Though it has acquired a greater urgency in recent months, the importance of schools espousing British values is not new:
The 2008 National Curriculum includes the following statement:
The school curriculum should contribute to the development of pupils’ sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society and of the local, national, European, Commonwealth and global dimensions of their lives
The 2011 Teachers’ Standards state, as part of teachers’ personal and professional conduct:
Teachers uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school, by not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
These values support the national Prevent Strategy, put before Parliament in 2011 by the Home Secretary as a response to radicalisation of British citizens.
Newfield School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multicultural, 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. We believe that our core values of: Self-help, Self responsibility, Equality, Equity, Democracy, Solidarity, Openness, Honesty, Social Responsibility and Caring for others support the promotion of British Values.
The School 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. The 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 of its students.
The five British Values are:
The rule of law
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
The 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 in which the School strives to embed British values:
The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at the School, with democratic processes being used for important decisions within the School community, for instance, elections being held for places on the Student Council. The principle of democracy is also explored in the History and Religious Studies curriculum as well as in tutor time, PSHCE and assemblies.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the School, or the country, is consistently reinforced within the School. Students are taught the rules and expectations of the School which are highlighted by the Behaviour Policy and high expectations of behaviour are maintained. Students are taught the value and the reasons behind laws that 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 reinforce this message.
Students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff at the School educate and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices through a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety and independent work.
Respect is an expectation at the School and is regularly promoted as such with students who learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the School community treat each other with respect and this is reiterated through its teaching and learning environments. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved though equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving the opportunities to experience such diversity within the School. The Religious Studies curriculum, which is compulsory for all students up to Year 10, provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures. Newfield School strives endlessly to ensure that its students leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our Society.