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. At Victoria Academy we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We value the ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families and undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate and explore these alongside other cultures in our country. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school.
All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts. Our cross curricular approach provides excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding developing the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of our children. The school makes considerable efforts to ensure children have exposure to a wide experience beyond their local community during which these concepts are shown, through for example, sporting events, a range of visits and use of outdoor education centres. Their strong rooted values-based understanding gives them an excellent platform for embracing difference.
At Victoria Academy, we value the voice of the child and promote democratic processes such as our school council whose members are voted for by the children. Ideas and events are planned and discussed with a chance for debate and putting forward points of view. Children are given responsibility to mentor and support other children in games and activities so that they are fully involved in all aspects of school life. For instance, we have a Peer Support system throughout school, children support and promote fair play and inclusion. The older children are also partnered up with the youngest children for support, mentoring and to promote our core values. We expect all our children to be good role models for each other, which is encouraged through high expectations of behaviour.
Democracy Statement Evidence Impact – the children at Victoria Academy see democracy borne out in a whole variety of ways and see this as being an essential component of successful team working. Our academic curriculum is underpinned by a programme of skills based learning, which all takes place within learning communities. Children are explicitly taught how to work collaboratively, they value difference and know that they will be listened to – pupil voice is authentic and informs key decision making at management level. The establishment of a Children’s Parliament models the democratic process as does the selection and voting of the Head Boy and Head Girl. Our whole school policy for behaviour, reward systems and assemblies teach and reinforce School Values. Enrichment visits and our work within the business sector, put learning into the real world and guides children to work cooperatively in pairs and groups as well as in whole class situations. They understand about turn taking and respecting the views of others. Children in school are able to use the language of respect.
Rule of Law Statement Evidence Impact – The children at Victoria Academy are familiar with this concept through the philosophy that infuses the entire work of the school. They are familiar with the concept through the discussion of values and, in RE lessons, the idea that different religions have guiding principles Children are used to debating and discussing laws/rules and their application. Children are familiar with the local Police who visit to talk to them informally. Class Contracts are signed by all children and staff. School Values Lessons on the role of law and parliament are put into practice in the Children’s Parliament. Children are able to articulate how and why we need to behave in school and demonstrate they understand and can abide by our rules. Children all know that they have a right but that with a right comes a responsibility. They are able to discuss and debate philosophical issues in relation to these rights.
Individual Liberty Statement Evidence Impact – Our Values based discussions and acts of worship begin with discussion about the self, e.g. self–respect and self worth in relation to the individual so that children see that they are important in their own right. Children are able to show independence in learning and to think for themselves. Children understand about the importance of accepting responsibility and of their right to be heard in school They are consulted on many aspects of school life and their views are acted upon. The philosophy of our teaching and learning places emphasis on the right to have our own thoughts and evidence based views Children are strongly encouraged to develop independence in learning and to think for themselves, showing independence of thought and action.
Mutual Respect and the Tolerance of those with different Faiths and Beliefs Statement Evidence Impact – Respect is a fundamental school value, around which pivots much of the work of the school. We pay explicit attention to this as part of our RE, PHSE, and SMSC curriculum. Respect is a school value that is discussed deeply, starting with self-respect and covering respect for family, friends, and other groups; the world and its people; and the environment. Children can articulate that respect is a school value and why respect is important; they show respect to others and can talk about how they feel about it for themselves. Children’s behaviour demonstrates their good understanding of this value in action. Children are able to talk about the different faiths and cultures they learn about, ask questions and show tolerance and respect for others of different faiths and religions.