BRITISH VALUES

AIMS and OBJECTIVES:

The Cooperative Academy of Stoke on Trent promotes the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Actively promoting these values means challenging opinions or behaviours expressed in the Academy that are contrary to fundamental British values.

Attempts to promote systems that undermine British Values would be completely at odds with our duty to provide Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education.

Academy staff are expected to uphold public trust in the profession and to maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside Academy. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.

The Cooperative Academy of Stoke on Trent has British Values at the heart of its ethos and curriculum. Our balance of academic excellence and opportunities underpins our aspirational expectations and provides students with the skills and confidence they need to lead highly successful lives in modern Britain and to compete in the global labour market.

SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL EDUCATION (SMSC)

Through our provision of SMSC we:

• enable students to develop their self-knowledge

• enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England

• encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and understand how they can positively contribute to the lives of those living and working within the locality of the Academy, and to the wider society

• enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of, and respect for, public institutions and services in England

• promote tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of, and respect for, their own and other cultures

• encourage respect for oneself, and for others

• encourage respect for democracy and support for participation on the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which law is made and applied in England

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF BRITISH VALUES

Through our teaching of British values we expect that students will:

understand how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process

• appreciate that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety

• encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and understand how they can positively contribute to the lives of those living and working within the locality of the Academy, and to the wider society

• understand that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law

• accept that other 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

• understand the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination

It is not necessary for the Academy or individuals to ‘promote’ teachings, beliefs or opinions that conflict with their own, but nor is it acceptable to promote discrimination against people or groups on the basis of their belief, opinion or background

THEMES

i) Promoting Democracy

The Academy has an active Academy Council, made up of democratically elected students, who meet each half term and inform decision making around the Academy. Surveys of students, parents and staff are carried out annually to gather opinions about all aspects of life in the Academy and these results influence the Academy’s Improvement Plan. The Academy operates a system of restorative practice to resolve conflicts in peaceful and fair ways. Every person involved has a voice in this process.

As part of our SMSC, assemblies and Form Time activities, students are given general knowledge of public institutions and services and how these are held to account. In all lessons, students are encouraged to express and argue their points of view in an atmosphere of respect.

ii) Promoting the Rule of Law

Students are actively taught to distinguish between right and wrong and to make reparation as needed. Students are taught that there are positive and negative consequences to their actions, and that breaking Academy rules has clear and predictable outcomes, as with British law.

When Academy rules are discussed, students can see how they are designed to protect everyone in the Academy community. We work in partnership with our police liaison officer, to give advice on personal safety but also to reinforce messages that some activities are illegal and what the consequences might be. We place an emphasis on sports and promoting the rules and laws of team games.

iii) Promoting Individual Liberty

Our Academy aims to help each student achieve self-confidence, initiative and independence. We actively teach students to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as knowing their rights. We educate and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education.

 As an Academy, 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 assemblies and PSHE delivery. We challenge stereotypes in all areas of the curriculum and are truly inclusive, so that all students can participate fully in all areas of the curriculum, including opportunities where students develop their understanding of important issues and debates. Bullying, though rare, is taken seriously and addressed swiftly. We believe in freedom of speech and the responsibilities that come with this are modelled through student participation and engagement. We respect each other’s viewpoints.

iv) Promoting Respect and Tolerance

The curriculum and ethos promotes respect for individual difference. Religious Education and PSHE for all students, along with other curriculum areas including History, Geography, ICT, Design & Technology, MFL, Science, Maths, Music, Art, PE, Business and English help students acquire an understanding of and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life. The Academy regularly holds Diversity days, British values art festivals and the Cooperative Academy is a Stonewall Champion. We ensure that any prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour is challenged and recorded, with students made aware of the seriousness of such incidents.

Mutual Respect: Our Academy ethos and behaviour policy revolves around the core value of ‘Respect’ and students have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the Academy promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Staff and students treat each other with respect.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs: The Academy is a multi-cultural and multi-faith community. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Assemblies, Religious Education, Form Time activities and drop down days reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the Academy.

June 2017