Our vision and values
Our vision and values are at the core of everything we do. They underpin our teaching and learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils as confident, happy citizens.
Promoting British Values at Powers Hall Academy
All schools have a requirement set out in section 78 of the Education Act 2002 to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils. Through ensuring pupils’ SMSC development, schools can also demonstrate they are actively promoting fundamental British values.
The Government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy; these were reinforced in September 2014. These new regulations must also run parallel with the requirements of the Equalities Acts. Pupils must be encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance. Schools are expected to focus on, and to be able to show, how we are successfully educating pupils in embedding fundamental British values.
The Department for Education sets out a five-part definition of British Values including:
How Powers Hall Academy Promotes SMSC and British Values
• To enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
• To enable students to distinguish between right from wrong;
• To encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour and to recognise that their actions have consequences.
• To show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the local community and more widely in society (For example through fundraising events, through improving the local community and its facilities)
• To enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
• To develop and nurture tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
• To encourage respect for other people in the wider world; for their peers and staff immediately within their school environment
• To encourage respect and an understanding for equality and democracy including an understanding of democratic processes.
Through the promotion of SMSC and British values as a result of this pupils will learn:
• An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
• An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
• An understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
• An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
• An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour;
• An understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination
How Powers Hall Academy is meeting these requirements.
Many of these principles will be endorsed and promoted through day to day school life as well as through the Curriculum offered; particular subjects such as PSHE (Personal, Social Health Education) and RE (Religious Education) lend themselves to topics and themes covered but outlined below are some examples of how Powers Hall Academy is facilitating this practice.
(The Curriculum overview for both PSHE and RE provides further information about topics that are taught in each year group).
Pupils learn about citizenship within the PSHE Curriculum including voting rights and responsibilities, about the democratic process and who can vote. Pupils have also had the opportunity to meet with professionals such as the local MP to learn and discuss issues pertaining to this. Visits to the Houses of Parliament are also undertaken so that pupils can see where laws are made and passed as well as understand further the process of democracy.
Within the school setting pupils themselves take part in the voting process through electing their peers for various roles such as the School and Environment Council. These groups also provide a forum for pupils to develop their ‘voice’ and to raise matters pertaining to them. Pupil views are actively sought on matters including what they would like to see changed in the school as positive outcomes, how monies are spent and how some resources are purchased. Pupil questionnaires and interviews also take place throughout the year. There is dedicated time each week in our ‘Let’s Talk Assembly’ where pupil voice is actively promoted and pupils can discuss issues.
At Powers Hall Academy we believe that through the active participation of pupil voice we develop confident, well rounded learners who have a greater, sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The rule of law
Pupils are educated to understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. Pupils at Powers Hall Academy will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. Pupils themselves help to take part in the rule making process at the start of the academic year when they create their own year group ‘Codes of Conduct’ this ensures that rules and boundaries are both meaningful and purposeful to pupils. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken.
It is imperative that our pupils understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to. The understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, the fire brigade and many more; clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
At Powers Hall Academy we seek to create a positive learning environment where pupils can feel free to both take risks with learning and to learn without limits. Through the Creative Links Curriculum and through the promotion of ‘Building Learning Power’ pupils are encouraged to make choices and freedoms with their learning. Pupils are taught key skills for particular subjects and are then encouraged to develop their own lines of enquiry and research through exploring their own interests demonstrating that they have achieved the set skill.
Through our promotion of safety and E-Safety, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely.
Through the promotion of School Rules such as the year group ‘Codes of Conduct’, through celebration assemblies such as ‘Pupils of the Week’, ‘Ambassador’ and through achievement awards pupils learn to treat each other and staff with respect. Pupils also develop an understanding of ‘right and wrong’ and codes to live by; they recognise these qualities in their peers when electing them for class Ambassador. Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Pupils feel valued because they are listened to and have an active ‘pupil voice’ within the school.
Tolerance of those different faiths or beliefs
Powers Hall Academy offers a diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected; tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Special days take place within the school year to help widen pupils’ experiences of different cultures. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens.
OFSTED Inspection June 2012
(These quotes reflect how Powers Hall Academy is promoting both SMSC and British Values within the school setting).
‘Pupils are passionate learners and their behaviour is exemplary. They help each other to maintain their focus and enjoy celebrating their successes. Excellent relationships and mutual respect between pupils and adults engender a highly positive learning community. Pupils have a well-balanced perspective on keeping safe, and feel exceptionally well cared for at school’.
‘Teachers take account of how well pupils have understood their work and grasped the skills they have been learning, so that subsequent lessons build on this and promote pupils’ progress. For example, after an outstanding lesson a teacher asked the pupils how they thought the lesson could be even better, responding to their suggestions the following day. Teachers probe pupils’ understanding with adept questioning and pupils ask insightful questions. Such reflections help promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well’.
‘Pupils acknowledge that they occasionally fall out with one another and that they have a responsibility to help sort this out. They have an excellent understanding of the different forms of bullying. They insist any bullying is very rare and would be taken seriously and dealt with. Pupils are extremely confident that they can talk to an adult at the school if they are worried. The lunchtime club provides a particularly good avenue for this, where pupils know they will be listened to respectfully and that adults will help them sort it out. This facility also helps pupils who face difficult circumstances outside of school, to build their resilience and develop confidence’.
‘Pupils are extremely polite and courteous. They love learning and tackle their work with great enthusiasm, helping each other when they get stuck and encouraging each other to do their very best, particularly when working in small teams’.
‘Pupils enjoy lively, creative play while maintaining appropriate awareness of their own and others’ safety. They have an excellent grasp of how they can stay safe outside of school, for example on the internet. The emphasis on developing pupils’ personal beliefs means that they have an excellent grasp of moral dilemmas and social responsibility, and do not tolerate prejudice-based bullying, such as racism. As a visitor said, ‘These are “go-get-‘em kids”, who make the most of all the opportunities available to them’. Parents’ and carers’ views are similarly positive. Pupils’ enjoyment of school is further confirmed by their above-average attendance’.
‘Art, music and sport play an important role in pupils’ learning, ensuring the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils is strong. By maintaining the outstanding achievement, raising the quality of teaching and developing a highly effective curriculum, the school has demonstrated its capacity and determination to be even better’.
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