The DfE has recently reinforced the 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 have been reiterated this year (2014). At our academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the academy. Students 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. Students also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our Student Council, Student Voice and questionnaires.
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the academy, or the country, are consistently reinforced at our academy. Students are taught from first day the rules of the academy. These are our own academy rules applicable at all times. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Students are taught the value and reasons behind rules and 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 help reinforce this message.
At our academy, students 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 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 advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our eSafety, ASPIRE days and PSHE lessons.
Respect is one of the core values of our academy. Our students were fully involved in the creation of our academy values and it is deeply embedded in all that we do here. The students know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small. The core value of ‘ASPIRE to Excellence’ at Ormiston Maritime Academy underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
One of our ASPIRE values of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Ormiston Maritime Academy enhances students understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies, assemblies, ASPIRE days and PSHE lessons.
At our academy we actively challenge students, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.