Parkside Academy is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Parkside Academy is dedicated to preparing pupils for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its pupils.
The Government emphasises 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 uphold and promote the following British Values:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
The examples that follow show some of the many ways Parkside Academy seeks to embed British values.
The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced by the Parkside Academy ethos, with democratic processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for Head Boy and Girl. Our elected Pupil Voice group play a strong role in school; they are elected by their class peers and are involved in making our school a better place. The pupils also host a regular Pupils’ Forum with our local MP to discuss issues related to local youth. Pupil questionnaires, surveys and interviews are also conducted regularly as part of our QA process and we believe that this active participation will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in their future.
The principle of democracy is embedded in the curriculum as well as in form time and assemblies. Examples include the study of the importance of Magna Carta and the development of Parliament in KS3 History and a whole-school mock election process that coincided with the 2015 general election.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced by the Parkside Academy ethos. Pupils are taught the rules and expectations of the school and these are constantly reinforced through assemblies and our climate for learning. The involvement of our pupils in the writing of our Academy’s rules, based on the Rights Respecting School agenda, helps them to understand the need for rules.
The rule of law is also embedded in the curriculum and the extended curriculum. Pupils are taught the value and the reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Examples include the study of the application of air pollution and climate change legislation in Science. We welcome a range of visitors from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service and prison service during our ‘Inspire Days’, who reinforce this message.
At Parkside Academy, pupils are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff at Parkside Academy work hard to provide a positive ethos; they educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to set personal targets and choose tasks in class which challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own success. We offer a range of extra-curricular activities which pupils have the right to choose from, based on their interests. Pupils 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.
Parkside Academy also reinforces the value of individual liberty explicitly within the curriculum and extended curriculum. On Holocaust Memorial Day, a wide range of activities, including those led by outside agencies, focus on the global history of human rights and the inherent relationship with the rule of law. Other examples include the study of China’s ‘One Child policy’ in Geography and the issues of individual liberty surrounding this law.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Respect and tolerance are a fundamental part of Parkside Academy’s philosophy and are at the core of our school life. Pupils 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. Mutual respect and tolerance is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for pupils to express their views in a safe environment.
We equip pupils with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity through a culturally rich and varied curriculum. For example, the Religious Studies curriculum, which is compulsory for all pupils up to the end of KS4, provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures whilst, in English, pupils study a wide range of authors who draw on their own culture, background and religious beliefs to inform their writing. Pupils consequently are encouraged and educated to be accepting of different cultural beliefs and traditions.
Parkside Academy has also been accredited with the International Schools Award and works in partnerships with schools overseas to teach pupils about life in other countries and develop them as global citizens.
Parkside Academy strives endlessly to ensure that its pupils leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our society.