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British Values

 Press Release - British Values - February 2016

The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools.

The Coleshill School is committed to serving its community.  It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom.  It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.

It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, political or financial status, or similar. The Coleshill School is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.

The five key British Values are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

The Coleshill School uses strategies within the national curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow show some of the many ways The Coleshill School seeks to instil British Values.

Democracy
  • The Coleshill School values the importance of student opinion. We regularly seek the views of our students via questionnaires, student voice forums and proactively seek opportunities to informally gather the thoughts of our students.
  • Students have the opportunity to apply to become part of the student council. These leaders are part of democracy in action when they are involved in the appointment of new staff and feedback their views to the interview panel; their views help to support and shape our whole school vision.
  • In addition to this we afford parents the opportunity to give their views on all aspects of school life via our parental questionnaires and feedback sheets.  We actively encourage the use of Parent View, Ofsted’s online survey, and analyse responses.
  • All students have a vote to elect Head Boy and Head Girl after hearing prospective candidates present their manifestos during hustings in assembly.
The rule of law
  • At the Coleshill School we have clear behaviour and praise policies. We endeavour to reward persistently positive behaviour and students who continually excel in their lessons. Students have the opportunity to earn praise points for effort, commitment to extra-curricular opportunities and attainment.
  • Our tutor programme and vertical tutoring structure re-enforce and shape school rules and policies. Students are instrumental in agreeing and setting agreed codes of practice to ensure support and respect of all peers.
  • Our teachers, Heads of House and Student Support teams all work together in ensuring that students understand rules and responsibilities and the consequences if these are broken. Regular house assemblies also help re-enforce these expectations. We endeavour to create an atmosphere of mutual support and respect. We work closely with the local community and police, who visit the school regularly and take and take an active role in supporting our rules and expectations.
  • Restorative justice is being introduced across the school, with key staff being trained as ‘RJ Practitioners’
  • Some examples of curriculum provision include:
  • Within citizenship lessons, which all students in Year 7-8 study, students specifically examine how the rule of law unifies our diverse population.
  • Every student is an individual and brings different skills and qualities to our school. We are proud of this and aim to ensure that there are a range of different opportunities available to develop the unique skills of our students. All subject areas create an atmosphere of respect within their classrooms to ensure that students feel safe. Whilst we are not naive enough to say that bullying does not happen at The Coleshill School, incidents are rare and acted upon quickly to ensure that students understand this is not accepted, nor will it be tolerated. Our pastoral team is instrumental in this process and supporting other staff in building a positive culture where differences are respected, celebrated and all students feel confident, supported and happy in school. A dedicated student team of ‘Anti-Bullying Ambassadors’ support both the bully and the victim to ensure a student centred approach to tackling bullying.
  • Stakeholders are regularly surveyed to ensure that students feel safe. 96% of those responding to Parent View felt their child is safe in school.
  • Some examples of curriculum provision include:
  • In citizenship lessons we explore contested issues around individual values and the themes of respect and friendship.
  • In the vertical tutoring PSHE programme attitudes towards bullying are explored and the legal situation on this is studied. Conflict and reconciliation are also elements of this unit. This provides the opportunity to explore conflict within the school community and how we resolve conflict within school.
  • We have assemblies and work in tutor time around the use of social media and cyber bullying which also includes advice about the dangers of being on-line.
  • In drama we study the issues of racism, prejudice and segregation at KS3 and the skill of empathy is taught to enable students to reflect upon the standpoint of others. Many subjects such as English utilise these skills to use drama type activities within their teaching & learning
Individual Liberty
  • At the Coleshill School we have clear behaviour and praise policies. We endeavour to reward persistently positive behaviour and students who continually excel in their lessons. Students have the opportunity to earn praise points for effort, commitment to extra-curricular opportunities and attainment.
  • In PSHE work students look at the issues surrounding British Values, including work on democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance.
  • In English a range of texts and activities cover different themes associated with British Values. Poetry from other cultures and The Other Side of Truth teach tolerance of those from other cultures, mutual respect is discussed through Victorian literature, Animal Farm and war poetry highlight individual liberty and issues relating to the rule of law are inherent in the novels The Hunger Games and Stone Cold.
  • In the history curriculum the role of individual liberty is central to programmes of study in all Key Stages. Examples are numerous and involve the feudal system in medieval times, life in dictatorships and other examples at KS3.
  • In GCSE history, the Liberal Reform Acts are studied and individual liberty discussed and voting and democracy are explained through the Reform Acts.
Mutual respect
  • The school has adopted the acronym SPIRIT (Self-Management, Perseverance, Independence, Reflection, Innovation and Time Management) as part of its approach to learning which promotes skills essential for mutual respect. Reflection skills such as empathy, collaboration & interdependence are developed. Teachers explicitly mention these skills as part of their teaching and students evaluate their expertise in these.
  • The tutor programme and assemblies have covered topics such as Black History, internet safety around the posting of messages and mental health awareness.
  • Some example of our curriculum provision include:
  • Tolerance and respect for the life stances and beliefs others of others is taught within citizenship and religious studies.Students study in depth the teachings of Guru Nanak who believed and practised a life of respect and tolerance. Students are taught about his famous phrase “there is no Hindu or Muslim” and that the main Sikh teaching is equality. Students are taught about ways Sikhs show this in everyday living e.g. sewa (selfless service)
  • In history, tolerance is taught both explicitly and implicitly. Respect for religions, political persuasions and all manner of beliefs is promoted when studying each unit for example, anti-semitism in Nazi Germany.
  • In art, artists’ work from all cultures is studied creating discussion about what we think and what others may think. This creates an ethos where students vocalise curiosities about others and contribute to thoughts and engage in conversation in a constructive way.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
  • Belonging to a diverse multi-cultural and multi faith city our school community reflects much of that diversity.
  • Our curriculum recognises this and within religious education in KS3 students study a variety of faiths including Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. In Year 8 students look at Muslims and the concepts of a Just War.
  • In science we explore the topic of religion & transplants (Year 11) and in biology Darwinism forms part of the curriculum in Year 9. In chemistry and physics in Year 9 we study how the earth was formed and take into account how religious views have opposed science and how this has been resolved. Students discuss their own stances on these issues in an atmosphere of respect.
  • In A level history, tolerance of other faiths is explored through the reformation and the modern day conflict in Northern Ireland is also studied to show the importance of religious tolerance.