It is important that our school endeavours “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation 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.” DFE 2014.
At Forest Gate Academy the children learn about the importance of our school values with a particular reference to the fundamental British Values. This helps to support the children’s social, spiritual, emotional and cultural development. Our aim is to ensure that children are prepared for, and have an appreciation of life in modern Britain.
We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through our school philosophy that infuses the ethos and work of the school. These values are:
All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. Children embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives.
Our school is a democracy for all its stake holders. All staff have a voice and most importantly so do the children. The voices of children are heard through pupil questionnaires and our school council. Children are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where children are safe to disagree with each other.
Democracy is a school value that children meet when discussing respect and fairness.
Rules are important in our school and we all have shared responsibility for them. An understanding of behaviour for learning expectations rules and the importance of them is part of our ethos. We refer to our school rules and values through PSHE and in specific school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations; it is important for us that all children realise the value of them to promote great learning and to keep us safe. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; the school nurse; local counsellors and local community support officers are regular parts of our schools lives and help reinforce our high expectations of behaviour both inside and outside of school.
Our pupils are actively encouraged to take risks and make choices. They do this knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment where it is ok to make mistakes. As a school we provide boundaries for young pupils to enable them to make choices safely, they are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. We do this through E-Safety lessons, PSHCE sessions, Values assemblies and our behaviour policy. Challenge and choice are key parts of all our lessons, we encourage pupils and staff to ‘take a risk’ in their learning in a safe, managed environment. We also offer numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices at every step of their school lives with us, knowing that our schools are safe places to explore individual choice and liberty.
Our values-based discussions and acts of worship begin with discussion about the self, e.g. self –respect and self-worth in relation to the individual value so that children see that they are important in their own right. The philosophy of our teaching and learning places emphasis on the right to have our own thoughts and evidence based views. Children are strongly encouraged to develop independence in learning and to think for themselves.
We believe that children should have a clear understanding of their place in our culturally diverse society and should be given opportunities to experience diversity. We work closely with members of different faiths and religions who share their knowledge to enhance learning and acceptance within our schools. We follow a scheme of work for RE and PSHE and regularly have visitors to support these sessions.
Whilst actively promoting British Values we ensure that our school challenges pupils, staff or parents if expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Respect is a fundamental school value, around which pivots much of the work of the school. We pay explicit attention to this as part of our RE, PHSE, and SMSC curriculum.
Miss A Edwards