Fundamental British Values
At Ralph Thoresby School we are committed to British Values and feel passionate about ensuring our students are prepared to take their place in a multi-cultural, multi-faith local community and United Kingdom. As a school we promote equal opportunities for all students regardless of age, faith, ethnicity, sexuality or social background. We want to ensure that all students are prepared for adult life through examination, extra-curricular activities and our citizenship curriculum.
The four British values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance
Our Citizenship and Religious Education curriculum (please see the Curriculum section of the website), and our mentor time provision ensures that British Values are at the forefront of everything we do. Throughout these sessions we want to ensure that our students understand these four important values, but also promote and upkeep them. We also have a varied and impactful assembly provision to ensure that British Values and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our students is embedded.
The examples that follow show some of the many ways we seek to embed and promote British values at Ralph Thoresby School.
We equip our students with an understanding of the British Political system through a variety of different units in our Citizenship curriculum. In Year 7, students focus on Being British and explore the British Values and their role in British society. In Year 8, students explore our Political Systems in more detail including how laws are made and debating on whether the age of voting should be decreased. In Year 10, students study other countries around the world and explore different political systems. We want to ensure that our students fully understand that we are lucky to live in Britain and what we can do as active citizens to promote Human Rights around the world. In our Sixth Form provision students move on to look at how they can use their right to democracy for good. We also have an active Student Parliament with 36 School MP’s who acts as advocates for their year group. We hold half-termly meetings and our students have the full support of our Senior Leadership team who recognise the importance of our Student Parliament. We have visited Westminster this year with our Student Parliament to ensure that we bring British Politics to life through our work with the Parliament Education Service. Our local MP has visited school on several occasions to meet with our Student Parliament which further embeds the British Value of democracy in Ralph Thoresby School.
Rule of Law
At Ralph Thoresby School we want to ensure that our students are aware of how to keep themselves safe and fully understand their rights as British citizens. Our safer schools police officer has a key role in educating the students about their rights and responsibilities the difference between right and wrong and how to be a law-abiding citizen. Our safer schools police officer also holds several assemblies with the students on topics that impact them, such as anti-social behaviour and e-safety. Each year we have an Enrichment Day where we focus on the Criminal Justice system in the UK, Years 7-9 focus on areas such as drug use, knife crime, the role of police, the different courts in the UK and various other topics. We have had a variety of different guest speakers in such as West Yorkshire Police, Prison Me No Way, Victim Support, WYP Restorative Justice service and many more. This is a highly successful and impactful day to ensure that all students are fully aware of why rule of law is important.
Students who opt to take GCSE RE also explore the criminal justice system, throughout the course they focus on areas such as how we punish offenders, the importance of justice and debate the use of the death penalty.
We are committed to ensuring that our students feel safe enough to make their own choices but feel supported and encouraged in these. We want our students to fully understand how to exercise their rights and freedoms and are advised about how to do this safely, for example in ICT lessons students are made fully aware of how to keep themselves safe online, we run a safeguarding initiative ever year to make sure our students are responsible and safe internet users.
Our SRE provision also equips our students with the ability to make decisions surrounding healthy relationships, sexual consent and child sexual exploitation. This is all done in a subtle and supportive way by specialist teachers in the Citizenship department.
Tolerance and respect
We have a hugely successful Student Ambassador group who support students with a variety of different issues such as bullying, making friends in a new school and dealing with friendship issues. We also hold an event each year that celebrates the diversity of our school and surrounding area. This is hugely successful event that invites guests from the major world faiths, cultures and beyond to a celebration with entertainment.
In Year 8 RE, students focus on Community Cohesion and explore a variety of different factors such as homophobia, gender prejudice, ageism and racism. We explore the 2010 Equality Act and its aim of tackling discrimination. Students also learn about the roots of prejudice and the impact this has on others.
Our Religious Education provision follows the locally agreed syllabus and ensures that students gain an understanding of all the major world faiths and beyond. We feel this important to tackle issues such as Islamophobia and other religious prejudice. We want to ensure that our students realise that different is to be celebrated not feared.
This is just a brief example of the wide ranging and impactful work that promotes British values and SMSC at Ralph Thoresby School. Everything we do at Ralph Thoresby School is based around ensuring our students leave well-rounded, tolerant individuals with the ability to make positive contributions to our society.