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Statement of British Values
Background and Rationale
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.
The Prevent Strategy recognises the importance of schools in counter-terrorism activities. Consequently, all schools need a clear statement of British values and how they are promoted through the school’s curriculum.
What is meant by “British Values”?
We believe that the following list exemplifies some of the values held dear by British citizens:
- Respect of the rule of law
- Appreciation of the rights of other citizens
- Individual liberty
- The promotion of opportunities for all
- Support for those who cannot, by themselves, sustain a dignified life-style
- Religious tolerance and respect for cultural diversity
- Treating others with fairness
- Participation in community life
- The contribution to, as well as the benefit from, cultural and economic resources
Although this list is not exhaustive, we believe it encapsulates the attitudes Harris Academy Rainham values and seeks to inculcate in its young people. We place emphasis on building positive relationships in school between students and between staff and students throughout all Key Stages. We strongly believe students should not merely be taught such values but that they are embedded into school life. We strive to support our students to develop into confident, happy, successful young adults who have an empathy and understanding of those less fortunate than themselves – thereby preparing them for life in modern Britain where they will feel confident to support each other and to and stand up to discrimination and challenge extremist attitudes. This awareness underpins the academic curriculum and is taught in every subject in a variety of traditional and innovative ways.
How does Harris Academy Rainham go about promoting these values?
At Harris Academy Rainham we believe that our statement of vision and values - found on the school’s website - makes explicit our fundamental belief in many of these values. This statement is the foundation of all our work with our students.
British values are embodied in the following more specific ways:
Students participate in an hour’s tutorial per week of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education from Years 7-11.
The PSHE curriculum has a British Values module in each of the Key Stages which are revisited every year and contains the following directly relevant elements:
What does it mean to be British?
- Crime and the law.
- Local citizenship and the importance of voting in a democracy.
- Human rights and responsibilities.
- Extremism and terrorism.
Year Assemblies, held regularly and led by a senior member of staff, focus on many of these identified elements through their weekly themes.
Safeguarding procedures (including the monitoring of the internet, identifying any concerns or patterns of usage).
Staff are trained through CPD to be aware of/monitor changes in behaviour which may indicate a change in beliefs and this is reinforced through a strong pastoral system. They are the positive examples for modelling behaviour and setting standards for attitudes and behaviour in school. This promotes equality for all and inclusive teaching, whilst celebrating diversity.