The notion of British Values is embedded across the school curriculum and is an integral part of the PSCHE programme. The Department for Education’s five-part definition of British Values are outlined below:
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
With these values in mind, we aim for students to leave Abbs Cross as well rounded individuals who are equipped to deal with modern life. British Values are further promoted through the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the whole student.
Student Voice continues to be an important part of the ethos and culture of Abbs Cross. It has continued to grow and strengthen. It is an initiative which is yielding tremendous benefit to our learners and is very much ‘student-led’.
Student Voice projects focus on ensuring that Abbs Cross is a place where students are safe and where they can enjoy their learning, giving them the confidence to be creative and take risks. Student Voice members are encouraged to try new things, find solutions and embrace responsibility in leading initiatives.
The Aim of Student Voice at Abbs Cross is to provide a method of encouraging students, irrespective of their gender, background, ethnicity, or physical ability to become actively involved in decisions about their own learning and empowering them to do so. We want to ensure that the learners themselves are involved in decisions about how, what and when they learn, with whom and the type of environment in which this occurs.
Student voice members regularly liaise with the Headmistress to ensure that the students’ voice is heard and to provide an opportunity for students to be involved in decision-making processes relating to school policies.
Each form group will elect two pupils to represent them each academic year. They will present agenda items ton the form group and record views and take forward issues raised within the tutor groups discussion.
Both form representatives will sit on the Year council and present the views of their form back to the year team. The year council will then discuss all views and issues raised by their year group.
This is made up of 2/3 representatives from each year group and meets on a three weekly rota of meetings. Year group representatives will feedback to the meeting views on a variety of topics and take proposals back to year team a and tutor groups for action or discussion.
In recent years, students have taken part in an Abbs Cross Question time. The rationale behind the event is to create an opportunity for our student voice representatives (y7 – 11) to ‘debate and discuss’ current issues that they face or may face in their future, and to hear from experts who may be able to offer advice and information. Recent guests have included local MPs (John Cruddas – Labour) Youth Workers, Community Police and Senior Teachers from Local Colleges.
The development of Student Voice is always ongoing and evolves year on year. It is designed to be inclusive and we encourage the participation and contribution from all students from all Year groups.
Student leadership opportunities in the school are core to whole school improvement and have continued to develop year on year. We are extremely proud of how our Student Leadership programme continues to be a high profile initiative within the Academy.
- To empower students to work in partnership with staff towards shared goals.
- To enable creativity to flourish as the school community benefits from the wealth of experiences, ideas, skills and sense of fun that students bring.
- To provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills through a variety of inspiring, challenging and valued projects which impact positively on learning, teaching and well-being for both students and staff at Abbs Cross.
- To prepare students for Higher Education, enabling achievement in personal and professional excellence in life after formal education.
Abbs Cross Academy and Arts College is committed to developing a wide range of opportunities for students throughout the school to develop their leadership skills. The students who make up the Senior Student Leadership team will become key role models for their peers.
The Student Leadership Team comprises of the following:
- Head Boy and Head Girl
- Deputy Head Boys and Deputy Head Girls
- Senior Prefects
- Year Council Representatives
- Form Representatives
The election process is a rigorous one with candidates being required to complete an application form, undergo an interview and receive votes cast by staff and all students. The students have all been given training to develop their leadership skills. The development of Student Leadership opportunities has a massive impact across the school, for both individual students and the wider school community. It is helping to create a motivational climate in which we wish to maximise the potential of all our students.
- The PSCHE programme covers democracy and government.
The Rule of Law
Students will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want students to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reason and must be adhered to. The understanding of the importance of these rules will be constantly reinforced through assemblies, form times and the curriculum.
- Behaviour incidents are reviewed regularly and shared with key stakeholders.
- We have a safer School Police Officer who works very closely with the school and also delivers PSCHE lessons around the law and topical issues.
- Students have key roles and responsibilities in the school as decision-makers.
- Students are actively encouraged to make choices within a safe and supportive environment.
- Students are given a freedom to make choices within Student Voice and within various other projects in school such as the challenge and enrichment programme.
- Students are encouraged in lessons to choose tasks that will challenge them and further foster their interests and create lifelong learners.
- Students have access to a wide variety of extra-curricular activities to choose from that they have free choice over.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and beliefs
- At Abbs Cross, we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected.
- Our R.E. curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
- We teach about faiths, festivals and tolerance through assemblies and key curriculum areas.
- Our PSCHE programme covers the teachings of British Values, including mutual Respect.
- We have a successful Peer Mentoring Scheme that promotes mutual respect between students across different cohorts of the school.
How we prevent radicalisation and extremism
All staff have received training on online radicalisation and extremism. Abbs Cross is fully committed to safeguarding and the welfare of students is paramount. All staff at Abbs Cross uphold and promote the fundamental British Values and have all received prevent, online radicalisation and extremism training.
Spiritual, Moral, Social Cultural (SMSC)
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aspects play a significant part in students’ development. We recognise that the development of students, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally not only plays a crucial part both in our students’ ability to learn and achieve but in their ability to relate to the world we live in.
All curriculum areas plan and contribute to every student’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and opportunities. Through our curriculum, we aim to provide an education that provides our students with the opportunity to explore and develop their own values, whilst recognising and accepting that those of others may differ.
All staff model and promote socially responsible behaviour, treating all people as valuable individuals, showing respect and kindness to students, their families and the community. We ensure that students learn and differentiate between right and wrong in as far as their actions affect other people and encourage them to value themselves and others.
We aim to:
- Encourage students to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of their school and communities. In doing so, to learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning.
- Provide opportunities for students to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and become informed, active and responsible citizens.
- Encourage students to reflect on their own experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially.
- Develop students’ confidence to discuss issues, share ideas and develop their own decision-making strategies.
- Develop personal autonomy by encouraging self-awareness, self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Develop and build upon students’ current knowledge, understanding, skills, values and experiences.
Other opportunities of SMSC provision and opportunity include:
- Students working together in groups
- Taking responsibility within Student Voice, School Council and/or the Student Leadership Team
- Peer Mentoring and working together to develop and overcome barriers
- All students have the opportunities to be involved in extra-curricular activities regardless of ability
- Participation in Arts week and developing cultural experiences and understanding
- Participation is school shows and performances
- Assembly themes in which students have the opportunity to take the lead, students recently led an assembly on anti-bullying.
- Visits from external providers to allow students access to further development.
A large part of both the SMSC agenda and British Values are delivered through the PSCHE curriculum. All students in Year 7-11 study PSCHE and participate in weekly lessons during form times. All topics will be delivered by staff with the occasional input from external speakers.
The following strands of the National Curriculum will be covered: Personal and Economic Wellbeing and Financial Capability. Citizenship, including British constitution and Values, such as democracy, is also encompassed in the PSCHE programme.
List of external providers/speakers
- The Amy Winehouse Foundation
- The Schools Police Officer
- The Safer Transport Police
- The Dogs Trust
- Spark 4 Life
- KIP Education
- The Arc Theatre Group