Promoting British Values
Swindon Academy is committed to serving its community. We recognize the multicultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom and understand the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the academy are not subjected to intimidation or radicalization 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. Swindon Academy is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum, serving the whole community and ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to all our students.
The government emphasizes that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools and sets out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The examples that follow show some of the many ways Swindon Academy seeks to embed British Values through strategies within the national curriculum and beyond.
The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Swindon Academy, with democratic processes being used for important decisions within the school community. For instance, elections are part of the process for selecting representatives for the Student Council, Student Voice and Head Boy/Girl and the deputies. The principle of democracy is also explored in subjects such as history, RE, PSHE as well as in tutor time and assemblies. Visits to Parliament, debating events, mock general elections also support this value.
During parliament Week Primary Phase pupils meet a local MP to learn what it means to work in government and Student Council members are elected, putting into practise some of the principles they learn. Students are also able to nominate others for e-praise points for kindness shown.
Students in the secondary phase take part in a consultation process when changes need to be made, such as to uniform or to the Behaviour for learning Policy, prior to implementation. There is a ‘Have Your Say’ box where students can post their thoughts on school activities and processes. Additionally they also annually elect which charities will benefit from fundraising activities.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the academy or the country are consistently reinforced at Swindon Academy.
Students are taught Swindon Academy’s rules and expectations, which are highlighted by the Code of Conduct and the expectation that students will demonstrate the PRIDE attributes. Students are taught the value and the reasons behind rules that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken – both inside and outside of the academy. Visits from authorities such as the police reinforce this message.
In the Primary Phase, pupils fully understand the Behaviour for Learning Policy; they understand the consequences of not following rules but importantly that they are rewarded for good behavior by receiving verbal praise and e-praise points.
In the Secondary Phase, students have a clear understanding of the Behaviour for Learning rules. Sanctions are clearly discussed with students and actions and consequences are regularly talked about in assemblies, tutor time and PSHE lessons.
Staff at Swindon Academy provide an empowering education and positive boundaries for students whilst actively encourage them to make individual and informed choices in a safe environment.
Students are encouraged to know and understand their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely. This is delivered through e-safety and in PSHE lessons, during tutor time and in the College Championship. Swindon Academy has a robust anti-bullying culture as result of a high-level pastoral support structure and a comprehensive Behaviour Policy.
In the Primary Phase, pupils benefit from the Barnardos PATHS Programme which facilitates the development of self-control, emotional awareness and interpersonal problem solving skills. Enhancing these skills aid their social awareness and ability to learn alongside others who are different and/or have different opinions.
In the Secondary Phase, individual freedom of expression and choice is often considered as part of the ‘What’s in the News’ discussions during tutor time, during assemblies, RE lessons and during national Anti-Bullying Week. Students are encouraged to be, and are, supportive of the individual differences and journeys of those around them.
Respect is a strong part of Swindon Academy and is part of its aims and values. Students learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the academy community treat each other with respect and this is reiterated through its teaching and learning environments. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment. Students are encouraged to express considered opinions with enthusiasm and respect for others.
In the Primary Phase, students are encouraged to take an active part in school life and are respected by others when they apply for positions as Prefects and College Captain positions.
In the Secondary Phase, students elect their Student Voice and Council members, feed back to them any concerns they wish to be raised and trust them to do so in a mature, positive and respectful manner. They also respond positively to the feedback that the Student Voice bring to them following meetings. During ‘What’s in the News’ discussions, students constructively debate arguments from multiple perspectives, showing respect for the opinions of others.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by creating opportunities to experience diversity within the school community. Students benefit from a number of international visitors, including students from The Netherlands; Year 8 pupils visit a local Mosque; everyone enjoys cultural education days and we recognise the Holocaust Memorial Day each year.
The RE curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures. The syllabus helps students to have a broader understanding of spiritual, moral and sociological issues and encourages them to think about their own spiritual development.
Swindon Academy strives endlessly to ensure that its students leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our society.
In all phases a variety of religious beliefs are not only tolerated but embraced by staff and students. In the Primary Phase, pupils learn about the beliefs of other faiths both during assembly time and during topic classes. In the Secondary Phase, students have access to a faith room which they can use for contemplation and the Chaplaincy Team encourages appreciation of all religions and views. The tutor programme includes a positive thought for the day for students to focus on and Cultural Days are held 3 times each year to help students understand other students’ cultures and beliefs.