pupils achieve this by developing their appreciation of theatre, taking part in cultural opportunities, taking part in assemblies, inviting visitors to work with our pupils on differing cultural aspects and ensuring it is promoted through the curriculum when appropriate.