Monkwearmouth Academy is committed to working closely and in harmony with its community and celebrating diversity. We aim to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain and to ensure that our Academy ethos, curriculum and approaches to teaching and learning reflect and actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs (including none).
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 for the good of themselves and others.
We understand the role our Academy has in helping prevent radicalisation and supporting our pupils in developing a world view recognising Britain’s place within it. Across the curriculum, through our assembly programme, Challenge Days, extra-curricular provision and enrichment activities, pupils are able to:
► Celebrate and commemorate national events and anniversaries related to key events in Britain’s past.
► Work alongside the local community; meeting different members of the community to appreciate the valuable contributions they make.
► Support a number of charities, which are chosen by the pupils, and arrange fundraising events.
► Understand and explain how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process.
► Appreciate that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety.
► Understand that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary.
► Understand that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.
► Show that other people having different faiths or beliefs (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
► Understand the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
► Develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
► Distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England.
► Acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England.
Through the ethos of our Academy, we encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, to show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the academy, and to society more widely. We actively challenge opinions and behaviours that are contrary to fundamental British values.
Student voice is a key driving force within the Academy; all pupils have the opportunity as an individual, as a member of a tutor group and within subject areas, to influence decision making and to have a voice. Pupils understand that they must use this voice responsibly and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils are regularly consulted and have the opportunity to have their voice heard through questionnaires and focus groups within curriculum areas and within the pastoral system. Staff views are collected as part of staff well-being surveys and parental thoughts are also collected as part of the Parent Focus Group, parents evenings and regular communications from school.
Pupils within the Academy have key roles and responsibilities. Members of our school council are democratically elected by their peers, as are our Head Boy and Head Girl. The election of the council members and Head Boy and Head Girl reflect our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Pupils holding leadership posts understand that they are accountable to the Academy community for the way in which they carry out these roles. Through our assembly and personal development programme and external workshops, pupils are able to consider how democracy and the law works in Britain and contrast this to other forms of government in other countries. General or local elections are used to provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view and to host mock elections. The principle of democracy is also explored in the Personal Development, History and RE curriculums.
The Rule of Law
Pupils in our Academy understand the need for rules in order to establish a happy and secure environment. An understanding of the importance of rules is consistently reinforced through our reward system, our assemblies, our curriculum, our extra-curricular provision and our Academy ethos. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules and laws are broken. We work closely with our local community police officers. Across the curriculum and during external workshops, pupils are offered a range of opportunities to cover topics such as anti-social behaviour, extremism and Hate crime. Lessons in Personal Development and IT include discussion around data protection and online safety.
The rights of every pupil are at the centre of our ethos. However, pupils must also recognise the boundaries there must be too. Within the Academy, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Through our Personal Development curriculum and external workshops, we encourage pupils to explore their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. Independent thinking and learning are encouraged and there are frequent opportunities for pupils to grow in maturity and independence. We place an emphasis on respecting difference and valuing creativity.
In line with our academy ethos all members of the Academy treat each other with respect. We recognise the importance of not only respecting one another but also of self-respect. This is reiterated through our classroom expectations, as well as our rewards and behaviour policy. Pupils learn how their behaviour has an impact on themselves and also on others. We have a clear Anti-Bullying policy which emphasises the importance of creating an environment both within the Academy and the wider world in which individuals can feel safe and valued. Topics such as equal rights, healthy relationships are covered within the Personal Development curriculum. Our RE curriculum covers all the main faith groups; looking at various aspects of different religious beliefs to help pupils to develop greater understanding and tolerance. Our links with local primary schools enable our pupils to work with younger children on specific projects for example during transition events.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs (including none)
We celebrate difference and diversity and aim to create an understanding of how this adds to the richness of our community. We believe that exploring and understanding other people’s faiths and beliefs are rewarding experiences. At the Academy we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by providing them with a wealth of opportunities to experience diversity. Our RE curriculum teaches about a range of faiths, beliefs and cultures.