British Values: Promotion of British values
At de Stafford we recognise not only the importance of striving for students to flourish academically, but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to our students .
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. Within our Vision and Aims, these values are reinforced as we seek to “Equip students with the ability to understand their place in an increasingly diverse society by ensuring the values of democracy, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance are reinforced and permeate the school community.” The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
At de Stafford School the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, with for example, elections being held for school council representatives. The principle of democracy is explored in History, Citizenship and Religious Studies, PATHS as well as in SAM time and assemblies.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced through our Attitudes and Behaviours policy which is shared and upheld by staff and students. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within de Stafford School we actively encourage our young people to become active citizens making independent decisions and choices, knowing that they do so within in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education, students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in Computing and SAM time activities.
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for self and others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to democracy students at de Stafford School are always able to voice their opinions. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to a number of ‘buddy’ programmes which promote mutual respect between students across different year groups within the school.
Tolerance: understanding and appreciation of our cultural and religious similarities and differences
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. We actively review our curriculum to seek to provide a broad and balanced education on a range of perspectives on society, faith, religion, culture and history. We are mindful that tolerance is achieved through an awareness, and we look to challenge our biases and prejudices. Students are encouraged to consider how bias can impact upon our own cultural worldview, our attitude towards cultural differences and our understanding different cultural practices and worldviews.
Through our SMSC, PATHS (People, Attitudes, Tolerance. Health, Self-Esteem), Personal Development and RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) lessons we help students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence; distinguish right from wrong and to respect English law; encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and contribute positively to society; enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of, and respect for, English public institutions and services and to appreciate and respect their own and other cultures.
de Stafford School strives endlessly to ensure that its students leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our Society.