In November 2014, the UK Government published advice for the promotion of British values in schools. The government set out a definition of British values comprising of the following:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
As an outstanding school, we at Southam College actively seek to promote these values within an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and the celebration of difference.
The Philosophy and Ethics curriculum at KS3 discusses the importance of how one knows what is right and wrong. Students are encouraged to develop moral skills and an awareness of philosophical questioning. The Life Skills curriculum focuses on a parliamentary democracy; the freedoms afforded to citizens of a democracy and develop an understanding of the consequences of an undemocratic society. This is taught in accordance with the KS3 National Curriculum.
In addition, students have the opportunity to be elected to an active student council. At Southam College they are key in developing the elements of British values within the college. The British Value of democracy is also promoted during whole year group assemblies. Moreover, students have the opportunity to visit a number of places of worship on a local and national scale, including St Paul’s Cathedral, The Neasden Hindu Mandir in London and a local Gurdwara.
The rule of law
Students have a clear understanding of rules and regulations through an understanding of the school's “Learning responsibilities” which is vital in ensuring students show respect at all times. The school “Learning responsibilities’” are implemented throughout the college by all staff.
Students understand the importance of individual liberty through, for example, learning about how people have campaigned for freedom and liberty to be more widespread. Examples of this include the suffragette’s movement and the First World War in History. Moreover, students celebrate difference and recognise the work of inspirational people during Philosophy and Ethics lessons, including the work of Malala Yousafzai’s and her campaign to get girls to be entitled to go to school. Students study texts exploring the ideas of freedom, such as “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” in English and History. The Philosophy and Ethics department embed many external visitors into their curriculum, including a Buddhist monk and a Quaker. Students are encouraged to behave in a respectful manner and are expected to show tolerance and understanding where others have different beliefs. These differences are celebrated throughout every aspect of the college.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Mutual respect and tolerance are at the heart of The Philosophy and Ethics curriculum. At Southam College we encourage all students to explore different world religions, develop philosophical skills and reflect on key ethical issues. As of September, all students will be completing a Full GCSE in Philosophy and Ethics which ultimately focus on the development of tolerance, respect and understanding of different cultures and beliefs. These elements are reinforced throughout Southam College through Charity week, Anti- Bullying fortnight and enforcing a ‘no-put down zone.’ This ensures students are encouraged to think about the perspectives of people with different beliefs to their own and celebrate differences on a local, national and international scale.