British Value Development Opportunities
The Department for Education states that there is a 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 were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Morpeth Road Academy, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Parliament and Pupil voice questionnaires. Pupils regularly consult with their class to find out the views of all pupils and these are represented at School Parliament meetings. The elections of School Parliament as well as pupil nominations for other important roles in school always involve pupil voice. We also run a debating club where children discuss current issues and look at them from a range of viewpoints. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which actively promotes pupils and pupil voices. We use open questioning to encourage and develop these skills through class discussions and problem solving.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when we are dealing with behaviour and delivering assemblies. Pupils are taught the value of and reasons behind laws; that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences of breaking laws within the National Curriculum. Visits from the services and other agencies such as the police and fire service are regular aspects of our calendar and reinforce this message.
We believe in empowering our pupils to make their own choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We work on this through our Enrichment programmes and within our PSHE scheme. Following behaviour issues children are supported in making better decisions through restorative communication with adults and the behaviour policy. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. As teachers we advise pupils how to do this is a safe way for example through the promotion of Internet Safety, citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education. Pupils are free to make choices at lunch time, through the weekly ‘clubs’ on offer or through the suite of extra-curricular activities that exist in school.
Our Code of Conduct and behaviour policy explains that at Morpeth Road we are: Respectful, Ready and Safe. We use this as the basis for our choices and our behaviour. This has really helped us to foster a mutual respect for each other in school and helps the children think about showing and receiving respect. This is reiterated through our classroom rules as well as our school environment.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Morpeth Road Academy we aim to work beyond tolerance into acceptance – we are a diverse pupil body and accept all individuals as part of our school. This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience diversity. Our RE scheme covers other faiths which the children learn about and the experience of pupils, parents and staff is utilised through this. We promote an acceptance of everyone’s beliefs, and our children enjoy learning about other cultures and faiths as part of their learning across the curriculum.