Promoting British Values

At St Matthew Academy, we actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. We believe that children must have the opportunity to become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. Our young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.

Pupils at St Matthew Academy have opportunities to:

· understand how British citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process

· understand that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law

· understand that an acceptance that people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (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

· learn about different aspects of British values in appropriate parts of the SMA curriculum - as appropriate for the age of pupils - material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries

· find a voice that is listened to and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils

· learn from events such as general or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view

· explore British values through extra-curricular activities promoting fundamental British values

At St Matthew Academy, we agree with and uphold the Department for Education’s five British Values:

  • Democracy.
  • The rule of law.
  • Individual liberty.
  • Mutual respect.
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.

The examples below summarise the ways in which St Matthew Academy may seek to embed British Values: 

Democracy

The principle of democracy is consistently reinforced at St Matthew Academy, with democratic processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for “House Leaders” and voting for the Young Mayor of Lewisham.

In addition, Student Voice is very strong at the Academy and we feel that, by valuing and responding to the students, we demonstrate their democracy and freedom.

Pupils are equally involved in the interviewing process when new appointments are made in school. They also play a massive role in supporting charities choosing the activities that they do to raise money.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they may be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced. Pupils are taught the rules and expectations of the school, sign a Home School Agreement stating that they and their parent/carers understand and agree to follow rules and our rules are consistently reinforced through our Year group ‘line up’, assemblies and curriculum.

Pupils are taught about the consequences of not abiding by rules both within the school – through our behaviour policies - showing clear consequences and are also regularly taught and reminded about UK law on a range of different topics, including equality and e-safety.

Individual Liberty

Pupils are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure, and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to set personal targets and seek to challenge themselves in individual classes, giving them more freedom to determine their own success. We offer a range of enrichment activities, which pupils have the right to choose from, based on their interests.

Pupils are also 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.

Mutual Respect Pupils learn that their behaviours have 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 our teaching and learning environments. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for pupils to express their views in a safe environment for e.g. (Debate Mate/ Student Voice) PSCHE curriculum.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs This is achieved through equipping pupils with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity through a culturally rich and diverse curriculum.