British values at Parkstone Grammar School
Parkstone Grammar School is committed to working closely and in harmony with its community and celebrating the diversity of the UK. We aim to prepare students for life in modern Britain and to ensure that our school ethos, curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning reflect and promote British values.
We recognise that these values are not exclusive to being British and that they have come to be accepted throughout the democratic world as the method of creating an orderly society in which individual members can feel safe, valued and can contribute to for the good of themselves and others.
We work alongside our local community and recognise the variety of religious beliefs within it. Students take part in local events and meet different members of the community to appreciate the valuable contributions they make. All subject departments are aware of the importance of transmitting British values through their curriculum content.
We take opportunities to:
- Acknowledge, celebrate and commemorate national events and anniversaries related to key events in Britain’s past
- Join in with local, national and international sporting events
- Support a number of charities at a local, regional, national and international level that are selected by the students and arrange fundraising events
- Invite members of the local community to our school events.
We understand the role that our school has in helping prevent radicalisation and supporting our students in developing a world view, recognising Britain’s place within it. The five British values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Below we include more details about how each British value is embedded in our school.
Many of our school routines are built upon the concept of democracy. All students have opportunity as an individual, as a member of a tutor group, within a house system and within subject departments, to influence decision-making and to have a voice. They understand that they must use this voice responsibly.
Students are regularly consulted both formally informally about how their school might be improved. They see the example that is set with staff working cooperatively with each other to make the school the best it can be.
Students within the school have key roles and responsibilities and are democratically elected to take on leadership roles, such as the School Officers and Prefect system within the sixth form and Upper School Leaders in Year 11. They understand that they are accountable to the school community for the way in which they carry out these roles.
Our School Council and House Captains allow students to explore and understand the democratic process. Regular consultations take place throughout the school year. Students receive feedback and are made aware of any actions that are taken as a result. Tutor groups elect their own Representatives for the School councils and provide feedback from these meetings.
During national elections we hold our own mock elections.
Our Year 8 Citizenship Day teaches students about the democratic system and democratic values.
In Citizenship within the PSHE curriculum students learn about the British electoral system, how it has developed and how it works.
Students in our school understand the need for rules to make ours a happy and secure environment. Our behaviour policy is shared and understood and this provides a basis on which we discuss other laws and rules and how they apply.
Ground rules are established in all areas of the curriculum and students are encouraged to see the reasons for them.
Our school works closely with the Safer Schools and Community Team.
We set ground rules during PSHE classes where sensitive issues are discussed. IT lessons include discussion around data protection and our e-safety code of conduct.
PSHE lessons include presentations from SSCT on Use of the Internet and the Law, as well as Reputation Management and Identity Theft.
Each year, every tutor group discusses the school code of conduct and tutor group code of conduct with their tutor. Although some of these are set, others are not and students are encouraged to make their own contributions to the way in which the rules can be applied.
School sanctions are clearly established and shared. Tutor group sanctions are discussed and agreed within the tutor group.
Through the awarding of achievement points, the school promotes and rewards positive behaviour.
In citizenship students learn about the legal system in the UK and an Ex-offender speaks about his experiences of the legal system.
The rights of every student are at the centre of our ethos. However, students must also recognise the boundaries there must be too.
Independent thinking and learning are encouraged and there are frequent opportunities for students to grow in maturity and independence as they move towards the sixth form.
We place an emphasis on respecting difference and valuing creativity.
This is evidenced in our school charter designed in conjunction with students and staff and appears in both student and staff handbooks.
Through ‘Thought for the week’, PSHE and the curriculum and extra-curricular activities students are encouraged to explore Human Rights e.g. Amnesty International has a strong base in the school.
A variety of curricular opportunities exist for students to develop independent thinking including Y7 Independent Learning and Y9, 10 and 11 Personalised Learning. Across the curriculum opportunities are provided for furthering these skills.
Within extra-curricular activities there are clubs and societies such as Green Power, Creative Writing Club, Debating Society and The Medical Ethics Club.
Our Drama and Music departments are strong within the school, playing a vital part in the schools’ extra-curricular activities. The drama department encourages students to stage their own performances as well, such as “Punk Rock’ most recently, as producing whole school productions of musicals such as ‘Bugsy Malone’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’.
The music depart tours with the concert band bi-annually to Europe and produces 4 concerts per year, with several pieces conducted by and arranged by students.
Respect is one of our school values. We recognise the importance of not only respecting one another but also of self-respect.
We have a clear anti-bullying policy which emphasises the importance of us creating an environment both within school and the wider world in which individuals can feel safe and valued.
Every individual is respected in our school and our actions towards one another reflect this.
Our PSHE curriculum includes topics on relationships and what a good relationship consists of. This is reflected throughout all years of the school.
We have a sustainable programme of Anti-Bullying Ambassadors trained by the Princess Diana Trust in Years 10 and 11 who act as mentors and deal with bullying issues amongst younger students within the school.
We also have an electronic reporting system for students and parents via both our website and VLE.
Our PSHE programme that allows students to develop an awareness of and respect for diversity. External speakers are frequently used for topics such as AIDs, Mental Health, Disability and recently the Ant-Bullying Ambassadors have run sessions on bullying and discrimination. We also have sessions on LGBT
Our extra-curricular clubs and enrichment activities focus on building self-esteem and self-respect. They also include team-building activities. Sports teams play an important part within the life of the school for talented youngsters participating at local, regional, national and international level but we also advocate ‘sport for all’ with everyone participating in the schools’ Sports day.
The staff code of conduct ensures that staff behave towards each other in an exemplary way, setting a good example for the students.
The language used between staff and students at all times is considered to be vital in showing how we respect one another.
We welcome difference and diversity and aim to create understanding of how this adds to the richness of our community.
We aim to do more than ‘tolerate’ those with different faiths and beliefs. We recognise the extent to which our own traditions and history have developed side by side and the rich cultural heritage that different world religions bring.
We believe that exploring and understanding other people’s faiths and beliefs are rewarding experiences and help us understand our own faiths and beliefs better.
Our RMP curriculum teaches about a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
The RMP curriculum offers students an opportunity to examine in detail a range of ethical and moral issues both at examination and core level.
We take the opportunity to find out more about different cultures we encounter through research and discussion.
We encourage those in our school who hold different faiths and beliefs to share their experiences and provide us with insight.
We operate an exchange programme with students in other countries. This provides additional insight into cultures other than our own.
A variety of other trips provide opportunities for students to interact with other cultures, including Berlin, Barcelona and Washington.
Students also learn about other cultures through our strong ties with a school in Kenya, where we raise money to sustain a project for orphan children from the AIDs epidemic.