British Values / SMSC
The Promotion of British Values
On 27 November 2014, the Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people leave education prepared for life in modern Britain.
Delta Academies Trust, throughout its portfolio of academies, has a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values first set out by the Government in the ‘Prevent’ strategy in 201, of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Examples of the understanding and knowledge pupils are expected to learn include:
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- an understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
- an acceptance that people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour;
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
Promoting British values at Montagu Academy
We agree with the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Pupils will encounter these principles every day within the Academy through our promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding.
The academy will not tolerate extremist views and this will be dealt with by liaison with the appropriate bodies.
From time to time, political matters will be raised by pupils or others. Our policy is that political matters can be discussed with pupils but only in a balanced, non-biased fashion.
Pupil voice is significant in regards to life at the Academy. Our pupil elected School Council plays a strong role in our Academy. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the Academy a better place to learn. Pupils have a great amount of input in regards to what and how they learn, which promotes pupil voice. For example, the pupils decide as a class how they would like to learn certain skills in subjects and this is used to inform the teacher’s planning. We also have an active Eco-Committee which works hard to reduce the carbon footprint of the school.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year so that the children have a say in how the Academy improves. We know that the formation of the School Council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
Class elected School council
In September, children return to school and preparations begin to elect a school council. The children, from year 2 – 6, who would like to run for council are asked to prepare a manifesto which they then present to the class. Children are invited to vote for a male and a female candidate in a secret ballot. The ballot is counted and verified by two members of staff and the class are informed of the elected councilors.
School council members are presented with badges, so that they are recognized around school. At the first council meeting, a treasurer, secretary and chair are elected; there is a display of these council members in KS1. The school council meet on a regular basis and these minutes are displayed around school.
Minutes are fed back to classes, who then have an opportunity to give suggestions to be taken back to the next meeting.
Opportunities for children to lead their own learning
Children begin each topic with an opportunity to direct the learning by asking questions that they would like to answer during the unit. These are displayed in books or on displays within the classroom – perhaps even in a question box.
Pupil questionnaires / interviews
Pupil questionnaires are given to pupils and are supplemented regularly by pupil interviews which happen across all subject areas as well as with member of SLT, informal discussions with the Head teacher during pupil lunches.
Pupil job interviews
We have many roles in school, which are pupil led, including playground leaders. These are important jobs that give the children a sense of responsibility and achievement. Through application and interview, we are preparing the children with ‘real life experiences’.
As part of the children’s learning, we promote the use of discussions in class which can vary from informal discussions in small groups up to whole class debates. Rule are established in class for these sessions and children.
The Rule of Law
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the Academy, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the Academy rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. We allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, war veterans, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasize the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our Academy, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. At the Academy we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our Academy life. The children learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the Academy and in the classrooms.
Respect is a strong part of Montagu Academy and is part of its Mission Statement & Values. The children learn that their behaviour has 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 with our ethos being ‘Striving for excellence, broadening horizons.’
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At the Academy we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. At the Academy we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily Academy life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future. We further support this through visits to different places of worship as well as inviting members of various religious communities into school to talk to the children.