Why are British Values important?
Britain is an increasingly diverse and varied country that is Great because of the wide range of people, cultures, beliefs and ideas that come together to create modern Britain. We believe that in order for our students to be able to participate fully in 21st Century Britain that we need to help them develop the skills and confidence to understand other people and to be able to work with each other for everyone’s benefit.
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year (2015). At St Peter’s these values are reinforced regularly. All these aspects of learning shape our ethos and values.
As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies. We actively challenge children, staff or parents expressing opinions that are contrary to fundamental values including “extremist” views.
What is meant by British Values?
We believe that the following list exemplifies British Values:
- Rule of Law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of others
- Support for others and contribution to community life
- The contribution to, as well as the benefit from, cultural and economic resources
How does St Peter’s School actively promote these values?
British Values are part of modern British life and as such they are evident in our daily interactions within the school community. In this list we have identified key areas where the values could be seen on a day to day basis at St Peter’s. All elements of British Values are also taught as skills and ideas during the KS3 PDLS (Personal Development and Learning Skills) curriculum and are reinforced in collapsed sessions during KS4 and KS5.
Each tutor group has elected Student Council representatives who form the Student Council. The Student Council meet monthly to discuss key issues within the school and have been pivotal in recent changes – for example the addition of skirts to the school uniform policy.
Students are also involved in interview panels for new staff and their views and input are respected.
Student voice is also used to help improve the school and to provide feedback on aspects of school life – for example the students are asked to complete questionnaires twice a year on their attitude to school and a small team helped to pick the new school catering firm.
The 6th form team, led by the Head Boy and Head Girl lead the Student Council and a range of charity initiatives around the school.
We encourage volunteerism in and out of school. This includes things like sports leaders and raising money for local and national charities.
The school also ran a Mock Election in 2015 to model the general election and will run political events each year mirroring those that adults in the UK are involved in.
Rule of Law
St Peter’s makes clear its expectations for behaviour and attitude and expects students to meet these requirements at all times of the school day. Students are well aware of the rewards for positive behaviour and the sanctions for failing to meet expectations. This clear between actions and consequences prepares students well for adult life.
Through school assemblies and PDLS lessons students are taught how to earn trust, respect and are supported to develop a strong sense of morality; knowing right from wrong and doing the right thing even when it is difficult.
The local PCSO attached to our school talks to the students and explains his role in our society.
Students are encouraged to exercise choice and creativity at appropriate times during their school career. They are encouraged to plan for their own futures by working with our IAG (Information, Advice and Guidance) team and are given opportunities to work as groups but also individually to show case their skills and talents.
There are a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and activities to choose from on top of choices about curriculum options and differentiated tasks in lessons and for homework.
Through our school values and lessons students are taught about personal responsibility, choices, ambition and aspiration.
Students are encouraged to take opportunities to follow their interests in art, music, sport and drama through extracurricular opportunities like Arts Award or school productions.
Students are taught to keep themselves safe, including on-line. This is done through computing lessons, assemblies, outside organisations and PDLS curriculum.
Our school staff are role models helping to build a culture of mutual respect within the school. Staff and students are polite and courteous to one and another and join in activities together to raise money for charity.
Students are taught through a range of curriculum lessons about different cultures and societies and the similarities between humans from all parts of the world.
Tolerance of others
St Peter’s has over 1000 students who speak more than 28 languages. We educate students from a wide variety of backgrounds, whether that difference is race, religion, sexuality, social or economic. All students at St Peter’s are treated as equals and are taught that we should treat each other as we would treat our friends or family. Students who compromise the rights of others have clear consequences for their actions.
We have a clear no bullying policy and actively promote the way that all members of the community should treat each other.
St Peter’s is a no shouting school.
We have high expectations about student conduct and this is reflected in our Behaviour Policy.
Through our school values, lessons (in particular PDLS & PE) and tutor time students are taught to respect each other, to be co-operative and collaborative, be supportive and to look for similarities while being understanding of differences.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs is promoted through the RE curriculum. Students learn about different religions, their beliefs, places of worship and festivals.
Support for others in our community and Contribution to community life
Students are encouraged to actively listen to staff and to students by facing the speaker in the room. Students build on each other’s answers and often peer assess work offering advice and constructive criticism. Around school we have Kick Ash mentors, Cyber mentors, Anti-Bullying mentors and the school council who play an active role in supporting students within the school.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is utilised as a foundation for students to work in the local community for good causes.
The school is proud of its fund raising history and each year sees the students raising thousands of pounds for local, national and internationally charity organisations.
Biannually the 6th form visit Ghana where they work in the community building schools and facilities.
The contribution to, as well as benefit from, cultural and economic resources
As students work towards achieving their future ambitions they are encouraged to plan for work and how this will enable them to led a productive and happy life as an adult.
Students are encouraged to take responsibility for purchasing their lunch whilst staff and parents can monitor remotely the choices the students are making and take action if appropriate.
The importance of education in achieving sustainable employment is made clear to students.