At the heart of our academy is a firm set of values which ensure that students develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility. These values are promoted through our pastoral structure and tutorial programme, the curriculum we deliver to our students, and the opportunities we offer outside the curriculum.
We also take opportunities to promote the areas currently identified as British values (individual liberty, democracy, the law, mutual respect and tolerance) within the curriculum and the wider ethos of the academy. Specific days devoted to student values and wellbeing supplement the weekly programme of tutorial activities and themes, assemblies, and curriculum planning that ensure we prepare our students for life in a modern multicultural country.
Our Investors In Pupils award is testament to the work we do in this area, and one which we are very proud of.
Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard, and suggestions implemented, through representation on our student council, charity committee, food forum, and governing body meetings. Our students also take part in the DALP Parliament, a representation of student voice across the schools in our multi academy trust, where students vote and can be elected to serve as a member.
The rule of law
The importance of laws and rules, whether those that govern teaching classes, or in the UK, are consistently reinforced throughout the academy day, as well as through tutorial time and assemblies. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws and rules, the responsibility that this involves and the consequences when they are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police, ambulance service, prisons, and the fire service are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Students are actively encouraged to make good choices in the academy, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through ICT (online safety), religious education and citizenship lessons.
Our ethos is centred around core values of honesty, consideration, care and respect. Students have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what these mean and how they can be demonstrated. We not only expect mutual respect between students themselves, but also between our staff members, their colleagues and their students. Our staff training events often centre around behaviour management from a position of transactional analysis and restorative justice.
Acceptance of those of different faiths, beliefs and orientation
This is achieved through enhancing students’ understanding of their place in a diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.
Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudicial actions are followed and supported by similar themes in some curriculum areas (e.g. ICT, history, citizenship and religious education) and in tutorial time.
As a rural school with a low level of ethnic diversity, we are aware of the need to create opportunities for many of our students to experience other cultures and faiths directly, run a number of foreign trips and exchange visits, and are working with a local Muslim school and Stonewall.