British Values in the Academy

Promotion of British values at The Co-operative Academy of Leeds

At The Co-operative Academy of Leeds we not only recognise the importance of allowing students to flourish academically but also we embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values with our students. We are committed to the promotion of core British values: values which underpin a modern, civilised society of which we can be proud.

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. These values are: democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At The Co-operative Academy of Leeds, these values are crucial within the school community.

At the heart of these values lie good relationships in which teachers and students work together towards common goals.  At The Co-operative Academy of Leeds these values are both integral and reinforced regularly in the following ways:

Democracy

Democracy is prevalent within the academy. Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our student parliament and student questionnaires. Students also have a say in the ‘full-value contract’ which is co-constructed at the start of each year. Students have a say in which rules should apply in the classroom so as to create a positive, learning environment for all. Furthermore, students are involved in the recruitment of new staff members, allowing them to have input on who we employ.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, be they those which govern the class, the academy or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, when dealing with behaviour and through assemblies. Students are taught the value of and reasons behind laws, and that they govern and protect us; they are also taught the responsibilities involved and the consequences when laws are broken.

Individual Liberty

Within the academy, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As an academy, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices securely through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. The academy encourages students to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, as well as advising them on how to exercise them safely. We offer a range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities and students are given the freedom to make choices about what they want to do.

Mutual Respect

The Academy’s ethos and its behaviour policy revolve around the co-operative values of self-help, self-responsibility, equality, equity, democracy and solidarity. Students have been part of discussions and assemblies relating to what these mean and how they manifest themselves. Posters around the academy promote respect for others, and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

This is achieved by enhancing students’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them many opportunities to experience the diversity within our academy and community. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE, citizenship, coaching time and guild theme days. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.