The Promotion of British Values
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 Acorn Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at our school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and occasional questionnaires. The election of the School Councillors is based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has ‘School Rules’, which were developed by the children in November 2012 and are deeply embedded in our work every day. Our 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.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation extra- curricular activities; our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect is one of the core values of our school as can be seen on our school rules – We show respect to everyone. Children know and understand that it is expected and that it is imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of respect at Acorn Academy underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
Our core value of respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Acorn Academy enhances children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education lessons; P.S.H.E. learning; visits to other settings to participate in celebrations such as Diwali; welcoming visitors from other schools that are not predominately white British and enjoying a depth of study during themed weeks. Beliefs, traditions and customs will be studied in depth, with visitors being invited in to our school to enrich and extend understanding. Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.