Schools have always promoted British Values and the following documents have always enabled schools to develop them for their communities:
- The Human Rights Act 1998
- The Data Protection Act 1998
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- The Equality Act 2010
However, in its Prevent Strategy of 2011 the government defined specific British values which schools now must demonstrate evidence for. These are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
British Values at The Robert Fitzroy Academy
At RFA, we value democracy and believe that all members of our school community have a voice and contribute to the running of the school. Democracy is central to how we operate.
At the beginning of every year, we hold School Council elections. Children have the opportunity to put forward their statement and all children are encouraged to vote for whom they feel would represent their voice. Each year a class charter enables each class to take account of all pupils’ ideas and suggestions. Underpinning all of our PSHE sessions are our school values of Resilience, Communication & Co-operation, Morality, Enquiry, Adaptability, Thoughtfulness and Respect.
The Rule of Law
All adults at RFA whether senior leaders, teachers, support staff or governors, have a duty to protect children from harm and promote British Law and British Values.
RFA has a crucial part to play in providing positive role models for all children and to build positive links with our local community. As a publicly funded school, RFA must fulfil its duty to promote community cohesion, champion democratic values and human rights. Significant to this role is the specific focus needed to support our most vulnerable pupils and those at risk of isolation within our community.
The ‘rule of law’ is fundamental to our behaviour management, and as a school we have high expectations of all members of our school community. The rule of law is built on firm foundations where;
- Rules are created to provide a safe environment
- Rules are clearly defined
- Rules are applied equally, to all
- Rules ensure fairness for all
- We all have a responsibility to adhere to these rules and accept that there are consequences if they are broken
- Pupils contribute towards the rules which maintain a safe and fair school
Our three school rules – Be kind, be safe, be responsible provide a simple but firm foundation for children to contribute to a cohesive school community.
At RFA, pupils are given freedom and active encouragement to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment, which our school values underpin. There are many opportunities to make good choices, including choosing a balanced meal at lunchtime, taking part in numerous extra-curricular clubs, taking on classroom and whole school responsibilities and choosing how to behave.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms, which are taught through our empowering PSHE and philosophy curriculum. Children also participate in groups, such as the School Council, which help to develop pupils as citizens and develop their understanding of their rights, responsibility and self-worth within the wider world. The international curriculum plays a specific role in developing children’s international awareness and their responsibilities as global citizens.
Individual liberty has our school values at its heart. Our assemblies promote this. Furthermore, children’s achievements, ranging from sport to smaller personal goals, are celebrated in assemblies to instil in them a sense of worth and create ambitious pupils who believe in themselves.
At RFA, we encourage mutual respect between children, staff and parents. We recognise that the way students treat each other as people is a firm foundation to a healthy life at school, at home and in the community.
By emphasising empathy, good character and other important life skills, we constantly strive to create well-rounded and thoughtful students. We value one another as unique and special individuals; we celebrate diversity and encourage our community to celebrate different cultures and beliefs.
We consistently use good manners, saying ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’; we always allow others to go first. We promote mutual respect by being a close community where we celebrate each other’s successes, acknowledging and supporting the accomplishments of others. We encourage our students to ‘look out’ for their peers, filling them with conscientiousness; creating helpful and generous characters.
Tolerance of those of different faiths
Our school actively prepares all pupils for life in modern Britain. A broad and balanced curriculum is vital for this. We consider that diversity is a strength and actively promote diversity through our celebration of different faiths and cultures.
Religious Education and PSHE lessons 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 school.