The government states that there are 5 elements to British Values:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Heath Park’s motto of ‘Every Pupil, Always In Focus’ actively promotes these values and the life of the school demonstrates the strength of our community.
The principles of democracy, of having a voice and a say in how institutions are run, are explored within the curriculum and across the school. From this we aim to foster an appreciation of the democratic process and allow students to actively engage in decision making so that they are ready to do this in the wider society when the time comes
Citizenship, PSHE and History in particular consider the nature of democracy and in doing so explain alternative systems, their strengths and weaknesses, and the development of democracy today, for example in proportional representation. Within lessons too, we look to provide opportunities for students to make decisions about their learning based on their prior learning and need, identifying an outcome and working towards it in a way which works for them.
Across the school, democracy can be seen in the work of the School Council, with elected members addressing a range of features of school life. As part of the recent general election, students in Key Stage 3 held mock elections, pulling together manifestos and canvassing support.
Assemblies too support an appreciation of democracy, looking at a range of world topics which reflect the nature of different societies in order that the students are able to compare the experiences of people across the global.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules is fundamental to an understanding of the running of any institution or country and knowledge of this allows students to make positive choices. We aim to provide students with a clear, coherent and consistent approach to codes of conduct that allow them to function as positive elements of our school society.
Within the classroom, the code of conduct is clear and consistently applied. Rules are shared with all students and all parents through the homework planner, parents meetings, home – school contracts and individual contact. With each rule that is applied, students are encouraged to understand the purpose of this and the impact that it has both on them as people and as learners.
Learning further supports an understanding of the importance of the law and the consequences of not following these beyond the school. Integrated Studies, Citizenship and History take time to identify examples of breaking these conventions and the consequences of doing so.
Beyond the classroom, the expectations of the conduct of students are as high as in class. When in the corridors, dining hall or leaving school, students are expected to follow the rules of the school with the commitment as in a classroom and understand the impact on others.
The school provides a safe environment for students to make choices for themselves and pursue their own interests, within a framework of rules and tolerance. We wish to allow the students to begin to make decisions which affect their futures, whilst supporting them too ensure that even the wrong decisions are learning experiences
British Values Statement
Students are allowed to make choices about their learning as they move through the school. With options choices in Year 8, Year 11 if entered early for examinations and Year 12, students are guided to make choices which allow them to grow and progress both as learners and as people. As time progresses, these choices allow for greater individualisation, including the EPQ in Year 11 and a choice of schools to attend as part of the partnership at Post 16.
Through a range of outside agencies, students are allowed to make a range of choices. Work with Connexions allows students to access the courses of their choices both inside and outside of school, and a comprehensive open access nursing service allows them to make choices about their health and well-being, within a supportive and nurturing environment.
The liberty of students is supported with systems underpinning the school. E Safety is an ongoing part of ICT, PSHE and form programmes, and a zero tolerance anti bullying policy ensures that students are safe to make the choices they wish.
Respect for others runs through the very core of the school. The nature of the community means that the variety of experiences of students is vastly different and respect for an individual, their choices and decisions, is essential to the running of the school. We wish to ensure that these values are embedded and that the students take these into the wider world
The Integrated Studies curriculum centres on learning competencies including teamwork and reflection. This allows students to work together and reach shared outcomes through discussion and compromise. This ensures that the children are able to listen to each other, take positives and communicate concerns effectively.
The behaviour for learning system in school is based firmly on respect between students and between staff and students. Where conflicts arise, action is taken to resolve this through an understanding of all viewpoints and a resolution agreed which allows all to move forward.
Tolerance Of Those Of Different Faiths and Beliefs
The multicultural nature of the school brings a plethora of faiths, beliefs and backgrounds which makes the school a rich and varied environment and gives students an appreciation of a wealth of lifestyles. Through this they are able to contextualise actions and events, as well as stories from beyond the school, and this engagement leads to tolerance and understanding that they will take into the wider society.
The diversity of the school is positively celebrated. With students from dozens of countries, with a myriad of languages, the school is a shining example of integration. The origins of students are celebrated in display boards in Key Stage 3, highlighting what is special about individuals. Special events mark Black History Month, taking the even much wider than the past and celebrating black culture from around the world in dance festivals and food fairs.
Whilst we are a non-denomination school, we have close links with Holy Trinity Church. This means that the school holds Christmas services in the local church and the minister visits at Easter to speak in assemblies. Through this, students are able to engage with the festivals and understand both the Christian message and how this can be applied to their lives, regardless of faith.