How do we promote ‘British Values’ across the curriculum?
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and in the recent DFE document “Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools”.
At Wilnecote we aim to promote British values in all our work particularly through our school ethos of the ‘Wilnecote Way’. These values are also promoted specifically through our assemblies, Tutor Time sessions and across our taught curriculum. Our PSHE program is delivered through a variety of cross curricular and bespoke ‘age appropriate’ activities.
Our House assemblies are frequently used to promote British values, recent themes include:
- The 2015 General Election and the role of democracy
- What does it mean to be British?
- The plight of Syrian refugees (highlighting the case of Alan Kurdi and the response to his death)
- Isra Mohammed, the schoolgirl whose speech “I am Muslim but I am not a terrorist” went viral
- The Paris attacks, the importance of “the helpers” and the need to respond in a measured way
- A specific assembly dedicated to outlining British Values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Mutual Respect, Individual Liberty and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- Sir Nicholas Winton, saviour of 669 Czech children prior to WWII
- Holocaust Memorial Day
- Remembrance Day Service
- What is a hate crime? (delivered by the local PCSO)
Our IT & Internet filtering policy ensures that students are unable to access extremist material via the Internet. The safe and responsible use of the Internet underpins the schools ICT & Computing curriculum. All teachers are aware of the potential risks associated with Internet use and deal with it in accordance with Prevent procedures.
Students have a variety of opportunities to consider how democracy works including a mock election held during the last general election. Current affairs issues are regularly discussed during Tutor Time. We play an active role in the ‘Send my child to school’ campaign and students exercised their democratic right to write to their MP to seek his support with the campaign. Students also collected signatures for the ‘Fairer Funding Campaign’ for Staffordshire schools and were made aware of how the county’s education system is funded and the influence organised petitions can have on a democratically elected government. Remembrance services are held both in school and at the local memorial and students respectfully observe a minute silence to reflect on those who died to defend our democratic way of life.
Further examples of how ‘Democracy’ underpins our curriculum can be seen in the Faculty information section.
Rule of law:
At Wilnecote we ensure school rules and expectations are transparent, clear and fairly applied. We help our students to distinguish right from wrong by modelling positive behaviour. At a local level we regularly work with and seek advice from Tamworth Police, the local PCSOs, the local fire service and members of the British transport police to give our students advice on how to behave in accordance with national laws. We recently had a visit from a PCSO to discuss the concept of hate crime in one of our assemblies. We teach the rights and responsibilities in the use of computers and the Internet in Year 7 computer Science unit, including respecting Copyright Laws, Data Protection and Computer Misuse Acts. The responsible use of the Internet has also been explored as a Tutor Time theme on Safer Internet Day and through ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ assembly.
Further examples of how the ‘Rule of Law’ underpins our curriculum can be seen in the Faculty information section.
We work with students to help them understand their fundamental rights and responsibilities. Students are given an opportunity to speak freely about the curriculum through various ‘student voice’ surveys carried out across subject areas. Students are given the opportunity to share and defend their points of view during discussion work in the Tutor Time program. We regularly take part in the Anti-bullying campaign during anti bullying week, including participation in the county wide survey and related Tutor Time activities.
We work with students in promoting personal responsibility through the Wellbeing Centre, where we offer a range of services to empower young people to make informed choices about their own health and wellbeing. Our ‘Upside Champions’ raise awareness of help available to students with emotional needs and promote the Barnardos online website. A visiting speaker (from Prohealth UK) promoted opportunities for students to access help in terms of emotional and mental well-being. Opportunities are also available for students to become peer mentoring well-being champions and study for a Level 2 qualification.
Further examples of how ‘Individual Liberty’ underpins our curriculum can be seen in the Faculty information section.
Mutual respect is a fundamental underpinning principle of the ‘Wilnecote Way’. It was devised and agreed by the whole school community and identifies what all members of our learning community can expect from each other. It outlines some of the ways in which we show respect to learning, to ourselves, to each other and to the school and its community.
We are committed to providing students with opportunities to collaborate with each other across the curriculum, which encourages tolerance and respect between our students. In Computer Science lessons students are taught how to act responsibly, show respect for themselves and others in their use of social media.
The work of the House Tutors and the Inclusion team plays a key role in dealing with conflict resolution and mediation between students, ensuring that they understand the importance of mutual respect.
Further examples of how ‘Mutual Respect’ underpins our curriculum can be seen in the Faculty information section.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our school has a population that is predominantly ‘White British’, which reflects Tamworth’s demographic. As a result we feel we have duty to promote an understanding of wider cultural diversity to fully prepare students for life in multicultural Britain. Activities, visits and lessons are used to share experiences from a range of different faiths and religions. Beyond this we have a thriving exchange program with our partner school in Bad Laasphe. Students welcome guests into their homes and take part in joint activities to promote mutual respect and understanding.
We consider the plight of others, show respect and support for those less fortunate than ourselves by regularly taking part in national and local fund raising events such as Children in Need, Sport Relief, Comic Relief, the local Advent – appeal for donations to support a local food bank. Work for these charity events takes place in Tutor Time where pupils are made aware of the needs of people both in our own and other countries.
We actively challenge students, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to British values. ‘Extremist’ views will always be investigated in accordance with the Local Authority’s Prevent Strategy and appropriate action will be taken.
Further examples of how the ‘Tolerance’ underpins our curriculum can be seen in the Faculty information section.
Should you feel that the school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the school office and request to express your concerns with the Headteacher. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is undermining these values you should report this to the Headteacher.