The DfE has recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.
The Government set out its definition of British Values in 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year.
Here at Ashington High School these values are reinforced in the following ways:
Ashington High School is involved in the annual Youth Parliament and Cabinet election process. We promote the elections with students and encourage them to stand for election and create a manifesto for their campaign. The school also takes part in the election process with ballots passed on to all tutor groups to allow all students the chance to vote.
In June 2016 our Years 7, 8, 9 & 10 students debated the various issues involved in the European Union referendum, such as trade links, free movement of workers, the floating currency and military alliances. They also looked at the history and structure of the European Union. This all culminated with a visit to the ballot box to cast their votes – remain or leave?
We also have a Student Leadership Team which meets with members of staff to discuss and ideas or issues raised by other students. The Student Leadership Team is called upon to discuss school developments and share information with their classes on these matters.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced. Pupils are taught the school rules.
Our students also participate in trips which help to reinforce the importance of law. For example the Sixth Form has visited Parliament where they met our local MP Ian Lavery and had the chance to see law-making in action. As well as this we took a look into the criminal justice process and visited the Crown Count in Newcastle to see it in action.
Year 9 has also looked into our justice system and in partnership with Durham University took part in a mock criminal trial.
Students are actively encouraged to make choices knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Students are aware that their behaviour has an effect on themselves and others around them. All members of our school community treat each other with respect as specified in our community values.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
Philosophy & Ethics lessons reinforce the messages of tolerance and respect of others through the use of resources such as poems like ‘The British‘ which support the idea of equality and justice for all.