Ethos and Values
We aim to provide an education that equips our students with not only an excellent academic grounding but also one that, throughout our curriculum, promotes the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and cultures. Through doing this we aim to be an inclusive community where everyone can thrive and every student has the opportunity to find their own identity and grow.
Promotion of British Values
The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these were reinforced in September 2014. These regulations will sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school.
Schools will be expected to focus on, and be able to show, how our work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
Here is the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Promoting British Values at Jarrow School
At Jarrow School, students will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life. In particular, our promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding has been described by Ofsted as being, “developed well throughout the curriculum”.
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Jarrow School and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
Student voice is significant in regards to life at Jarrow School. Our student elected school council plays a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making Jarrow School a better place to learn. Student questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year.
We are confident that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our students will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The 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. Students are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police, war veterans, the fire brigade and many more. 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 our students are in a safe environment where they are encouraged to be individuals and they are supported when making choices. They understand that choice encourages them to be enterprising and is valuable in making effective transitions, positive learning and career decisions and in achieving economic wellbeing. They understand that making choices contributes to personal development by helping to build confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk.
Our students are taught about rights and how they can be exercised in a safe and supportive environment. We emphasise the importance of e-safety in particular with the use of social media and the internet.
We encourage personal development and offer a wide variety of after school activities that allow our students the freedom to make choices.
Our students acknowledge and engage with us to provide a safe and respectful school community and produce tolerant individuals that are willing to challenge stereotyping, bullying and discrimination in any form. Our most recent Ofsted report states that ‘there are also very positive relationships that have been established between staff and pupils so there is a mutual respect for all.’
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Jarrow School we ensure that our students are given a range of opportunities to promote cultural diversity and the many faiths and beliefs of others. This is reinforced throughout the SMC curriculum where depth is given to different faiths and cultures and why it is important to be tolerant of others. We also organise educational visits both in the UK and abroad from which our students gain valuable experiences of other cultures and languages. This is even extended to the school’s catering provision where special food ‘theme’ days are organised to celebrate both British and World events.