Promoting fundamental British values at Woodfield School

The Department for Education has recently published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. Schools have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

At Woodfield we are committed to serving our community and surrounding areas. We recognise the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom, and therefore those we work with. The school accepts admissions from pupils of all faiths or none. We follow our Equal Opportunities policy which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar.

Our Values Statement:

* We promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and underpins everything that we do.

* We support the development of the ‘whole child’ enabling them to become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background.

* We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.

* The curriculum in all phases offers broad and balanced opportunities.

‘British Values’ have been identified as:

Democracy:

The ability to understand and communicate are the most important areas of learning. We ensure that pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate. This ‘voice’ could be using words, objects, photographs, pictures, symbols, touch cues, eye pointing, body language, switches or other AAC devices.

We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about things which are important to them. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.

We ensure all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils.

Rule of Law:

Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions.

We involve pupils in setting rules of behaviour; helping pupils to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large.

Staff are committed to providing a consistent and safe environment within the school and beyond. We can help some pupils to understand the connection between actions and consequences. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.

Individual Liberty:

Pupils are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible and encourage them to help and support each other. ‘Good Citizen’ Awards are given out in assembly at the end of the week

We endeavor to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say 'Yes' or 'No' to ideas or activities.

Some pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility.

We support others by participating in charitable events such as Children In Need, Red Nose Day, MacMillan Coffee Morning. We believe that encouraging a caring and helpful environment and being independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.

Mutual Respect:

We promote each pupil’s inclusion in activities, settings and locations that are appropriate to them individually to meet their needs.

Within school, pupils work with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted on a personalised basis for each individual. This may include working with students from other schools, sports coaches, theatre groups etc.

The curriculum is destination led and is personalised to meet the individual needs of our pupils. This may include transitioning within the range of resources and places on the school site and going into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include: sports events, community events and shared participation with other schools/colleges.

We believe it is important to facilitate opportunities to be part of the community as the pupils, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.

Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:

We are part of a school and local community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.

Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture throughout our curriculum. Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum particularly through our international work. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others.

Through whole school assemblies we share stories, images, events, music and expectations that promote the values expressed. Such proceedings vary in the methodology of delivery in order to secure interest and understanding. ‘Collective worship’ is non-denominational and recognizes that those attending may have a wide range of faiths, or none. It is, however, in line with regulation and is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”.

Religious Education aims to give our pupils a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices, and covers key religions represented in the UK.

As a school, we take part in sporting activities which helps to instill ‘fair play’ and promote a ’team spirit’. Physical Education lessons also encourage the concept of ‘fair play’, following and developing rules, inclusion, celebrating and rewarding success, being accepting in defeat and participating in activities that promote a connection with others.

The staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils at Woodfield are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.

The above list is not exhaustive, and represents only some of what we do. No school should ever stand still and we certainly will not! We will strive endlessly to ensure that our young people leave us with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our Society.