Teaching British values at Harlington Upper School is an important way to enable students to embrace the key values that they need to be equipped for life in modern British society.
Students at our school develop self-knowledge, are better able to make the right choices and make contributions to the wider school and their community by studying and promoting the British values.
The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in September 2014. These regulations sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school. As a school we will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
We agree with and actively promote the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Harlington Upper, students will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. Listed below are some general examples of how we promote these values in our school community.
Student voice is significant in regard to life at Harlington Upper School. Students have a great amount of input in regard to their school community through Student Voice. The structure of Student Voice consists of two Head Students and then 5 Deputy Head students taking on responsibility for different areas of the school e.g. Charity, Social Harmony and Diversity. Student representatives from Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 3 join these Deputy Head Students to create Councils. Student voice has been widely consulted and can see the results of their democracy in action. For example, students have been consulted on the school’s behaviour policy as well as being an integral part in designing the new school uniform. Changes to the school as a result of Student Voice been a new canteen and seating area for Year 11, sports equipment installed for use during social time and more outside seating in each Year group’s social area. Student panels are also a feature of all interviews for teaching staff.
How we influence and shape democracy is explored in many ways, though lessons, current affairs, themes of the week and assemblies. These are often connected to national or international celebrations and commemorations such as: International Day of Peace; Martin Luther King Day; and Remembrance Day.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at Harlington Upper School, and consequently our students possess a strong sense of equality and understanding of what is right and wrong. This understanding of the importance of rules is consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our students in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken.
Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries so that students can make informed choices and respectfully express their views and beliefs.
Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and are advised how to exercise these safely and respectfully, for example through our assemblies, curriculum, current affairs and tutorial activities. We also offer a wide range of extra-curricular clubs which students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Staff and students treat each other with the utmost respect and courtesy. Students learn that their behaviours affect their rights and those of others. All members of the school community are required to treat each other with respect; this is a high-profile message that is communicated to students. Our Behaviour and rewards policy means that students know that their choices affect their rights and those of others.
Students are encouraged to communicate openly, honestly, and to listen to and respect the views of others, even in instances where disagreements arise. We expect all students in leadership roles, as well as our staff members, to model exemplary behaviour, and conduct themselves in a manner that commands the respect worthy of someone in a position of authority.
Assemblies and class work are designed to highlight the diverse nature of British society and the right for each person to be respected for their choices. We teach students that they should never judge a person, and encourage them to be compassionate, open-minded and accepting.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
Harlington Upper School is rich in cultural diversity and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Students learn that all members of the school community deserve to be treated with respect and that differences are to be accepted.
Religious Education is taught in KS3 and KS4, which promotes mutual respect and understanding between those of different faiths or beliefs as well as explicitly teaching about other religions and cultures to promote appreciation, through Music, Art, English texts, humanities, Religious Studies and MFL to name a few.
Assemblies and tutorial activities actively challenge stereotypes and reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others no matter their ethnicity, beliefs, gender or disability. Assemblies cover a variety of topics, including Yom Kippur; International Day of Peace; Black History Month; Ramadan, Diwali; International Day for Tolerance; Martin Luther King Day; Chinese New Year; and Passover.