The DfE have recently reinforced the need
“to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. At DESC these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is richly embedded within the centre. Learners have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our (PSD) Personal Social Development and Prince’s Trust programmes as the learners spend a term looking at declaration of human rights, personal uniqueness, national and global identity and what it means to be ‘British’. Learner voice, Learner questionnaires, meetings with the senior leadership team and link mentors also form our targeted approach to democracy. Our behaviour and values policies involve rewards and sanctions; this is shared through all aspects of DESC life and also shared with parents, carers and young people.
Within DESC, learners are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
As a school we educate and provide boundaries for all learners to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through their education. Learners are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, For example through our E-Safety, Personal Social Development and Prince’s Trust sessions, also though use of debates, role play, theatre workshops which target specific issues such as child exploitation, safe behaviours and relationships. Learners are given the freedom to make a wide range of choices, from attending extra-curricular activities and events within the local area in order to bridge the gap between our learners and community.
As a centre, which holds values at the core of its ethos, our mantra is
‘Be the best you can be’ Values and Behaviour policies have evolved around Core Values such as ‘respect’.
Respect is one of our values taught explicitly within lessons. It is shared with home through weekly phone calls to parent/carers and website information. Adults throughout the centre model, demonstrate and promote respect for others. Within the curriculum we focus heavily on teamwork and life skill sessions, alongside core subjects, which enables us to be flexible and target specific interpersonal areas such as self-management, teamwork, respect, religion, prejudice, sexuality, disability, body size and image. This we call our twin track approach to learning.
The centre has strong links with local external provisions and through teamwork activities, such as climbing, football, rugby, abseiling and caving, the learners learn respect by working alongside external instructors and each other.
Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the lesson, centre or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular centre days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and during restorative justice meetings.
Learners are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service projects, are a regular part of our calendar of events and help reinforce this message.
Through our highly personalised approach to PSHE we offer learners every opportunity in which they can make positive, informed healthy choices.
At DESC we are a culturally rich and diverse centre where young people and staff have unique opportunities to learn from each other, by sharing and celebrating their different faiths and cultures.
Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge, to enhance learning within sessions and the centre. Specific Equality and Diversity units of work enable us to embed our ethos of tolerance and understanding and break down potential misconceptions and challenge any stereotypes or prejudices. We carefully select media materials within the centre, including a range of newspapers and magazines such as i Newspaper, The Week, The Big Issue and First News which are readily available with our café area as well as TV coverage, This gives young people access to a more holistic view of the world and all students are encouraged to be critical thinkers, by reading a wider variety of news and understand the importance of interpreting information correctly.