Fundamental British Values at Townley Grammar School.
Our school community prides itself on promoting positive values that encompass global values and fundamental British values. Values are the foundation upon which our school community is built and we promote values in a plethora of ways. We go beyond simply complying with British values- our focus on character education as a whole empowers students with the knowledge, sense of aspiration, empathy and good character to be active, positive agents of change in Britain and beyond.
At Townley we show our commitment to democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the respect for and broadmindedness of understanding all religions, faiths and different beliefs.
Listed below are some of the ways (but not all) we promote positive and fundamental British values:
Students are listened to by adults and are taught how to actively listen to one another, respecting individual rights and the human rights of freedom of expression. Our behaviour policy encompasses human rights through the “Respect” element of our ready, respectful and safe approach. Our means of decision making are democratised with power distributed from the centre, outwards. Students are actively consulted on changes to school life not solely through the House/school council but through active engagement by senior leaders with students through regular meetings and conversations.
In light of the global and national calls for change in the wake of significant events such as the murders of George Floyd and Sarah Everard, we have become even more acutely aware of the need for young people to feel empowered and able to develop organisational change. Our fully student led Equity Commission was established to harness the talents and energy of our students and apply them to areas where organisational change are identified and needed within Townley.
We encourage students to be leaders throughout school and we have a number of activities and responsibilities that are undertaken by pupils, for example: House Council and Prefect roles. The recent passing of HRH The Queen provided our students with a further opportunity to exemplify fundamental British Values through our contribution to Bexley’s commemoration for The Queen as signatories to the official book of condolence.
Our bespoke year 8 and 9 International Relations course provides students with even more information and learning opportunities to develop their understanding of democracy not only in the U.K, but the U.K’s global role and wider global systems.
Students have the opportunity to express themselves and feel listened to through a variety of means, including:
- Mock elections
- Visits from prominent politicians and Lords.
- House Council elections and recruitment
- Oracy through discussion and debate during lessons
- Symposiums, Question Time debates
- Regular student voice
- Year 8 Sustainable Leadership; “What would I do if I were Mayor?”
Rule of Law:
Students and staff are bounded by our rights and responsibilities towards each other. These responsibilities are codified clearly in our policies and practices such as our EDI policy and whole school behaviour approach. The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the individual, the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, the responsibility they have to uphold them, and that there are consequences when laws are broken. Our Rewards and Consequence system(s) provide tangible examples for students to understand and develop a thorough understanding of personal responsibility and develop independence in managing relationships and behaviour. Through our restorative behaviour approach, we enable children to develop the language and strategies to solve conflict and right wrongs. Students also understand that their behaviour and regard for the rules extends beyond the school itself.
Students are empowered through a range of extra curricular activities and our bespoke Character and Wellbeing programme that facilitates students to develop their character and provides them with the key knowledge needed to make wise decisions in “real” life and online. Our whole school emphasis on character is built towards students developing by the time they leave our school in 6th form, the self regulation, aspiration and knowledge needed to flourish in society.
Our community is built upon mutual respect, the celebration of diversity, discovery of identity and creation of a sense of belonging. These values are encompassed within the curriculum and specific spheres of our school community such as our bespoke partnership with Active Horizons, a local grass roots youth charity that focuses on empowering and supporting members of the BAME communities. As a school we regularly celebrate Black History Month with fully student led assemblies, workshops and activities. The school has a vibrant Pride group, rich variety of values based assemblies and the recent success of our whole school Cultural Day. The school often welcomes visiting speakers with a history of public service to speak with students, speakers have included: Yemisi Jenkins OBE, Lord James Sassoon and Baroness Amos.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
At Townley, religious education is compulsory up to and including at GCSE level. This is a conscious decision as we believe students should be given the opportunity to study a wide range of religious (incl Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism) and non-religious beliefs as well as developing the key trait of empathy to ensure they can role model kindness and understanding with all. Members of different faiths are given the opportunity to enhance learning and understanding of their own, but vitally, other people’s beliefs. Our reflection room is open during break and lunchtimes for students of all faiths. We actively celebrate religious festivals pertinent to our school community such as Diwali, Ramadan and Christmas.
Our pastoral systems and programmes such as CWB (Including all statutory PSHE and bespoke character elements) facilitate the development of mutual understanding and respect for people’s beliefs, this is intrinsic to our community.