Promoting British Values
At Spires Academy we recognise not only the importance of allowing students to flourish academically but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to our students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and considered them to be democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At Spires Academy these values are reinforced and permeate the school community.
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Spires Academy and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
At Spires Academy the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for the School Council members. In addition we stage mock elections that mirror the national elections and invite local councillors and politicians in to school to discuss the key issues. The principle of democracy is also explored in History and Religious Studies as well as in tutor time and assemblies.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students are taught the values 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 Police and Fire Service and local Magistrates are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within Spires Academy students are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As an Academy we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in computing and their tutor time activities.
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others. In line with our commitment to democracy, students at Spires Academy are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where students are safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to the student mentoring programme which promotes mutual respect and support between students across different year groups within the Academy.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. We also run a number of trips to other countries throughout the academic year from which our students gain valuable experience of other cultures and languages. Additionally, students and teachers from different countries and cultures regularly visit the Academy e.g. Korean students and Japanese trainee teachers. Students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school. Our Religious Studies curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
Spires Academy works to promote positive values through:
- Promoting a broad and balanced Curriculum
- Social, Moral, Cultural, Spiritual Development
- Personal, Social and Health Education
- Promoting British Values
These are intrinsic to our subject curriculum and reinforced in the Tutor Time ‘Opening Minds’ Programme, assemblies and extra-curricular activities.