BRITISH VALUES STATEMENT & SMSC
At The Heights, Burnley we are committed to promoting 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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:
- Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
- Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
- Support for equality of opportunity for all
- Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
- Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
We embed these fundamental British values throughout our school: they are deep-rooted throughout our curriculum; developed and instilled through our PRIDE values and practiced, for example, through a wide range of further learning opportunities. Students are encouraged to engage in considered, respectful debate to deepen and develop their understanding of the rich and diverse world we live in and how British values align with these. Through this nurtured approach, we hope to help students grow into caring, tolerant, law abiding and responsible young adults who make a positive contribution to British Society and the wider world.
We will assemble our first school council with elected representatives, so students have a voice.
- Student representatives will be elected to the council in a democratic process.
- All students have the opportunity to debate topics of interest, express their views and make a meaningful contribution to the running of the school on matters that directly involve students.
- The Headteacher will report to Governors about the activities of the School Council.
- Students can anonymously, via the suggestion box or through open debate in form time, raise concerns or suggestions.
- Students contribute to the development of the school’s behaviour policy to ensure rewards and consequences are well–balanced and proportionate. And that the application of these policies is consistent.
- The principle of democracy is explored at appropriate times in the curriculum as well as in assemblies.
- Students are actively involved in the selection processes of new staff.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules in a democratic country are promoted and the need for them discussed and reinforced. We consider the full range from those that govern the class, social interactions, the school or the country and reinforce the importance throughout the regular school day. A clear, concise and fair behaviour policy is consistently adhered to by all.
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 can learn in a safe and ordered environment.
- Students are supported in distinguishing right from wrong.
- Students are supported to learn respect for the law of the land and the agencies that uphold it for all. They are taught the values and reasons behind laws, how they govern and protect us all, and the consequences when laws are broken.
- Visits from, and to, authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Ambulance etc help reinforce this message.
- The Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies encourage a positive restorative justice process to resolve conflict and discuss conduct.
- The school has zero-tolerance for any form of aggression, abuse or violence, which extends to students, staff and parents/carers.
- A clear emphasis on rewarding and focusing on positive behaviour within the school’s ethos and behaviour policy is set to encourage adherence to the school’s rules.
A safe and supportive environment within school allows the students the freedom to make appropriate choices whilst considering others.
- Students are supported to develop their self-esteem, self-confidence and self-knowledge.
- Students are provided opportunities to take responsibility for their behaviour in a range of activities, for example, when handling dangerous equipment in hair and beauty or construction lessons.
- Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these appropriately.
- Freedom of speech is encouraged and modelled across the curriculum and wider school.
- Vulnerable students are protected, and stereotypes challenged with education on inclusive values and acceptance of all.
- Bullying of any form is dealt with swiftly and consistently and a strong culture of zero tolerance is embedded in the school.
- Students are active stakeholders in key roles and responsibilities across the school to support all of the above.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
Respect is one of the core (PRIDE) values of our school. This can be seen and felt in our pervading ethos in school. 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 school strongly promotes respect for individual differences and students are supported to acquire an understanding of, and healthy respect for, their own and other cultures’ ways of life
- Students and staff are encouraged to challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour in a supportive environment. Furthermore, all stakeholders are able to challenge students, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental values, including ‘extremist’ views.
- Positive experiences are promoted through visits and links with local faith communities and places of worship.
- Throughout the curriculum, students are encouraged to show respect to and discuss differences between people in modern society. Such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked after children or young carers and the positive aspects of all.
- Positive discussions support the breaking down of prejudices and prejudiced-based bullying.
- A comprehensive curriculum for PSHCE ensures all areas of consideration are covered in a cohesive, structured manner.
What is SMSC?
Students’ spiritual development is shown by their:
- ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
- sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
- use of imagination and creativity in their learning willingness to reflect on their experiences.
Students’ moral development is shown by their:
- ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
- understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
- interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.
Students’ social development is shown by their:
- use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example, working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
- willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, co–operating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
- acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Students’ cultural development is shown by their:
- understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and those of others
- understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
- knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
- willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
- interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.