Here at The Castle Rock School we are committed to preparing our students for life beyond the curriculum, we promote and reinforce British Values in order for our students to not only develop as successful learners but also as confident individuals and responsible citizens.
We recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever changing nature of the United Kingdom and the school plays a vital role in making sure that individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation, or radicalisation, by those wishing to unduly influence them.
We actively promote equal opportunities, guaranteeing that discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of ethnicity, faith, gender, sexuality, financial or political status, or similar will not be tolerated.
The government set out their definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These were reinforced in September 2014 due to recent events.
We agree with 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
At The Castle Rock School, students will encounter these principals embedded in to everyday school life. In addition to this our promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding was described by Ofsted as being ‘integral to the school’s provision’ and they highlighted the work we do with the community as well as the strong promotion of diversity by ‘linking with organisations of other cultures and faiths.’
The examples that follow show just some of the many ways that The Castle Rock School seek to embed British Values.
The principal of democracy is consistently reinforced at The Castle Rock School, with democratic processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for example, elections are held each year to appoint both the Team Captains and Sports Captains. Student voice is hugely significant in regards to life at The Castle Rock School. Our elected Team Councils play a strong role in the school and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. Elected members of the Team Councils then sit on the Student Council. The Student Council meet regularly with the Senior Team where they represent their teams in making important decisions, reviewing certain policies from a student perspective, helping to recruit new staff, and implementing certain changes. Recent projects of the Team and Student Councils have included developments to the dining room, and they are currently working on developing the outside area of the school.
Within Humanities students study the difference between democracy and dictatorship, and learn about the fight for democracy over the dictatorship of the English crown. As part of Life Skills students study the role of the government, and the importance of elections and voting.
Student questionnaires, surveys and regular Headteacher Breakfasts are also conducted throughout the year. We believe that active participation from students during their time with us will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in their future.
The Rule of Law
Our students encounter laws throughout their entire lives, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, the local community or the country. Students are taught the rules and expectations of the school and these are constantly reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. We strive to teach our students about the needs for rules, why they exist and the consequences of breaking them. As part of the school’s Life Skills curriculum students study certain rules and laws at a school level, the law of the country, as well as studying international laws.
Throughout the curriculum the notion of rules and law is part of the students everyday learning diet, for example in PE students study the rules of certain sports and the consequences of breaking those rules, and in practical subjects such as Science, Product Design and Textiles there are clear rules when using equipment and machinery.
Throughout the year we welcome a rage of visitors from authorities such as the police, fire service and many more who reinforce the notion of laws and consequences for breaking them.
We believe that our high expectations for behaviour and regard for the school rules, along with clear explanations and real life stories regarding laws and breaking the law, emphasises the importance of the rule of law for all of our students.
The personal development, behaviour and welfare of students underpins all we do at The Castle Rock School. We invest a great deal of time creating a positive culture in our school, where freedoms and encouraged and where students feel safe and secure to make independent choices. In lessons, students will often be presented with a range of tasks, and students are encouraged to choose the task that will most challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own successes. Our ‘Take-Away’ homework also allows students the freedom to complete different homework tasks, providing them with a choice of learning styles, and levels of difficulty, students are again encouraged to set their own targets and choose the task that will challenge their learning.
We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities which students have the right to choose from based on their personal interests. Students in Year 7 choose from a wide range of projects as part of the Personal Challenge Projects which take place on a Monday after school, and then in Year 8 and 9 students choose which musical instrument they would like to learn to play as part of the Music Maestros.
Within Life Skills students study human rights looking at the basic rights and freedoms that all humans should be guaranteed. In Science, students look at how different people and different groups of people have contrasting opinions and values when discussing certain topics such as evolution, space exploration, nuclear power, and transplants. And within Humanities, students look at the movement of people, how individual liberty has allowed people to be free and move freely to start a fresh in a new world, and reflect on their freedom compared for others who flee for safety.
Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety. At The Castle Rock School we believe that helping students to value choice and freedom encourages them to foster a value of individual liberty as they embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on not only themselves but also on those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and this can be seen on a day to day basis as you walk around the school. The idea of mutual respect is reinforced in assemblies, mentor time and across the whole curriculum. Within the Performing Arts subjects there is a strong emphasis on respecting peers when performing and as a result students are eager and willingly volunteer to perform to the rest of their class. In all lessons, students respect the views and opinions of their classmates and across the whole school success of any kind is celebrated.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At The Castle Rock School we equip students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society, and provide them with opportunities to experience such diversity though a culturally rich and diverse curriculum and extra-curricular activities. Our Religious Studies curriculum provides a broad and balanced education of a range of faiths, religions and cultures. Within the Creative Arts students study a range of styles in Dance, Music, and Art that originate in different countries and have roots in different faiths and beliefs. Within English lessons, students study poetry from other cultures, and in Food Technology students look at foods and diets linked to different religious groups. In Humanities students learn about multicultural UK, world development and globalisation.
Different celebrations and festivals are highlighted to students throughout the year, and are often highlighted in the school’s dining hall where speciality foods are served to celebrate events such as Diwali and Chinese New Year.
Here at The Castle Rock School we work in partnership with schools overseas to teach students about life in other countries and develop them as global citizens. A recent project in Mathematics saw our students working with schools in Italy and Germany, allowing many of our students to visit both schools on a number of occasions to work on a joint project.
We strive to demonstrate tolerance and help our students become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.