Promoting British Values
In September 2014, The Department for Education introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values and to ensure that they are actively promoted and followed in schools.
Brookfield Community School is committed to excellence both academically and pastorally and is proud to serve its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith nature of the UK and the fact that society is forever changing in its nature. 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. The school follows equal opportunities guidance to prevent discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. We are dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values with all our students.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Brookfield Community 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 embed British values.
Democracy can be seen as a state of society characterised by equality of rights and privileges. It can also refer to our nation’s electoral systems.
In school we promote democracy through such things as:
- The fair election process for student positions of responsibility
- Seeking student voice on key school decisions and as part of the quality assurance processes in school
- Providing leadership opportunities through programmes such as; Sports and Language Leaders, Prefects and School Council Members.
- The principle of democracy is also explored in aspects of the formal curriculum as well as in tutor time and assemblies.
The Rule of Law
All people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced.
In school we promote the importance of the rule of law through such things as:
- The school Code of Conduct and Behaviour for Learning Policy
- The use of rewards and sanctions for students’ choices in their behaviour
- Pastoral support and intervention, such as restorative justice practice, to resolve conflict
- Aspects of the curriculum, tutor time and assemblies that explore the reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
- Liaison with external agencies and authorities such as the Police and Fire Service to reinforce this message.
Individual Liberty suggests the free exercise of rights generally seen as outside government control.
In school we promote the importance of individual liberty through such things as:
- The Anti-Bullying Policy and culture for all students and staff, allowing the opportunity for individual choices in a safe and supportive environment
- A wide choice of extra-curricular activities and clubs available to all students
- Encouraging students to share their views and opinions in lessons in a formative manner
- Offering opportunities for freedom of speech and expression through mediums such as the school council representatives, newsletter and surveys/student voice activities.
Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on; how to exercise these safely, for example through Online Safety and form time work plus assemblies.
Mutual respect is the proper regard for an individual’s dignity, which is reciprocated.
In school we promote the importance of mutual respect through such things as:
- Our classroom rules, followed in all areas of the school
- The range of support available to students who are facing difficulties
- The example that staff set in the way they behave towards each other and to students
- Teaching students that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others
- The development of skills through visits and trips at home and abroad, work experience placements and tutorials, our broad and balanced curriculum
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The school expects all students, staff, governors, parents and volunteers working with the school to have a fair, objective and permissive attitude to those whose faith and beliefs may differ from one’s own.
In school we promote this through such things as:
- Opportunities for students to experience other cultures through foreign trips, international visitors and links with schools abroad
- Encouraging students to share their faith and beliefs within the school
- The Religious Studies curriculum which provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures
- A strong SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) element in assemblies and in form time tutor sessions.
Brookfield Community School strives to ensure that its students are committed to excellence and leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life both academically and pastorally, being able to successfully contribute to our society.