The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in September 2014 due to recent events. These new regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which applies to all types of schools.
The ACE Academy agrees with 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 The ACE Academy, students will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. In particular, through our promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding in Our SPACE, tutor time and general interactions with other staff and students.
Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community:
Student voice is significant in Academy life, as students are offered a say in a number of important aspects. The Academy is developing opportunities for students to vote on a number of issues including the Year 11 Prom and national voting such as the EU referendum. Where appropriate students are encouraged to vote in lessons.
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.
The Rule of Law
Students at ACE Academy 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. School Council has recently been working on a series of ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ posters for display around the school.
The 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 extra-curricular Philosophy Club, we allow the 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 academy, 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 autonomy to determine their own learning. We offer a range of clubs which pupils can choose from, based on their interests. At the Academy 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 The ACE Academy. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. Our Academy motto is “everyone successful every day” and this is seen throughout the various relationships between student, staff and those developing with our local community.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At the Academy we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected, as we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum, in particular Our SPACE and the routines of our daily Academy life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.