British Values at Castleford Academy
The definition of British Values was set out in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. Due to recent events, these were reinforced in September 2014.
The Department for Education sets out five clear strands in their definition of British Values and Castleford Academy wholeheartedly agrees with these:
• The rule of law
• Individual Liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faith and beliefs
The values above have been taught at the Academy for many years through our curriculum. Many of the values fit into our PSHE, Citizenship and SMSC curriculum which is mapped and tracked across all subjects. In short, all staff at Castleford Academy are responsible for identifying and delivering British Values through their everyday contact with pupils.
The Academy is also carrying a full program of assemblies on British Values and making these explicit to all pupils in this academic year with a view to embedding them further on.
The Academy also uses a Bigger Picture Logo when discussing anything that is part of the wider world and part of our Lesson Observation program assesses whether opportunities to discuss wider issues like British Values are missed.
Castleford Academy translates the above strands into the following list:
• Knowing what is right and wrong
• Democracy and how you can influence decision-making
• Why we have rules / laws and what are our responsibilities
• Holding institutions to account (bodies such as the police, army, NHS, education)
• Freedom to hold other faiths and accept others
• Discrimination and prejudice (identifying and combating)
• Being tolerant and having respect
• Speaking up where you see wrong-doing
• Standing up for those who are weaker than ourselves (through institution as well)
• Being the best we can be and inspiring others to do the same
As mentioned earlier, our curriculum is mapped across the whole school and audits are carried out to ensure all the elements of British Values are covered in a wide variety of lessons.
Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community.
Student Voice is incredibly important to Castleford Academy with two fully functioning Student Councils meeting regularly across the academic year. Our students have to run for election by campaigning, creating manifestos, making speeches, producing posters and even making video clips. The whole academy, including their peers and staff, vote for their Student Council Representatives who then serve for a one year term on either our Lower Student Council Upper Student Council.
The Student Council has a voice in Teaching and Learning, the day-to-day functioning of the school, the production of planners, the curriculum and a wide range of topics that affect the Students. Students also feedback to their peers and listen to their thoughts in order to represent them to the best of their ability. The Student Council also receive training on leadership skills and take part in activities to further understand how wider democracy works.
Student voice is also taken in a wide range of questionnaires, surveys and interviews are conducted across the year by individual teachers, subjects, Line Managers as part of Subject Reviews and by the Senior Team. Students at Castleford Academy are genuinely able to effect change in their educational lives.
The Rule of Law
Throughout their daily lives at the Academy, students will encounter rules and laws. These rules are laws are constantly reinforced throughout the day both in classroom and outside. Through individual subjects, our SMSC and PSHE curriculum, drop down days and through our Assertive Discipline behaviour system, students understand the reasons and values behind the rules and laws and also understand that there are sanctions if they do not follow them.
The Academy also invites in various authorities such as the Police and the Fire Service to deliver assemblies, speak to individuals and individual groups of students and also offers qualifications from these authorities through a range of subjects.
In lessons, pupils are encouraged to join in and feel free to express their opinion. They also taught that they will have their opinion challenged and they have a right to reply to this too. Pupils are encouraged to make good choices and understand that it is their right to receive an empowering education in a safe environment. They are encouraged to exercise their rights and personal freedom and a huge range of individual choice is offered from where they have their dinner, to what food they eat, to what subjects they study.
This is reinforced with the Academy ensuring that they know and understand and have the information to make the right choices for them through excellent independent careers advice, assemblies and lessons on E-Safety, PSHE lessons and drop down days such as Aspirations Day or Be Safe and Healthy Day.
This is a core value of the Academy. Students and all staff treat each other with great respect. This is clear across the Multi-Academy Trust and something we are really proud of. The relationships between our staff and students are incredible. This is backed up by our Behaviour Management system, assemblies, class and form discussions and through the daily interactions of all members and visitors to our school. Make an appointment, come in and wander around. You will see that mutual respect is everywhere.
Extra-Curricular, be it Sport, Music, Drama, Reading, Chess or our popular RE Club, contributes hugely to our ethos of Mutual Respect at the Academy. As well as in lessons, through enrichment and after-school activities pupils learn to respect each other in every way.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Students understand their place in a culturally diverse society through the many opportunities they experience. This is through assemblies, PSHE curriculum and through our amazing RE Department. The Academy challenges those opinions contrary to the fundamental British Value of tolerance including ‘extremist’ views. These views are challenged daily in lessons, on the corridor
and in the playground. All major religions are studied and respected and we believe that it is the responsibility of everyone to demonstrate tolerance and ensure that our students are knowledgeable and understanding British citizens.