British Values Statement
British Values at Newlands Girls’ School
The Department for Education requires all schools "to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs".
At Newlands, we believe that British Values are important in helping us prepare our girls for life in the twenty-first century, fulfilling our aim for pupils to become confident, adaptable young women who can work co-operatively but who are also capable of thinking for themselves.
British Values are intrinsically linked with Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) and our programme of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE).
Students have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a School Council which is made up of Students from all year groups, democratically voted in to post through a system of elections held in the autumn term. The School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by members of the student body and are able to genuinely effect change within the School.
There are termly meetings of the 6 School Houses, led by the House Captains, where each House decides on its charity for the year and how they will raise money to support it.
Student focus groups are regularly consulted on issues such as Homework; Marking and Feedback and changes or additions to School Uniform.
The Rule of Law
The Golden Rules of Newlands were written by the students themselves. We continually emphasise the importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when promoting good behaviour and through school assemblies.
Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, their responsibilities in upholding them and the possible consequences if laws are broken. We regularly welcome visitors from organisations and authorities such as the Police, to speak on relevant issues.
Students are actively encouraged to think about and make good choices in their daily lives; Newlands provides them with a safe and secure environment in which to do this. The school establishes clear boundaries alongside a broad and balanced curriculum and an excellent range of extra-curricular activities.
Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, whilst being advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety, PSHE lessons and Pastoral Programme.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Newlands places a great emphasis on promoting diversity. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this.
Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Students visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
At Newlands Girls’ School we will actively challenge students, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
HM government has published guidance for authorities, including schools, on their responsibilities under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act. Under the Act, schools have a duty to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
The guidance outlines activities schools will be expected to demonstrate, including:
- Assessing the risk of pupils being drawn into terrorism, and having robust safeguarding polices in place to identify pupils at risk and refer them to relevant authorities;
- Setting out protocols for ensuring that visiting speakers are suitable and appropriately supervised;
- Working in partnership with other local bodies and following local authority inter-agency procedures;
- Ensuring staff are trained to identify pupils at risk of being drawn into terrorism;
- Ensuring the school has Internet filters in place to block terrorist and extremist material.
The PREVENT strategy is part of our Safeguarding Policy. Newlands Girls’ School works in association with PREVENT.