The Government set out its definition of British values in 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year. Here at Ashington Academy, these values are reinforced in the following ways:
Ashington Academy is involved in the annual Youth Parliament and cabinet election process. We promote the elections with our students, as well as encourage them to stand for election and create a manifesto for their campaign. The school also fully immerses itself in the election process: ballots are passed on to all tutor groups to allow all students the opportunity to vote.
Student voice is significant in regard to life at the Academy. After a rigorous selection process, our elected ‘Student Leadership Team’ play a strong role in our school. The team regularly meet with members of staff and they are involved in making the Academy a better place to learn. The team is called upon to discuss school developments and share information with their classes on these matters.
Rule of law
Our students will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our students to 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.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. Their overall school experience helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences. Through critical thinking in our PSHE lessons, we allow opportunities to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that students can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. We believe that clear explanations and real-life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our students.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that students are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. We offer a rich and diverse enrichment programme, including a range of clubs, which students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through our e-safety and PSHE programme, we educate students on their rights and personal freedoms, as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At the Academy, we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as students embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values and school life. Students are aware that their behaviour has an effect on themselves, as well as others around them. All members of our school community treat each other with respect, as specified in our community values.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At the Academy, we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help students to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.