The government set out its definition of ‘British values’ in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ (2011), which was designed to prevent the extremism and religious radicalization of young people. British values are considered by the present government to be: democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. The promotion of ‘British values’ is central to education because British values have their origin in the values of our nation.
At Sandymoor Ormiston Academy, we recognise, not only the importance of helping students to flourish academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, so they are fully prepared for life in British society and for their role as citizens, able to make the strongest possible contribution to their community.
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Sandymoor Ormiston Academy, and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
Democratic values are an explicit part of the ethos at Sandymoor Ormiston Academy. All adults listen to the views of the students and value their opinions. Students have further opportunity to have their voices heard through our Student Council and Student Voice activities. The elections of School Council representatives are the result of student votes and so every person has the opportunity to stand and to vote. Pupils are involved in decision making across the school, take part in debates and mock elections are held during the time of elections in our country.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the School, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout every day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through assemblies. The curriculum is designed to ensure Students are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police are regular parts of our learning programmes and help reinforce this message.
Within Sandymoor Ormiston Academy, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. We encourage students to see themselves as unique individuals able to make a significant contribution to our school. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in computing, through assemblies and P.S.H.E activities.
Respect is one of the core foundations of our School, and is modelled by students and staff alike. The School promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments as well as extra-curricular activities. In line with our commitment to democracy, students are always able to voice their opinions as we foster an environment where students can debate ideas and are safe to disagree with each other. We encourage students to substantiate opinions and to realise the value of co-operation and consensus as well as decision making through voting. Our emphasis on ethics, fairness and justice means that we ask our students to ensure that they look out for those who might be marginalised and disadvantaged. The development of teaching and learning across the School allows mutual respect throughout the curriculum, and our Behaviour for Learning policy promotes the values of pride, respect and individual responsibility. The School has taken a very strong stance on social inclusion and anti-bullying through an explicit focus on strategies to enable respect for difference through, for example, reflections on homophobia and other forms of bullying in assemblies and P.S.H.E. as well as in some curriculum areas. Furthermore, we aim to promote equality by making sure that no-one experiences harassment, less favourable treatment or discrimination due to protected characteristics including age, disability, ethnicity or national origin, gender, religion, sexual identity or orientation.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to develop positive values, understand their own beliefs and their place in a culturally diverse society. We give our students opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community and within the wider community. All students experience a connection with other beliefs through our delivery of Religion and Philosophy, external speakers and assemblies. The emphasis on enterprise, working with others, and learning other languages directly contributes to the appreciation of others perspectives on life.
For more information about PREVENT:
ENRICHMENT & British Values
Our Enrichment curriculum incorporates PSHE, Citizenship, Careers and Religious Education and is delivered to pupils in years 7-10 by teaching staff in one hour lesson per week. We have interwoven these three subjects into two specialist curriculum areas to allow our students to develop their understanding of an increasingly diverse and fast-paced 21st Century world within Religious Studies and Life Skills. Students will consider how they can make a positive contribution to their community and they will be challenged to understand the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity that represents wider British society beyond Halton.
Students work on various projects to develop their awareness of the surrounding world, we encourage our students to:
- Stay Safe
- Be Healthy
- Make a Positive Contribution
- Achieve Economic Well-Being
- Enjoy and Achieve
- Develop a sense of Community Cohesion
Each child in the school also has an academic tutor who they meet regularly as part of this curriculum to discuss targets, progress, achievements and issues.
Life skills study programme
At Sandymoor School we have devised a Life skills curriculum that is broadly based, balanced and meets the needs of all pupils. Under section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and the Academies Act 2010, a PSHE curriculum:
- Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
- Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
- We keep up to date with current affairs and include subjects such as Knife crime, Pregnancy and Bereavement.
- At Sandymoor Ormisotn we provide a PSHE curriculum that is broadly based and balanced, meeting the needs of all students. We aim to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of all of our students in order to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
- PHSE motivates our students to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives now and in the future. As part of a whole school approach, it cultivates the abilities and characteristics students need to flourish as: individuals, family members and members of their community.
- Our progressive programme ensures learning is revisited, reinforced and extended in appropriate contexts, according to year and key stage. At Sandymoor we have developed a PSHE programme which takes into account and meets the needs of every student in our care.
- Our programme aims to provide pupils with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals and within the community. Pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of their school and communities. In doing so they learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning. They reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.
- They learn to understand and respect our common humanity; diversity and differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.
Termly we hold our ‘Rewards Day’. Every student in the school has worked hard and behaved well in order to gain epraise points which then to enable them to purchase rewards activities. Rewards activities include; hair and Makeup, Sporting activities, Cinema, Watching films in school, Ice Skating, Photography etc.. Along with our ‘E-Praise’ shop which offers stationery and small gifts.
Christmas Markets trip
Our Christmas Market take place bi-annually. The markets involved students preparing all day to set up and sell items on their stalls. The stalls included cakes, Christmas decorations, Christmas canvas work, festive treats, Christmas cards, soft toys, clothing and bags, Reindeer dust, drinks, Raffles, our ‘Jolly Jars’ and a Tombola. We hope to develop a young enterprise team to work alongside the school council to produce goods to sell in the future.
We hold our annual Careers Fair. The day gave students a chance to think about their future and what they would like to do once leaving school. We had visitors from all walks of business – The Army, Myerscough College of agriculture, Priestley College offering A levels and Diplomas in English and The Arts, Halton Borough Council, Riverside College, The Police and others.
Halton Healthy day.
External providers came into the school and delivered interactive sessions with our students. Year 7 complete sessions on Fizzy Drinks, Smoking, Alcohol, Mental Health and Cyberbullying.
The Sandymoor Choir attended the ‘Gotta Sing’ event at the Brindley Theatre, Runcorn.
Ten of our talented singers gave a performance which consisted of a selection of songs from various musicals. Two of these students were asked to perform solo numbers throughout the evening.
Netball club is run every Thursday after school. Players are taught to play as a team and develop their ball skills. Throughout the year the students attend various competitions and league matches which can be held either here at Sandymoor at away at other school venues. We have enough students attending this club to enter 2 x Year7, 1 x Year 8, 2 x Year 9 and a mixed Year 10/11 team.
We had ‘Boccia’ activity company come I into school to work with our disability/extra needs children, which also included a tournament in Liverpool! This was an inter school competition which included activities such as Ping Pong and Boccia.
Our annual sports day take place during the last week of the summer term. The timetable for the day is action packed for all students and staff. Students all take part in Athletics, Football, Rounders, before finishing the day with an awards assembly.
At Sandymoor Ormisotn we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare our students for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed, taught and lived out through our School. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering students understanding of these concepts and, in particular, our curriculum provides excellent opportunities to deepen and develop appreciation of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and mutual respect.
Students embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives. We makes considerable efforts to ensure students have exposure to a wide range of experiences beyond the school environment during which these concepts are shown.
As part of our English curriculum some of our pupils got the chance to visit Runcorn Town to learn how to debate why schools should be responsible for the mental health of its pupils and why social media is a positive things for teenagers.
All year groups explored and analysed ‘In Flanders Fields’ and ‘We Shall Keep The Faith’ to look into where the poppy tradition came from and how it has developed and why remembrance is still important today, 100 years on from the end of WW1. Students then wrote their own remembrance poems in honour of all those who fought.
In our art lessons the pupils recycled materials like plastic bottles to make poppies and these were put these onto a display in our Forum.
The rule of law
We consistently reinforce the importance of laws and rules, whether they govern a class, the school or the country. Students are taught the values of laws and rules, the reasons behind them and the consequences that apply when they are broken. The school has links with external agencies related to the law and has an onsite Community Support Officer fostering positive relationships with our students and the wider community.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and abilities
We strive to improve our students understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Students are offered a wide range of opportunities to experience such diversity in school through the R&P curriculum which focusses on current affairs, British values, religions and Philosophies and includes curricular trips and visits. Our EAL department concentrates on our Syrian pupils but includes pupils from Poland. We have a large nurture/pastoral department supporting children from disadvantaged backgrounds and extra needs.
Our students are provided with a safe environment which allows them to think about and make informed choices in their lives both in and out of school. The extensive enrichment programme encourages students to be involve led in a range of school and community based activities of their choice. The enrichment ethos of ‘something for everyone’ allows all students to contribute positively in school and within the wider community in order to develop the skills to become effective British citizens.
Mutual respect is central to our school. Respect for staff, students and peers is evident throughout the school environment. Respect is upheld within classrooms and students are encouraged to share their views as well as listen to others points of views. Students are given responsibility to help and support each other, working together to ensure all students achieve their personal best.
Jon Foster, Chair of the British Youth Council said, “The British Youth Council is delighted to highlight the work of schools up and down the country. Schools are often the best place to offer the foundations to nature grassroots democracy and I’m really excited to find such schools leading the way!”