Promoting British Values
Westgate Hill 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. Westgate Hill 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:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The academy uses strategies within the National curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow show some of the many ways Westgate Hill seeks to embed British values.
The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Westgate Hill, with democracy processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for school council positions and playground buddies. The principle of democracy is also explored in the History and Religious Education curriculum as well as in PSHE and school assemblies.
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 Westgate Hill. 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.
Each year a group of Year 5 pupils are selected to stand on our Mini Police, an initiative undertaken in partnership with Northumbria Police. These children have the chance to work with their local police and learn about a host of topics to help keep them and their friends safe. Our Mini Police attend various local events alongside officers from Northumbria Police such as the Great North Run.
At Westgate Hill, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff at Westgate Hill 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.
Westgate Hill has a robust anti-bullying culture and has in place a comprehensive Peer on Peer Abuse Policy.
Respect is a strong part of Westgate Hill and is part of our values and ethos. Students learn that their behaviours has 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 with Westgate Hill’s ethos being ‘respect all those we meet each day’.
Our Good to be Green behaviour management and rewards system promotes restorative justice. This restorative practice ensures all pupils discuss, reflect and resolve any incidents where mutual respect has broken down.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our school is culturally diverse so equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a diverse society is vital. Students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school and celebrate festivities throughout the calendar year. We celebrate key religious festivals such as Eid, Diwali and Christmas and open up the school to parents and the wider community. The Religious Education curriculum, which is compulsory for all students, provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
Eid 2019 Celebrations
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.
Westgate Hill 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.