All staff and students at The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College are expected to behave with respect, tolerance and compassion in their dealings with one another. We provide opportunities for all students not only to explore their own cultures, but also to understand how these align with key British values and how we can work together as a community for the greater good. The Avon Valley School is committed to the development of independent, confident and motivated learners, who leave us equipped with the qualifications, skills and attributes required to successfully take their place in the world, an ethos so fundamental to our school it is stated in our mission statement.
The Government stresses 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.
We agree with and uphold Department for Education’s five British Values:
•The rule of law
•Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
The Avon Valley School seeks to embed these British values explicitly through its comprehensive “Theme of the Week” resources that are delivered each week in tutor time and in assemblies, lessons in subjects such as PHSE, RE and Geography, the values are also present in the school’s ethos, values and RESPECT campaign
Our desire is for our students to enjoy their school days and be equipped with the skills and knowledge for life. We want our students to understand their rights and responsibilities and those of others and to be compassionate and caring members of society.
The principle of democracy is consistently reinforced at The Avon Valley School. Democratic processes are used for important decisions within the school community, for instance, tutor representatives are elected by their class peers. This gives students an opportunity to be involved in making our school a better place. Our House system means that each year group is equally represented and the House Captains are the voice of our student community. The Student Leadership representative are consulted on issues and new policies to gauge student opinion.
The principle of democracy is also explored in the History and Religious Studies curriculum as well as in tutor time and assemblies. Student questionnaires, surveys and interviews are conducted regularly as part of our Quality Assurance process and we believe that this active participation will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in their future.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced at The Avon Valley School. The rules and expectations of the school are very clear and well established. They are constantly reinforced through assemblies and within the curriculum. Students are taught the value of laws and the reasons behind them, how they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when they are broken. In PSHE, students complete a topic addressing the issue of ‘Equality for All’. They explore how people can be discriminated against and why it is against the law. Students also study ‘Politics in the Local Community’ and explore criminal and civil law.
At The Avon Valley School students are actively encouraged to make independent choices with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. All staff at The Avon Valley School work hard to provide a positive culture; they educate and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices through a safe environment and an empowering education.
Each term students evaluate their progress and set personal targets, tutors conduct learning conversations and Achievement Leaders nurture and help students understand the choices they are making. There is a well-established and successful mentoring programme with dedicated staff to support and guide students so that they take every opportunity available to them. There is an on site Careers Advisor and extensive careers workshops and events. 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.
We offer a range of extra-curricular activities which students have the right to choose from, based on their interests.
Respect is a strong part of The Avon Valley School and is at the core of our school life. Students 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, the whole-school RESPECT campaign and the vision for our school. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum but in particular by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment this is underpinned by the comprehensive ‘Theme of the Week’ discussions that take place in tutor time. The school strongly believes that all members of our school community from different cultural, religious backgrounds and those of different sexual orientations should feel safe and are able to express themselves without ridicule or fear. The RESPECT campaign and the school behaviour policy support the importance of mutual respect.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
There is a drive to equip students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and to provide opportunities to experience such diversity through a culturally rich and diverse curriculum. We have a comprehensive EAL inclusion team who support students from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
The curriculum supports the ethos of tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. The Religious Studies curriculum develops in-depth studies of the six world religions in Key Stage 3. Within GCSE Religious Studies students complete all units of work from the perspective of Christianity but expressly study ‘Multiculturalism in the UK’. In Geography lessons multiculturalism and world development are studied explicitly. In addition PSHE, History and English lessons incorporate the faiths and beliefs linked to the key ideas being discussed. Theme of the Week creates further opportunities for students to reflect and develop their understanding of a wide range of religious festivals; the personal experiences of our students are shared and discussed in a respectful and tolerant environment.