Citizenship, SMSC, British Values and PSHE
In order to support the school’s values (ACE) and vision of preparing students to become developed and responsible members of society, we give them the opportunity to explore the issues that are important to them and our students are often involved with a wide range of initiatives. Whether they are campaigning against a specific issue, raising funds or spreading awareness for a charity or leading ‘in-school’ initiatives that are for the benefit of the other students, we are always willing to support them in whatever way that we can.
Work experience is enjoyed by students in Year 10 enabling them to work in a variety of trades both locally and in London.
Opportunities for students to develop as leaders are strongly encouraged and play an importan part of the education here at RBA. As soon as students join the school as they are able to take on the role of Form Representative, be a member of the Junior Leadership Team, take part on interview panels and join the Library Leaders.
As they progress through the school, students can also train as Well Being Ambassadors, be elected House Captains and Prefects and when they enter the Sixth Form they have the opportunity to be trained as Mentors and Counsellors.
As part of our focus on the local and wider communities students are encouraged to get involved with local and national issues. We are actively support Friends of Barclay Park and work very closely with the Broxbourne District Council to help with local events such as the Primary School Run Around, Remembrance Day and Holocaust Memorial Day.
SMSC (Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural)
At RBA, we are dedicated to promoting values which ensure our pupils develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility, and which prepare the young people at the school for life in modern Britain. Values such as individual liberty, democracy, the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are embedded in the school’s ACE (Achievement Care Excellence) ethos, but are also promoted in a variety of ways throughout the school year.
A full evaluation of this is undertaken each year, but here are some examples of some of the ways British Values are promoted at RBA:
The PSHE curriculum teaches all these values including new, discrete units of work to promote British Values and teach the challenges of life in modern Britain. In addition, regular enrichment events such as the Mock Trial Competition promote democracy and the rule of the law to Years 9 and upwards.
Other subject areas also promote these values within their existing curriculum, and R.E., History, Geography, MFL and English in particular. Two examples of the ways these values are promoted can be found in the Year 9 English curriculum and the Year 8 R.S. curriculum. In Year 9 English, pupils study Animal Farm and a significant part of the process is the engagement with the social contexts, including the impact of extremist views and totalitarian states. In Year 8 Religious Studies, pupils study attitudes to prejudice and discrimination, promoting tolerance of different cultures and the benefits of mutual respect.
Extra-curricular opportunities also offer plenty of opportunities for pupils to learn about the importance of British Values. Other than the Mock Trial Competition, the Junior Leadership Team and many student voice panels teach students to uphold democracy and appreciate the rule of law, and the varied opportunities embedded in the school’s 21st Century Learning ethos encourage pupils to develop the mindsets and attitudes necessary to adopt core British values.
SMSC activities during Form Time provide an additional way to encourage students to engage in thinking beyond the everyday matters to ideas of local, national or global concern, and often asks students to focus on issues relating to citizenship and relationships.
On balance, British Values are embedded across the school at RBA and are integral to our ACE ethos. But we are also keen to find gaps and evaluate the ways in which we promote these more explicitly to students. The school’s rich SMSC provision helps us to do this, and we track and evaluate the ways in which British Values are promoted and linked within the following SMSC strands in particular:
- Recognising right and wrong
- Resolving conflicts
- Understanding and exploring diversity
- Understanding moral codes
- Understanding others’ beliefs
- Understanding how societies and communities function
The academy supports and delivers a firm commitment to developing and upholding British Values. Outside of lessons, British Values are promoted throughout the year as part of our pastoral programme. About 6 times each year, pupils will learn about British Values through assemblies aimed at actively promoting these values, but also through Thought for the Week sessions in tutor groups, where pupils get a chance to lead learning on these topics, and explore what the values are and why they are significant to modern Britain.
We have our own Student Council (Junior Leadership Team) made of up of elected Form reps, as well as an elected Head Boy and Head Girl. Students are taught in a variety of ways including tutor time, assemblies and in subject specific content about the importance of democracy.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the academy or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout all aspects of academy life. Students and parents are taught the value and reasons behind our rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-safety and tutor lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning activities or through the choice of participating in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At RBA, we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the student and staff body. Our RE, assemblies and tutor teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes.
PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education)
PSHE education is a planned programme of learning through which our students acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives. As part of a whole school approach, PSHE develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.
In our PSHE lessons and activities we aim to:
- Prepare students to engage and build positive relationships with family, friends and society.
- Encourage students to understand and have the confidence to make informed decisions relating to relationships, healthy lifestyles, staying safe and economic well being
- Foster respect, empathy and understanding for other people
PSHE is resourced by staff across the school. All lessons are supported by presentations, film clips and extension work provided by an ever-increasing number of staff members. Lessons are taught in form groups although some themes are delivered to the whole year group on drop down days by external organisations such as theatre companies and youth organisations.