British Values Statement
The school takes every opportunity to promote British Values, defined by the government as the following:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
In actively promoting British Values, we will also focus on, and be able to show, how our work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British Values. Actively promoting also means challenging students, staff, parents or carers who may express opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Our student-elected School Council plays an important role in our school. Students are involved in the decision-making process regarding new facilities and recruitment of staff, which actively promotes Student Voice. As part of our House system, House captains and prefects are selected through an election process. These experiences allow students the opportunity not only to give their own opinion, but also to learn about considering and empathising with others before coming to a collective decision. We organise regular visits and activities to reinforce democracy; these include visits from local and national MPs. We also have a Youth United Nations Assembly which meets frequently to discuss global issues. Student questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year. At Ashby School, we know that collectively the active participation of our students will prepare them for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws are consistently reinforced at Ashby School, whether these govern our classrooms, the school, or the country as a whole. Student rules and expectations are reinforced via our curriculum, behaviour policy, assemblies and in lessons. Students are taught the value of, and reasons behind, rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Through our Careers, Citizenship and Religious Education (CCRE) lessons, we allow the opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that our students can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year, we welcome visits from members of the wider community and authorities such as the police, armed forces and fire service which helps to reinforce this message. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our students.
At Ashby School, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety assemblies and CCRE lessons. Students are encouraged to make choices in regard to their curriculum. Within lessons, we encourage students to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. We believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster an appreciation of individual liberty as the students embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms. The importance of respect is something that is also constantly re-enforced in assemblies, tutor time and throughout the school day.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Ashby School is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. The curriculum, assemblies, CCRE lessons and SMSC pastoral activities reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. An example of this is the Christian Union Club, which operates within the school. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. The students take part in activities which are important to different faiths through the curriculum and House system. Activities include henna hand painting, yoga and making halal and vegetarian dishes. Through the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help students to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.