PROMOTING BRITISH VALUES AT FIRWOOD
As a forward thinking and outward facing special school, we encourage our young people to be unique, creative, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. We aim to nurture our young people on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British Society and to the world.
What are British Values?
There are certain values that have been attributed to being British, as set out by the government in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These fall into the following broad areas:
· The Rule of Law
· Individual Liberty
· Tolerance & Respect
Democratic values are explicit in the ethos at Firwood High School. All adults listen to the views of the young people and value their opinions. Our School Council is elected through a democratic system of ‘voting’ providing a ‘voice’ for all pupils. Students are given the opportunity to have their ‘voices’ heard through questionnaires, and being listened to in class, assemblies, keys stage gatherings and general discussions.
The Rule of Law:
Our young people are taught to understand the need for laws/rules - that they are there for individual protection, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws/rules are broken. We have ‘School Rules and Class Rules’ which all promote the importance of the law. Our young people are trusted and know that with trust comes great responsibility for and to both themselves and others. We have a positive behaviour policy for our students to follow and our expectations of them. Through our assemblies and collective times together, we teach respect for all, right and wrong, tolerance, respect and following the law. Visits from community services, the Police and Fire Service are used to reinforce these messages. Our young people are shown how they can contribute to the well-being of those in the
locality and beyond, through many events such as visiting the elderly and supporting charities e.g. Urban Outreach.
Our young people are encouraged to be as independent as they can be in the ethos of preparing for adulthood. We empower them to constantly make choices, within a safe and supportive environment - developing their self-esteem and self-confidence is seen as very important. Young people are encouraged to understand their personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to best effect. They are taught consideration for others through our R.E. curriculum, RSE curriculum and PSCHE lessons in particular. E-safety and Health & Safety teaching enables them to make choices in a safe manner.
Our school’s ethos and behaviour policy are based on sound moral values. Assemblies promote the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others and fair play. Our young people are taught to support each other and when appropriate work collaboratively and value each other’s opinion.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Our young people are reminded of their place in our culturally diverse society and this is achieved through our R.E. curriculum and our creative curriculum. R.E sessions teach our young people about other faiths as well as their own. Assemblies and learning in class, promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally. Members of different faiths are invited to school to share their knowledge and to enhance learning. We celebrate the diversity of our world and hold dedicated weeks and days to learn and understand about the wider world, its cultures and people.
Promoting British Values in the Sixth Form
Democracy: making decisions together
As part of the focus on Preparation for Adulthood, self-confidence and self-awareness and having a voice is crucial in empowering our young people to know who they are and the contributions they make to our society.
· Staff encourage young people to see their role in the bigger picture, encouraging young people to know their views count, value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help. When appropriate demonstrate democracy in action, for example, young people sharing views on what the theme of their special events and activities eg the end of year Prom.
· Staff support the decisions that young people make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Young people are given opportunities to develop their critical thinking in an atmosphere where questions are valued.
· Staff ensure that young people understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and learn to distinguish right from wrong.
· Staff collaborate with young people to create the rules and the codes of behaviour, for example, to agree the rules about tidying up and ensure that all young people understand rules apply to everyone.
Individual liberty: freedom for all
· Young people develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff provide opportunities for young people to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing young people to take risks and taking part in challenges that the curriculum offer eg Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
· Staff encourage a range of experiences that allow young people to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions.
Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated
· We create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and young people are engaged with the wider community.
· Young people acquire a tolerance and appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families,
faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences.
· Staff encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting others opinions.
· Staff promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of young people’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.