At Whitefield School, we recognise not only the importance of helping pupils to flourish academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. Our aim is that our pupils and students are fully prepared for life in British society, to take their role as good citizens, and able to make the best possible contribution to the Common Good. We teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it is to live a good life. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important and ensures these values are reinforced in a pervasive manner which permeates the school community.
We provide an education which focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our vocation and purpose in life. We place a significant emphasis on the celebration of individuality and difference within our communities and our calling to work for the Common Good, in the service of others.
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
At Whitefield School, we promote the importance of democracy through such things as:
• School Council and Student Leadership.
• Involving pupils in decision making.
• Taking part in debates.
• Ensuring all pupils are listened to by adults.
• Holding mock elections.
• PSHE sessions on Parliament and Local Government
• Ensuring that students are encouraged to use their voice across the curriculum through collaborative working, responding to teacher feedback in books, careful questioning by staff, through the work they produce and through classroom dialogue
• Ensuring all students are given the opportunity to access the curriculum
The Rule of Law
In school we promote the importance of the rule of law through such things as:
• Having a clear behaviour policy that is explained to all.
• Organising visits from outside speakers, including the police service to reinforce the message of right and wrong and the consequences which arise when laws are broken.
• Liaising closely with outside agencies including Social Services and the Police
• Highlighting the rules of the Church and God in the RE curriculum, for example the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church.
• Exploring issues such as Morality and Forgiveness on school retreats.
Within Whitefield School, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely.
In school we promote the importance of individual liberty through such things as:
• Encouraging pupils to be independent in their learning.
• Providing pupils with opportunities for reflection as they take responsibility to discerning their vocation.
• An ethos and culture based on mutual respect.
• Having a mission statement that is inclusive.
• Reinforcing the value of everyone’s opinions in class debates.
• Having an effective anti-bullying policy.
• Emphasising in RE and other lessons that every person is unique and “created in the image and likeness of God”.
• Remembrance Day Activities and visit to Battlefields.
• Supporting charitable works and Fairtrade.
• Prefect System
• Chaplaincy Centre which students can visit during lunchtimes
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments, where students learn that their behaviour has an impact on others. All members of our community are treated with respect. In line with our commitment to democracy, pupils and students at Whitefield are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where differing views are respected. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to the student mentoring programme which promotes mutual respect and support between students across different year groups within the school.
In school we promote the importance of mutual respect through such things as:
• Behaviour policy and Code of Conduct
• Clear guidance on behaviour and on social media
• The publishing and enforcement of a smart dress code for students and staff
• The curriculum which helps pupils and students to learn about a wide range of people, cultures and beliefs and so develops students' ability to make informed decisions, form and be confident in their own identity and understand and respect those of others
• Pupils and students are introduced to a range of beliefs and experiences so that they are able to make more informed choices for themselves, both academically and socially.
• Pupils and students are taught the knowledge and skills to broaden the choices they are empowered to make about future work, travel and education
• The profusion of extra-curricular activities and clubs, including extended studies.
• Celebration of Black History Month
• PSHE sessions on exploring relationships with oneself and others
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. The curriculum helps students to learn about a wide range of people, cultures and beliefs and so develops students’ ability to make informed decisions, form and be confident in their own identity and understand and respect that of others
We also run a number of trips abroad throughout the academic year from which our students gain valuable experience of other cultures. Additionally, students are actively encouraged to share their own faith and beliefs within the school through participation in liturgical events and celebrations.
• Religious Education provides pupils with a deep understanding of their own faith as well as awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities as a basis for understanding and respecting them.
• Showing how Jesus encouraged tolerance in stories such as The Good Samaritan.
• Marking Holocaust Memorial Day.
• Focusing on rights and responsibilities
• Having a freely accessible chaplaincy centre which is open for all faiths to use
• Assemblies celebrate and draw inspiration from festivals and teachings from a range of different faiths
• PSHE sessions on discrimination and stereotypes
For more information on events and assemblies held at Whitefield School visit our SMSC