The Department for Education sets out five clear strands in their definition of British Values, and Castleford Academy wholeheartedly agrees with these:
The values above have been taught at the Academy for many years through our curriculum. Many of the values fit into our PSHE, Citizenship and SMSC curriculum which is mapped and tracked across all subjects. In short, all staff at Castleford Academy are responsible for identifying and delivering British Values through their everyday contact with pupils.
Castleford Academy translates the above strands into the following list:
Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community.
Student voice is incredibly important to Castleford Academy with three fully functioning Student Leadership Teams (KS3-KS5) meeting regularly across the academic year. Our students have to run for election by campaigning, creating manifestos, making speeches, producing posters and even making video clips. The whole academy, including their peers and staff, vote for their Student Leadership representatives who then serve for a one year term.
The Student Leadership Team have a voice in Teaching and Learning, the day-to-day functioning of the school, the production of planners, the curriculum and a wide range of topics that affect the students. Students also feedback to their peers and listen to their thoughts in order to represent them to the best of their ability. The Student Leadership Team also receive training on leadership skills and take part in activities to further understand how wider democracy works.
Throughout their daily lives at the Academy, students will encounter rules and laws. These rules are laws are constantly reinforced throughout the day both in classroom and outside. Through individual subjects, our PSHE & Citizenship curriculum, drop-down days and through our behavior policy, students understand the reasons and values behind the rules and laws and also understand that there are sanctions if they do not follow them.
The Academy also invites in various authorities such as our safer schools partnership officer and the Fire Service to deliver assemblies, speak to individuals and individual groups of students and also offers qualifications from these authorities through a range of subjects.
In Year 9, all students take part in ‘Prison, Me? No Way!’ day. This is a national educational charity with a core aim of raising awareness among young people about the causes, consequences and penalties of crime – and how the Police uphold this. They also work very closely with NHS nurses and fire service men and women on the day. Furthermore, students study the importance of public institutions in their Life & Society lessons.
In lessons, pupils are encouraged to join in and feel free to express their opinion. They also taught that they will have their opinion challenged and they have a right to reply to this too. This is part of the whole-school strategy of ABC Oracy (Agree, Build & Challenge). Pupils are encouraged to make good choices and understand that it is their right to receive an empowering education in a safe environment. They are encouraged to exercise their rights and personal freedom, whilst appreciating that everyone is unique. This enables our students to feel self-confident and have high self-esteem.
This is reinforced with the Academy ensuring that they know and understand and have the information to make the right choices for them through excellent independent careers advice, assemblies and lessons on E-Safety, PSHE lessons and drop-down days such as Be Safe and Healthy Day. There is an abundance of leadership opportunities which students can become involved in, such as fundraising for local charities, or supporting younger students in school.
This is a core value of the Academy. Students and all staff treat each other with great respect. This is clear across the Multi-Academy Trust and something we are really proud of. The relationships between our staff and students are incredible. This is backed up by our behavior policy, assemblies, class and form discussions and through the daily interactions of all members and visitors to our school. Make an appointment, come in and wander around. You will see that mutual respect is everywhere.
Students in Year 8 study a full topic on ‘Rules for Living’ in RE, in which they will learn all about respect, why bullying is wrong, and forgiveness.
Extra-Curricular, be it Sport, Music, Drama, Reading, Chess or our popular RE Club, contributes hugely to our ethos of Mutual Respect at the Academy. As well as in lessons, through enrichment and after-school activities pupils learn to respect each other in every way.
Students understand their place in a culturally diverse society through the many opportunities they experience. This is through assemblies, PSHE curriculum and through our outstanding RE Department. In particular, students get a first-hand experience at working with people from different cultures. For example; we often have visitors from Sikh, Hindu and Christian backgrounds who run workshops with the students. The Academy challenges those opinions contrary to the fundamental British Value of tolerance, including ‘extremist’ views.
All major religions are studied and respected, and we believe that it is the responsibility of everyone to demonstrate tolerance and ensure that our students are knowledgeable and understanding citizens, prepared for life in modern Britain.
© Castleford Academy Trust 2021