Schools are now expected to focus on, and be able to show, how we work with students to effectively embed fundamental British values into learning. The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy which were reinforced in September 2014. These new regulations sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of schools.
We support the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Ravenshall School pupils and learners encounter these principles throughout everyday school life.
Pupil voice is significant in regards to life at the school. Our pupil elected school council plays a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. Pupils have a great amount of input in regards to what and how they learn, which promotes pupil voice.
Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through philosophical enquiry in our philosophy for learning lessons, we allow an opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, war veterans, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real-life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. In lessons, learning tasks are often left for the child to decide upon. We encourage children to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our E-Safety, philosophy for learning and High 5 sessions, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At the school, we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the Academy and in the classrooms. Our Academy motto is “achievement through partnership” and this partnership is seen throughout the various relationships between students and staff.
At the school, we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. At the school, we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.
If you are worried that you or one of your friends is at risk of being radicalised (radicalisation means people having increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals), you need to speak to your teachers immediately. This could be other students having conversations with groups or individuals connected to extremism or looking at extremist materials on the internet. It could also be students having conversations around school that make you feel worried that they could be being drawn into dangerous situations or that their ideas are shifting away from what is normal.
If a member of staff in a school has a concern about a particular pupil they should follow the school’s normal safeguarding procedures, including discussing with the school’s designated safeguarding lead, and where deemed necessary, with children’s social care.
You can also contact your local police force or dial 101 (the non-emergency number). They can talk to you in confidence about your concerns and help you gain access to support and advice.
The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly.
Concerns can also be raised by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations, such as a child being at immediate risk of harm or a security incident, in which case the normal emergency procedures should be followed.