At school we work hard to make sure that all pupils understand how to get the best out of their time with us. It’s crucial that pupils are safe, respected, responsible and ready to learn. It’s also vital that alongside working with pupils for exam success, we also prepare them for their futures. Indeed we want to support pupils to be able to contribute positively to society and to find success and happiness in the choices that they make. Our ‘Values‘ work underpins this. It’s about attitudes and behaviours.
From September 2018 pupils have undertaken ‘Values’ lesson. In this lesson pupils follow a five year programme that incorporates: traditional PSHE; Careers and Progression Guidance; Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education and Fundamental British Values work. It embeds with students the Crofton Core Values of: communication, collaboration, co-operation, resilience, respect and responsibility. This supports pupils to learn how to appropriately debate, and guide them to be able to make their own informed decisions. Indeed it supports pupils in their development – teaching them how to build strong, positive relationships and providing opportunities and experiences to learn about our world.
A backdrop to this programme is the focus of “Our School Has A Mind To Be Kind” – many opportunities and activities are planned to teach pupils the value of kindness, as we aim to embed this across the year groups.
Extra curricular work also forms a considerable part of our Values curriculum. For example, pupils are able to work together to support others, be supported to be resilient and curious, alongside having trips and experiences that will broaden their horizons.
Through our Values curriculum, we work with pupils and their families to help all to recognise opportunities and be well informed. For example, our shared subscription to ‘The Day’ is one way that we encourage parents and carers to join us in our Values work, alongside the information that we provide linked to post-16 progression. This programme helps pupils to develop into responsible citizens who can progress, be happy and play a positive role in society. Our main aim is to ensure that our pupils have the qualities, skills and understanding necessary to flourish in every facet of their lives – a life in which they will have many roles and responsibilities.
In 2011 the definition of ‘British Values’ were outlined in the Prevent Strategy. These values were reiterated in November 2014, when the Government stated that “schools must promote the core values that are:
• the rule of law;
• individual liberty;
• mutual respect and
• tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.”
These values require good relationships between pupils, parents and teachers and at Crofton Academy, these values are embedded in our work and are reinforced regularly. Assemblies, registration time and curriculum time are all used explicitly; pupils are encouraged to engage in genuine debate and are taught about diversity, respect and liberty alongside being given the opportunity to learn about our multicultural society. The teaching of these skills and values assist our pupils in their personal and social development, empowering them to be supportive members of society. Extra-curricular time is also used to support and develop this area of our work.
Pupil Leadership Team : elected pupils from all year groups meet and discuss key issues with SLT. They are involved in the appointment of staff, are allowed to bring about real change in school, work in an ambassador role and ensure that student ideas/concerns are heard.
Student/teacher relationships are built on a shared understanding of our Behaviour for Learning Policy, ‘core’ values and an appreciation of what is ‘right and wrong’. Also accountability is stressed to all stakeholders in school: pupils, staff, Governors and parents. Indeed this is very important in our day to day work and enables our pupils to achieve success academically and socially. PSHE activities give pupils the opportunity to really find out about personal safety; the legalities of drugs; sex education; driving laws and the world of work.
By providing a safe environment for our pupils, we are able to offer them informed choices as they progress through school. Our curriculum teaches pupils how to discuss well and how to be active listeners. Indeed pupils learn about the choices that they will face as they grow up. E-Safety, for example, is examined and pupils learn how to make informed choices.
Teacher/pupils relationships are built on strong, mutual respect. Behaviour is best when it is taught, explained and understood. We do not tolerate poor behaviour; we promote good behaviour and we listen carefully. The ways that our pupils interact with each other shows what an inclusive community we are. Group tasks and team skills are to be found working well in a variety of settings, both during our school day and on trips.
Lessons in school provide pupils with a rich and enlightening understanding of different faiths and beliefs. Extra curricular opportunities also enable pupils to have a better understanding of our multi-cultural society .
Curriculum plans pay attention to how FBV can be explicitly taught in each subject area.
‘Core’ values, SMSC and Fundamental British Values are at the heart of what we do; they are everywhere and encompasses all aspect of school life and every part of a pupil’s experience at school. These values are about everything that happens in school and about everything that affects pupils at our school. They not just about what happens in lessons but includes activities, tolerance and behaviours that pupils show and are privy to: behaviours and exchanges between every person in our school. The school’s rich Values provision supports pupils in their learning of how to become responsible members of society, and we are developing the ways in which ‘British Values’ are promoted. Indeed we are committed to ensuring that our pupils have every opportunity to consider their views, listen to the views of others and to learn how to become well-rounded members of the fluid world in which they live.
Staff training has been thorough and all staff appreciate their role and how necessary it is to promote ‘Fundamental British Values’ in a measured and balanced way. Pupils need: to be able to openly debate and discuss; to be able to share their views and be heard; to be taught facts that will enable them to make good choices and informed views/decisions. All staff have had INSET training linked to our values. As a large proportion of work done with pupils on more controversial topics is through Values lessons, staff have been able to build very good relationships with their forms and so a more secure and safe environment is present. INSET training will continue to ensure that all staff are more confident and able to manage discussion that allows controversial views to be aired and debated well. Indeed this is crucial to our commitment to ensuring that pupils can actively listen, think for themselves, evaluate and then decide on their own viewpoints.
Our school aims are at the centre of our values. The school behaviour policy, curriculum and routines enable pupils to thrive. All staff are responsible for delivering our values through their everyday contact with pupils. We build on this in a number of ways:
We are working hard to take every opportunity to ensure that all pupils understand our values and are able to recognise their importance.
© Castleford Academy Trust 2020