Promoting our cultural values at Churchfields Academy
The Government have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values.” It has set out its definition of British values, which can be summarised in the following ways:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Churchfields Academy recognises the multi-cultural and multi-faith community that it serves. We understand that the Academy plays an important role in ensuring that groups and individuals within the school community can understand and apply these five important values. These principles form part of the Academy’s culture and ethos, and are reinforced on a daily basis in a number of ways:
Students have the opportunity to contribute to school life and decision making through an elected School Council and Head Boy & Girl; a recent example of the student contribution in this way was with the introduction of the new Academy uniform. Students are also regularly surveyed to understand their views, and student panels are included in the staff appointment process. The principle of democracy is also explored in the History & PSHE curriculum, and the skills of discussion and debate are developed across the curriculum, as well as via the Tutor and Assemblies programmes.
The importance of laws, or rules, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through assemblies. Students are taught the rules and expectations of the Academy which are particularly highlighted in regular expectation assemblies. Where possible, students have been involved in the creation of school rules at regular intervals. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, and we believe it is particularly important to explore all learning opportunities in the event of any laws or rules having been ‘broken’. The school regularly host visits from outside agencies, e.g. The Police and Fire Service, to help reinforce the importance of this message. In February 2016, Churchfields was pleased to support Fearless, the youth section of Crimestoppers, with the development of a new education package for Online Safety.
We have a positive culture in our Academy where students are able to make choices in a safe, secure and supportive environment. We encourage teachers to differentiate planning to allow students the opportunity to have a more personalised learning experience. The curriculum at KS4 enables all students to make guided choices regarding future academic pathways. We offer a range of activities designed to allow students the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular activities in which they have an interest, however this is something that we intend to develop further.
We support students in making safe choices in their life beyond the Academy, and this includes teaching students about the importance of E-Safety through assemblies and PSHE and ICT/Computing lessons, and regularly hosting visits from outside agencies, e.g. The Police and Fire Service, to help reinforce the importance of this message. Our highly experienced Student Support Team, including a counselling provision, and effective safeguarding arrangements, further help students make safe choices. Churchfields Academy promotes an anti-bullying culture and students feel well supported should they have any concerns. Students also benefit from an effective IAG programme and are encouraged to consider their choices for progression in education, employment or training at Post-16. An introduction of collapsed curriculum days help students considers ideas in more detail.
Respect is one of Churchfields Core Values and all members of the Academy community are expected to treat each other with respect. Respect is integral in our Academy rules and is reinforced in day to day teaching, tutor activities, assemblies and behaviour management. All staff in the Academy promote and demonstrate respect for others and this is highlighted in the staff Code of Conduct. The Academy is currently increasing the use of Restorative approaches as a form of conflict resolution, which has mutual respect as a fundamental principle. The Academy promotes anti-bullying measures and students feel well supported.
The Academy has a culture of celebrating success in class, assemblies, newsletters, social media and via the ‘Green Cards’ and ‘Passport to Success’ programmes. Achievement is celebrated across the school; in assemblies, using House Points, through postcards home, and through our website and newsletters.
Churchfields Academy believes that tolerance is built through enhancing students’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity in the Academy community and beyond. The Humanities and PSHE curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been led by senior staff. The school also offers opportunities for students to become knowledgeable about other faiths and beliefs through visits abroad. Additionally, students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school and celebrate festivities throughout the calendar year.
Churchfields will actively challenge members of the Academy community who express views to the contrary of the recognised British Values, including ‘extremist’ views. Churchfields Academy endeavours to ensure that all students have a deep and balanced understanding and ability to demonstrate the five principles underpinning British Values so as to build a successful life within society.