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Pool Hayes Academy, Castle Drive, Willenhall, West Midlands WV12 4QZ

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British Values at Pool Hayes

The Department for Education have 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.”

Pool Hayes Arts & Community School is committed to serving its community and recognising the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the Britain. We are dedicated to ensuring all students are provided with a safe and secure environment so they can grow and flourish in our school.

Consequently, our commitment to equal opportunities means that we do not tolerate any discrimination against any individuals or groups, whether down to their faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar.

Within this expectation, we are committed to ensuring that our students are well-prepared to play an active and conducive role in British society and hold the key values that reflect the outlook and thinking of our country.

The government categorises these British values into five key groups in their Prevent Strategy (2011) which are as follows:

1 – Democracy:

This principle is fundamental to our daily work and plays a central role in developing and improving our school. All students get the chance to express their views and motivations through their RAPS (Responsibility – Aspiration – Perseverance – Success) presentations during tutor time, to lead in House assemblies and projects, and to take part in regular questionnaires and surveys in order to gather their views.

Furthermore, our House Councils, Sixth Form Council and Student Council are elected solely by the students and involved presentations and hustings to inform democratic choice. Additionally, students get to meet with the Headteacher and Governing Body directly so to express their views on the school and its development.

2 – The Rule of Law:

The importance of obeying laws and the enforcement of rules is present in our everyday school life, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country. They are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies.

Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws; that they govern and protect us; the responsibilities that this involve; and the consequences when rules are broken. Indeed, the ‘R’ of our RAPS represents the concept of ‘Responsibility’ and the need to be clear, just and fair in your actions is paramount to establishing our desired school ethos. This outlook is fostered in many ways; for example, via our vertical tutor groups which develop moral and social leadership by older students to their younger peers.

We also stage regular visits by law-making authorities, whether it be the police, fire service, transport authorities, armed services, community organisations or politicians, so that the message is reinforced both directly and indirectly.

Nonetheless, in accordance with the British right to protest, our students can challenge or debate school rules through tutor time discussions, the Student Council, the Debating Society or via our periodic suggestion boxes.

3 – Individual Liberty:

Within school, 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 for young students to make these choices safely and enable them to present informed and justified views through an empowering education.

Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are given advice on how to exercise these safely; for example through our Anti-Bullying or E-Safety Weeks, Drugs Awareness & Sexual Health workshops, our PHSEE and RE lessons, as well as via the wider curriculum.

Equally, this individuality is fostered through the logging and recording of active engagement in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities; whether it be sports teams, aspiration visits, residentials, guest lectures, Aim Higher Events, performance events, etc..

4 – Mutual Respect:

Our RAPS (Responsibility – Aspiration – Perseverance – Success) are a central pillar of this supporting this value as they provide a clear framework for maturity, ambition and dedication that all are expected to demonstrate themselves and value in others.

This RAPS ethos demands a respect and tolerance of others and pastoral classes and assemblies are key drivers in relating this to the behaviours and attitudes that best reflect it. These sessions can involve student-led presentations or centrally directed themes connected to social and cultural events from across the world; Eg – British Food Week, European Week of Languages, the Festival of Vaisakha, etc.

Elsewhere, posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our behaviour policy.

5 – Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

This is achieved through enhancing students understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.

Assemblies incorporate all major religions and are usually student-led so to deepen the student voice and understanding of the different themes. Furthermore, discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE (following the agreed local syllabus) and PSHEE Focus Days and Weeks.

Furthermore, all students are regularly asked if they feel safe at school and we have clear policies relating to anti-bullying, anti-radicalisation, etc..

For more information about how the school seeks to promote key British values, please contact a member of the Senior Leadership Team via office@poolhayes.attrust.org.uk