It is a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure that these values are taught in all schools. At Walton Hall Academy we take our commitment to this duty extremely seriously because we recognise that many of our students could be particularly vulnerable to external influences.
We recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom and our role in supporting our students to take their place in this society and especially their local community.
We understand the vital role that our academy has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the academy are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, to influence our students.
We follow equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ability, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Walton Hall Academy is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, accredited curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all of our students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 PREVENT Strategy. The five key British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
These key values are taught implicitly and explicitly throughout the curriculum and examples of how we do that are cited below. The examples that follow show some of the many ways Walton Hall Academy seeks to instil British Values through the curriculum and beyond.
The academy has a democratically elected school council. Members from each tutor group are elected to form the Council. Representatives prepared a ‘manifesto’ outlining what they could bring to the Council and how they would support the students to ‘have their voice heard’. A democratic election was held and the resulting student council were duly elected. One of their key aims is to uphold the core beliefs of our academy:
Promoting life chances and opportunities through confidence, competence and self-belief
Respect for ourselves, others and our environment
Independence to live a fulfilling life both socially and vocationally
Developing the ‘whole’ person to reach the best they can achieve
Enriching educational experiences using our extensive and unique resources
The Academy Council meet every term to present, discuss and share the views of their peers. They then meet with either the Principal or Vice Principal of the academy to put forward the students’ voice. Regular update meetings are held between the Principal or Vice Principal and the Chair of the student Council to ensure that Council matters are progressed. Students vote on various academy decisions and are always encouraged to put forward their views. These are sought in a variety of ways appropriate to the needs of the students.
The rule of law
Through PSHE, History and Humanities curriculum and class assemblies, students are taught the value and reasons behind laws. This is emphasised through the work that is undertaken to understand the Walton Halls’ rules, rights, responsibilities and rewards and also the individual classroom codes of conduct agreed by each class group.
Choice-making is regularly taught and reinforced in our classrooms. With students who have complex and multiple learning difficulties, much of the curriculum is about helping them to recognise and make decisions for themselves either with support or independently. Students are always encouraged to make individual choices, particularly about appropriate behaviours and the consequences of their actions.
Mutual respect is modelled for students by every member of staff. Students are taught about respect and about caring for themselves and others on a daily basis and as part of the Personal and Social Development programme. Students treat each other with respect and there are daily acts of kindness shown towards one another as well as more explicit opportunities through regular fundraising opportunities for all sorts of causes. Students and parents recently raised funds to support a student with their education, accommodation and food via ‘The Kabanda Trust Charity’ in Uganda.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Part of the Religious and Humanities curriculum is to teach tolerance and acceptance of other faiths and cultures through discussion, debate and encouragement. Class assemblies and visiting speakers also emphasise these values.
We take our responsibility to promote and teach British Values very seriously and recognise that we live in a multi-cultural and multi-faith Britain. We educate our students to become self-respecting individuals who know how to keep themselves safe and not succumb to being intimidated or radicalised by outside influences
These values are taught through the Religious Education (RE), Humanities and Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum and are further nurtured through the school’s ethos and promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) understanding.