Citizenship and British values

 The Department for Education has recently stated the need to:

‘create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs’

This means that our Academy curriculum must actively promote these fundamental British values and we have addressed this in the following ways:

Democracy

Democracy is evident throughout our Academy. Each year we hold democratic elections for pupils to be part of the academy’s Steering Group. Votes are cast in a secret ballot and the winning members sit on a weekly Steering Group meeting. They are the representatives of their class and it is their responsibility to make sure that pupil voices are heard, represented and acted on.

A similar process is followed for the election of 2 upper key stage 2 pupils to the Ormiston Academies Trust Student Leadership Team. A team of pupils for OAT schools in our region who meet virtually each half term to discuss OAT wide issues.

The Academy seeks to gain the views of all pupils in the form of a pupil questionnaire.

This is put to the pupils three times a year and the results are not only shared with pupils but lead to direct action. For example, the pupil questionnaire led directly to the introduction of our new behaviour system whereby pupils now earn coins to spend in the OSPA Shop for their fantastic behaviour and learning.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws is reinforced throughout the school day through our clear and fair Academy behaviour expectations. Individual classes are encouraged to generate ‘Class rules’ at the beginning of the school year and sign a ‘behaviour contract’ acknowledging that they understand and pledge to follow school rules. This links with class charters, where pupils pledge to behave in a way that upholds The United Nations Covention on the Rights of the Child for the whole class. School ‘laws’ are explained and reinforced through school assemblies and during responses to behaviour misdemeanours. Our Academy encourages pupils to think about why school rules are in place and to distinguish right from wrong. For example, if a child is seen running in school staff ask the child ‘why is our school rule to always walk in school?’. In addition, the Academy has introduced and uses Restorative Practice to resolve conflicts and which encourages the perpetrator of a ‘misdemeanour’ to take responsibility for breaking a ‘rule’ and to apologise to the ‘victim’ of the ‘crime’. By encouraging the perpetrator to think about the wider consequences of their actions, we have seen a reduction in poor behaviour in school.

Pupils are also taught about the place of rules and laws in wider society, that they govern and protect us but that this brings with it responsibilities and consequences when rules are broken. This is reinforced through visits and talks from agencies with a law enforcement element, such as the police and fire service. The academy has a fantastic relationship with our local PCSO who regularly supports the school in a number of ways.

Individual Liberty

We actively support all pupils to develop their self knowledge, self esteem and self confidence and to take responsibility for their own behaviour. Within school pupils are actively encouraged to make choices in a supportive and safe environment. In class, pupils can make choices about the level of challenge they feel comfortable with, they can choose to participate in a wide range of extra curricular activities and encouraged to understand that they have control over the direction of their own lives through the Academy’s PSHE and Enrichment programme. In Year 6 pupils have the opportunity to take part in Step Up to Serve which encourages pupils to engage in social action projects and develop a ‘citizenship passport to secondary school’. This enables pupils to think about their role in society and how their choices can impact on the freedom of others.

The introduction of Philosophy for Children helps our pupils develop their thinking skills and share their ideas more widely. The programme encourages sharing thoughts and opinions, listening to others and debating ideas around big concepts such as the law, fairness and behaviour.

Mutual Respect

Our Academy vision is to Educate to achieve personal success. Nurture everyone’s uniqueness and special gifts. Value everyone’s diversity. Develop everyone to their full potential and create well-rounded responsible individuals. At the heart of this vision are the 5Rs for learning and life: Ready to learn. Responsible. Resilient. Reflective. Resourceful.

Our Academy is based on the five R’s and underpinning all of these is the need to respect one another which is a key value endorsed and promoted by all staff in the Academy. Pupils have regular assemblies and class circle times which explore the concept of respect and what it means in practice. We have clear behaviour expectations as outlined in the school’s behaviour policy and this is reinforced throughout the school with posters and displays. Pupils are regularly rewarded in our weekly Celebration assembly for showing ‘respect’ to others.

Through our programmes such as Votes4Schools and Philosophy for Children pupils are regularly able to demonstrate their skills of mutual respect. They also develop listening skills and learn how to deal with disagreements in a suitable way.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

We promote respect for individual differences through our PSHE and Enrichment programme. Our Academy helps pupils to acquire an understanding of and respect for their own cultures and ways of life through visits to places of worship, such as Grimsby Minster and Grimsby Islamic Centre, visits from representatives of different cultures and faiths and an exploration of religions and cultural practices through our RE and PSHE curriculum.

Staff receive regular RE training, which included a trip to Grimsby Islamic Centre, and are confident in teaching all world religions.

How do we promote British Values here at OSPA?

Democracy

  • Steering Group
  • OAT Student Leadership Team
  • Pupil voice
  • Classroom/school roles of responsibility
  • Pupil questionnaires
  • Teaching of debate/balanced argument writing

Rule of Law

  • Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies
  • Classroom rules
  • Rewards and sanctions
  • Road safety
  • Bikeability
  • E Safety
  • Sports tournaments
  • Assemblies
  • Citizenship lessons

Individual Liberty

  • Opportunities for child-led learning
  • Choices offered across the curriculum – e.g. reading books
  • Individual research projects
  • Variety of school clubs offered
  • Individual targets set for learning
  • Choosing own dinner
  • Opportunities to express opinions during Philosophy for Children sessions as well as the wider curriculum

Tolerance and Respect

  • Good manners expected from all members of the school community
  • High expectations of behaviour
  • Celebrating  different religious festivals
  • Assemblies and Collective Worship
  • Lunch-catering for different needs
  • Teaching about different religions throughout the school
  • Visits from Faith leaders in assembly
  • Visits to various places of worship
  • Selling poppies in school
  • Philosophy for Children

Votes4Schools

Votes4Schools sessions are taught as part of our SMSC provision. The format of the session begins with a question based on a current affairs topic, the question provokes a lot of discussion and debate. Pupils are guided to form their opinion on the topic through a series of discussion topics and case studies which share a range of views. The session concludes with a vote either for or against. Recent examples of the topics have included ‘Is technology ruining family life?’ and ‘Should people be able to live and work in other countries?’ Through Votes4Schools pupils are learning the value of tolerance and democracy as well as developing fantastic speaking and listening skills.

News Day Tuesday

News Day Tuesday is a new assembly format whereby three members of staff share a news story in Tuesday’s assembly. One staff member shares a local news story, another a national news story and the final story is international news. These stories are chosen by staff and they must explain why they have chosen it. In addition to this, pupils watch and discuss Newsround regularly and First News newspapers are also available in each class. This ensures pupils become more informed about the world around them developing as a global citizen, are able to discuss current affairs and share their own opinions while appreciating those of others.