Values are underlying principles that affect how we, as people, respond and behave in a range of different situations.
‘Values come from a variety of sources which include family, peers, education, religion, culture, social background, culture, social background, economic background, historical events and the media.’
-Pamela Draycott, ‘British Values in Church Schools; Making Them Count
In 2014 the government passed legislation outlining the responsibility of all schools to actively promote fundamental British Values. British Values are outlined as the following:
Rule of Law
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
These values originated as part of the Prevent Strategy (2011) and also intended to support the Equality Act of 2010.
Advice outlined from the Department for Education relating to British Values can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/380595/SMSC_Guidance_Maintained_Schools.pdf
It is the responsibility of schools to actively promote British Values throughout their whole curriculum and SMSC provision.
Within the Learning Academy Partnership, we promote British Values throughout curriculum opportunities, SMSC provision, Religious Education, Collective Worship and the Christian Distinctiveness of each academy. In addition to actively promoting British Values, we also explicitly root these values in our Christianly distinctive vision for education for all pupils.
‘Our aim...the formation of character for the transformation of our world.’
- Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England (January 2015)
Within the Learning Academy Partnership we will actively challenge any views that are expressed by pupils or staff that are contrary to the promotion of these British Values.
At Ellacombe C of E Academy, we believe that both democracy and equality are important values within our school community. Genesis chapter 1 verse 27 says that ‘...God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ This is something that we value highly and we ensure that all pupils are provided with a wide range of bespoke opportunities that meet their individual needs and enable them to live life to the full.
An important part of our ethos at Ellacombe C of E Academy is the right for every child’s voice to be heard. Pupils are given a range of opportunities to exercise their democratic vote and this supports them as they continue to develop and build in character, considering the concept of fairness and the need to respect the outcome of a voting process. This also supports the pupils as they develop their knowledge and understanding of how to disagree in a respectful way.
Pupils within Ellacombe C of E Academy work exceptionally hard to maintain outstanding attendance and this is rewarded within their classes. Pupils take part in weekly discussions and votes that enable them to choose their class reward for attendance. This also promotes the understanding of actions and consequence in a positive way.
Within the school book club, pupils use the democratic process and their vote in a way that has a direct impact upon the school. They are able to both vote for different genres of books that they would like to include within the school library and, as an added element to support their learning, they vote in order to choose particular authors that they then invite into school to support and develop the passion for reading across all ages.
In addition to this, pupils also have the opportunity to use their right to vote to help them to lead the direction of their learning. Pupils are able to vote on a range of topic questions that support overarching curriculum themes in order that they may have an added element of ownership over the direction of their learning.
The Rule of Law:
Amos chapter 5 verse 24- ‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!’
The importance of the rule of law is actively promoted in a variety of ways. This value is explored through our behaviour policy, daily relationships between all members of our school family and themes explored throughout Collective Worship.
Pupils are taught the importance of law, the role of responsibility and consequence and how laws are put into place to protect us.
At Ellacombe C of E Academy, we have a very close relationship with our local PCSOs and we have visits to our school which are planned and led by them.
As part of the school’s Christian Distinctiveness we also talk about the concept of justice as part of the Rule of Law. Pupils are provided with opportunities to talk about justice and this is also explicitly related to Christian teaching.
In addition to this we also, where appropriate, look at the difference between religious laws and state laws.
Pupils are encouraged to make choices and reflect upon their decisions as part of our daily school ethos. Pupils are able to do this knowing that they are in a safe and supporting environment that enables this discussion and action.
We ensure that all pupils are provided with the knowledge necessary to make informed, knowledgeable choices and this is embedded throughout all aspects of the curriculum and school provision.
The provision that we offer at Ellacombe C of E Academy ensures that pupils are able to make choices about how to keep themselves safe (both personally and online), how to be responsible citizens within society and also how to take into account the needs of others when making choices and engaging within dialogue.
We engage with termly E-Safety weeks, assemblies delivered by the NSPCC and Family Groups. In addition to this we also support our local charity Anode by collecting food parcels that help to support people within our local community.
We reflect on the teaching of Jesus as part of our Christian ethos as we consider the words from Mark’s Gospel chapter 22 verse 39 ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ This teaching is explicit throughout the school and it underpins the value of Individual Liberty.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance:
Ephesians chapter 4 verse 2- ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.’
Mutual Respect and Tolerance are values that are crucial for positive dialogue and communication both within our school family and our local and wider communities.
At Ellacombe C of E Academy we provide pupils with a range of different opportunities that actively promote Mutual Respect and Tolerance.
Our academy is located in an area of South Devon that does not have a large amount of cultural diversity and we therefore place great importance on promoting diversity within the learning opportunities that are provided for our pupils.
Within our curriculum we provide many different opportunities for pupils to visit different places of worship, engage with faith speakers, discuss world issues (for example, the plight of refugees) and to learn about diversity through a range of subject areas. Our RE provision also underpins opportunities to learn about people of different faiths and of no faith.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance is also an integral part of our Safeguarding Policy. Any views which oppose that of British Values are challenged; this also encompasses all forms of extremist views which are counter to British Values.
Pupils also have a wide range of opportunities to develop their mutual respect for each other as part of a school family. Our curriculum is based upon the concept of ‘Beautiful Work’. Peer critiquing underpins our curriculum and pupils at Ellacombe C of E Academy are consistently provided with the opportunities to peer critique each other’s work in a trusting, respectful and supportive learning environment.