Harris Academy St John’s Wood is committed to working closely with its community and celebrating the diversity of the UK. We aim to prepare students for life in modern Britain and to ensure that our school ethos, curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning reflect and promote British values. We want the education we provide to help develop our students into global ambassadors.
We recognise that these values are not exclusive to being British and that they have come to be accepted throughout the democratic world as the method of creating an orderly society in which individual members can feel safe, valued and can contribute to for the good of themselves and others.
We work alongside our local community and recognise the variety of religious beliefs within it. Students take part in local events and meet different members of the community to appreciate the valuable contributions they make. All subject departments are aware of the importance of transmitting British values through their curriculum content. The SMSC curriculum map shows this in more detail. We also offer many other opportunities through enrichment activities, drop down days, trips and tutor time/PSHE to enhance British Values within our students.
We take opportunities to:
- acknowledge, celebrate and commemorate national events and anniversaries related to key events in Britain’s past
- join in with international sporting events and find out more about the countries that host them
- support a number of charities that are selected by the students and arrange fundraising events
- invite members of the local community to our school events
- We have excellent partnerships with the international world of business and enterprise which enhances the educational experience for all students.
We understand the role that our school has in helping prevent radicalisation and supporting our students in developing a world view, recognising Britain’s place within it.
The five British values are:
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Below we include more details about how each British value is embedded in our school.
As an example, in part of a project, students choose a British hero and explain how that individual embodies all five British values.
More broadly, throughout the Religious Studies curriculum, students learn the beliefs and practices of various religions. Religious beliefs that reflect British values are highlighted and religious scripture is used as evidence to support.
Many of our school routines are built upon the concept of democracy. All students have opportunity as an individual, as a member of a tutor group, as a member of a student leadership team and within subject departments, to influence decision making and to have a voice. They understand that they must use this voice responsibly.
Students are regularly consulted both formally and informally about how their school might be improved. They see the example that is set with staff working cooperatively with each other to make the school the best it can be.
Student Voice is active and an effective strategy in the Academy, meeting regularly with members of SLT.
Students within the school have key roles and responsibilities and are democratically elected to take on leadership roles. They understand that they are accountable to the school community for the way in which they carry out these roles. Our Student leadership teams and opportunities allow students to explore and understand the democratic process. During national and local elections we hold our own mock elections. How to work as a member of a team as well as team leadership are included in PSHE and during form tutor meetings.
Students learn about the British electoral system, how it has developed and how it works.
Regular consultations, formal and informal, take place throughout the school year. Students receive feedback and are made aware of any actions that are taken as a result.
The rule of law
Students in our school understand the need for rules to make ours a happy and secure environment. Our behaviour policy is shared and understood and this provides a basis on which we discuss other laws and rules and how they apply.
Ground rules are established in all areas of the curriculum and school and students are encouraged to see the reasons for them.
Our school works closely with our school police offer and the local community police teams.
We set ground rules during PSHE classes where sensitive issues are discussed. IT lessons include discussion around data protection and our e-safety code of conduct.
Each year, every tutor group discusses the school code of conduct with their tutor. Students are encouraged to make their own contributions to the way in which the rules can be applied.
School sanctions are clearly established and shared.
Students learn about the legal system in the UK.
The rights of every student are at the centre of our ethos. However, students must also recognise the boundaries there must be too.
Independent thinking and learning are encouraged and there are frequent opportunities for students to grow in maturity and independence as they move towards the sixth form.
We place an emphasis on respecting difference and valuing creativity.
We are introducing an individual biography of someone who has had a particular impact on the history of Britain and who the students can empathise with. We will try to select from a range of cultures and include those who came as immigrants to the country.
Human rights is a topic included in our PSHE curriculum.
In PSHE we discuss what it means to ‘contribute to society’ and discuss what it means to be ‘free’.
Respect is our school value. We recognise the importance of not only respecting one another but also of self-respect.
We have a clear anti-bullying policy which emphasises the importance of us creating an environment both within school and the wider world in which individuals can feel safe and valued.
Our welcome for visitors is part of the school ethos as is the focus on each student as an ‘ambassador’ when they are out in the community.
Every individual is respected in our school and our actions towards one another reflect this.
We focus on and develop Integrity in all our students; doing and saying the right thing when no member of staff is present. A high performing school doesn’t have to be a draconian one.
Our PSHE curriculum includes topics on relationships and what a good relationship consists of.
We have links with local feeder schools that enable our students to work with younger children on specific projects.
Our extra-curricular clubs and enrichment activities focus on building self-esteem and self-respect. They also include team-building activities.
The staff code of conduct ensures that staff behave towards each other in an exemplary way, setting a good example for the students.
The language used between staff and students at all times is considered to be vital in showing how we respect one another.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
We welcome difference and diversity and aim to create understanding of how this adds to the richness of our community.
We aim to do more than ‘tolerate’ those with different faiths and beliefs. We recognise the extent to which our own traditions and history have developed side by side and the rich cultural heritage that different world religions bring.
We believe that exploring and understanding other people’s faiths and beliefs are rewarding experiences and help us understand our own faiths and beliefs better.
Our PSHE curriculum which follows an Agreed Syllabus teaches about a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
We invite representatives from different religions into our school and visit places of worship, respecting the rules that apply to them and the beliefs of those who use them.
Students are familiar with the principles which different religions hold and explore the main world religions as outlined in the Agreed Syllabus.
We take the opportunity to find out more about different cultures we encounter through research and discussion.
We encourage those in our school who hold different faiths and beliefs to share their experiences and provide us with insight.
We visit other countries which provides additional insight into cultures other than our own.