Promoting British Values
Benfield School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Benfield School is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five British Values are:
Benfield uses strategies within the National curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow show some of the many ways Benfield seeks to embed British values.
The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Benfield, with democracy processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for Head Boy and Girl and their Deputy positions, as well as Student Council representatives. The principle of democracy is also explored in the History and Religious Studies curriculum as well as in form time and assemblies. We have also held mock general elections and referendums for our pupils in parallel with national votes.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Benfield. Students are taught the rules and expectations of the school which are highlighted by the student code of conduct and student expectations. Students are taught the value and the reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service reinforce this message.
At Benfield School, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff at Benfield educate and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education.
Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety and Form Time work.
Benfield School also has a robust anti-bullying culture, including an online reporting system for our students, and has introduced a comprehensive Behaviour for Learning Policy that is made clear to our students on a regular basis and in every class room.
Respect is a strong part of Benfield School. 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 and this is reiterated through its teaching and learning environments.
Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved though equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving the opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. Students benefit from a number of visitors from across our community, including representatives from minorities and faith leaders in our local area. Additionally, students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school and celebrate festivities throughout the calendar year. The Religious Studies curriculum, provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
Through our SMSC education we help students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence; distinguish right from wrong and to respect English law; encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and contribute positively to society; enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of, and respect for, English public institutions and services and to appreciate and respect their own and other cultures.
Benfield School strives endlessly to ensure that its students leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our Society.