Teaching British Values at Washwood Heath Academy
We believe that every young person should leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain. No matter what their starting point, students at Washwood Heath Academy are encouraged to become fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance. An integral part of student SMSC development is the active promotion of the British Values of Democracy, The Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, and Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
At Washwood Heath Academy, these values permeate throughout the school and are reinforced regularly in the curriculum in the following ways:
Students gain an understanding of how democracy works by being encouraged to actively participate in student voice activities, both collectively in tutor time discussions and individually through the rotation of attendance at House Council. Students have the opportunity to have their voice heard through Student Council and Student Questionnaires. Students experience a varied curriculum which encourage students to develop a respect for the democratic process and a sound understanding of how they can influence the decision making process. Pupils exercise their right to express their opinion (Article 12) as part of Washwood Heath being a UNICEF Silver Rights Aware School.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Washwood Heath Academy. School rules are designed to mirror and reflect the laws of the land and to positively reinforce the values and reasons behind the rules and laws that govern and protect us. The Restorative Behaviour policy embedded at Washwood Heath Academy enables students to develop a sound understanding of the structure and consequences that go with the rule of law and an appreciation of how the rule of law protects our wellbeing and safety. Visits from authorities such as the police school liaison officer help to reinforce this message and to strengthen respect for the public institutions.
At Washwood Heath Academy, all pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Through the journey to being a UNICEF Gold Rights Respecting School, pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. Whether it is through choice of challenge, or how they record participation in our numerous extracurricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
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 are expected to treat each other with respect. This is explicit in the Anti-Bullying Pledge that all pupils and staff sign. Assemblies, tutor activities and the House System reinforce and reiterate the centrality of mutual respect in the fabric of life at Washwood Heath Academy.
Washwood Heath, like society at large, is diverse and as such we place great emphasis on promoting diversity with the students. Assemblies and tutor activities are regularly planned to address this issue either directly through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. In addition, our curriculum and ethos reinforce the message of tolerance and respect for each other.