The Department for Education introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools. British values are promoted in so much of what we do at West End Academy.
The five key British Values are:
· The rule of law
· Individual liberty
· Mutual respect
· Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
West End Academy recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also recognises the important role it has in preparing the children for a successful and happy life within it. It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. West End Academy is dedicated to promoting and reinforcing British values to all of its pupils. As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views. The examples that follow show some of the many ways in which West End Academy seeks to instil British values.
· We have a very active Junior Leadership team who are the pupil voices for the academy. The team holds regular meetings to discuss what should feature on the school’s development plan and how these targets should be achieved in order to improve our school throughout the year.
· Children have direct experience of democracy in action through the elections for School Council each year.
· Global issues related to democracy are considered though our weekly ‘In the News’ assemblies.
· The children have taken part in a whole-school general election where the oldest children were required to represent the main political parties, create a manifesto and promote themselves around school. We then held a secret ballot where the children voted for their chosen party.
· The children have the opportunity to write to politicians. For example, the children in Year 4 wrote to Michael Gove to express their concerns about our over-reliance on single- use plastic.
· During parliament week, whole school assemblies teach explore the workings of parliament including who sits in The House of Commons and the responsibilities for The House of Lords.
· Each year, the children in Year 5 vote on which charity to support during their RE lessons. They consider helping those less fortunate than themselves.
The Rule of Law
· At West End Academy, the importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies.
· Pupils 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 Fire Service help reinforce this message.
· The Junior Leadership Team led a whole-school assembly which prompted the children to consider what law they would bring in for Britain. They explored recently introduced laws such as the charge for the plastic carrier bag.
· The children celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the women’s vote and the individuals who prompted change.
· The school’s behaviour policy gives pupils the opportunity to reflect on appropriate behaviours and to change negative behaviours. This is celebrated in our weekly celebration assembly where a positive leaf is awarded to a pupil in each class for following our golden rules.
· Through our positive behaviour policy, the children are taught to manage their own behaviour in a variety of ways and to realise that there are consequences for unacceptable behaviour.
· Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
· Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety lessons. A special E-Safety event day used the story of ‘Chicken Clicking’ to educate the children about keeping safe online.
· During all lessons, children are given the opportunity to choose their own learning challenge through our ‘chilli challenge’ system.
· The children are given the choice to participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities.
· World Book Day has been used to explore the UN Rights of a Child. Based on the book ‘Lila and the Secret of Rain,’ and the charitable work of Michelle O’bama, the children understood that every child has the same rights regardless of who they are.
· During assemblies, the children have been introduced to individuals from across the world who are fighting for the rights of children. For example, Cecelia Flores Oebanda who won the World’s Children’s prize and Cleophas Mally.
· The children in UKS2 are given the choice to work on ‘The Top Team’ at lunchtime and enjoy helping out adults and children around school. For example, being a librarian, a buddy reader or a play leader.
· Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource or a religious belief.
· Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
· The whole school used the book “We’ll be old one day” to explore and promote a respect for the elderly.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
· Children learn about different faiths and the major religions during their Religious Education lessons.
· During SMSC sessions, children reflect on the idea of peace and how achievable it is. They have opportunities to reflect on historical figures who have been discriminated against because of their faith. For example, exploring the plight of Anne Frank.
· Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures.
· Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Visitors from a nearby synagogue, mosque and church have all been welcomed to the school.
· Children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. For example, the children visit a gurdwara, a Buddhist meditation centre and the local church.
· The school has welcomed children from a multicultural school in Bradford. They took part in a range of activities and taught them about the routines in our school. Our children then had the opportunity to visit their school.
· During a whole-school assembly, members of the JLT acted out a scenario where a Jewish girl was celebrating Simhat Torah and some people made disrespectful remarks to her. The school discussed the impact of these and what was wrong with the remarks.
· Our school library has a range of books about different faiths and religions for the children to choose.
· Bright displays around the school celebrate different religions and beliefs.
· This work is reflected in the Academy being awarded the ‘International Award’ as we are committed to exposing the children to life in different communities and countries.
· The school staff are fully aware of the importance of being a role model for all pupils; demonstrating politeness, courtesy and respect for each other, visitors and children at all times.