British Values Statement
The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools.
Ormiston Venture Academy is committed to serving our community. We recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. We understand the vital role we play in ensuring that groups or individuals within the academy are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
We follow equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. At Ormiston Venture Academy we are dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to all our students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five key British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We use strategies within the national curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow show some of the many ways Venture seeks to instill British Values.
Students are active participants and decision makers in the academy through their own representative body the Union of Venture Students. They have their own budget line for academy improvement and use questionnaires, suggestion boxes and a diary room to gather ideas which can then be voted on. Whole academy votes are used to aid the decision making of the union on a wide range of topics. There are extensive opportunities for all students to get involved in taking on roles of responsibilities and have a greater impact on the academy. The union are responsible for running our Guild Time which allows students to choose a 7 week mini course of something different to what is available in the curriculum. Students can even choose to run their own guild or set up their own after academy society and bid for funding.
The academy has been awarded the Investors in Pupils award that evidences the level of voice that students have in the running of their academy.
The 2015 election will provide the academy with an opportunity to engage in a range of democratic processes including a full mock election ran within the academy which we hope the local candidates will engage in to help ensure our students are ready to be active and responsible voters in 2020 and beyond.
The rule of law
There are clear and concise behaviour and rewards policies in the academy that students are explicitly aware of. Displays in every classroom and standards assemblies reinforce this message.
The academy has an assembly rota as part of a wider SMSC calendar. Opportunities are built into this for the rule of law to be discussed. An onsite PCSO delivers assemblies regularly on a range of topics and is on hand to discuss topical issues such as e-safety, road safety and much more.
Within the curriculum there are history and English units of study on crime at key stage 3 and as part of the KS4 RE or Cultural Studies programme students look at issues of morality, law and consequence as key elements of study.
The academy is constantly looking to engage in extra-curricular experiences for the students that allow them to better understand the system of law in the United Kingdom and beyond. PACT No Crime days are held to give students a wide understanding of the law, there are opportunities for students to take part in the Citizenship Foundations Mock Trial Competitions and in guilds that have a legal focus. Students have even taken up the opportunity to become involved with the police on Children’s Takeover Day
Student surveys regularly confirm that the overwhelming majority feel safe and secure in the Academy. The Academy has an inclusive philosophy, in which tolerance and acceptance is key. Bullying in any form is condemned, with regular opportunities taken to reinforce this message and remind students how to stay safe, especially online. E-safety is incorporated into Personalised Learning and Digital Media lessons. Students are also encouraged to report any concerns they may have electronically, via the Big Red Button, or in person. The Academy also operates a system of Peer Mentoring, where students can seek support for their peers with low level concerns, such as friendship issues.
Students are given a range of opportunities to shape their own learning and experience through individual choices. An options process allows them to choose which KS4 courses they would like to continue with at the end of year 8 and again at the end of year 10. Students also have the choice of a wide range of extra-curricular activities that they can involve themselves in and in years 10 and 11 they make the decision on which nights they would like to attend after academy sessions focussed on improving their academic studies. The Guild options allow students to completely independently choose one hour of their curriculum time from an extensive list of options.
Respect is a key part of the high standards and expectations that the academy and all of its stakeholders commit to day in day out. This is set out formally in behaviour policies but more importantly seen and felt through the ethos and atmosphere of the academy. There are often opportunities to develop this further in a range of curriculum areas whether that is within competitive environments in PE or through looking at the Human Rights Act within Cultural Studies and RE.
Outside of the curriculum area enrichment opportunities allow for further development of the understanding of the importance of mutual respect both within the academy and in the wider community. Students take on roles that require them to act in responsible and respectful manners as role models, they engage in community fundraising events, work experience and trips where they have to communicate with a wider demographic and ensure they represent themselves well. Sports teams play regular fixtures where respect for team mates and opposition is of premium importance.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Respect and tolerance for all is a key part of the high standards and expectations that the academy and all of its stakeholders commit to day in day out. The students are given opportunities to discover, engage with and celebrate both their own beliefs and those of others both within the school and of those in the wider community. An SMSC calendar maps out key dates of spiritual and cultural importance that are then promoted and developed through lessons, quizzes, themed days and more. Deeper understanding of religious beliefs and of cultural diversity is explored as part of the humanities curriculum in key stage 3 and through Religious Education and Cultural Studies at key stage 4. The Union of Venture Students have a culture and community cooperative that look at how students within the academy can interact and collaborate with different groups. They are looking at developing new international links and lead on fundraising events for local, national and international causes. The result is that our students develop into global active citizens.