The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools.
John Willmott School 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, disability, political or financial status, or similar.
John Willmott School is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy. The five key British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Promoting ‘British Values’
At John Willmott School we use a range of strategies within the curriculum and beyond to secure the promotion of SMSC and fundamental British values. Our 8 moral and civic virtues demonstrate our commitment to promoting fundamental British values and are visible throughout the school environment and are promoted in everything we do.
We recognise the importance of student opinion and take their views into consideration. In doing so, we regularly gather pupils voice both formally and informally to further develop our provision.
All students watch presentations from our potential Head Student candidates, they then make their decision based on the presentations to vote to elect the Head Students. Students have a voice that is listened to, through their student leaders representatives.
From Year 7 to year 11 pupils cover a range of topics relating to democracy. Students have received assemblies on British Parliament, the voting system, elections and election campaigns and the process of democracy.
Students frequently engage with current affairs and issues relating to global citizenship through assemblies and dedicated virtuous form time activities.
We have recently signed up for the Peer Mentoring Programme run through Birmingham Education Partnership. This student leaders having their own training (across Year 7 to 10) and writing action plans to shape their work in how to support their peers.
Students have regular opportunities to represent the school at events in and outside of school. Our student leaders have been part of the Sutton Coldfield Remembrance Service and the Walmley Service.
Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are regularly reinforced at John Willmott School. Student receive information about the rule of law through assemblies and through themes within the Character Education Programme (PHRSE). We work closely with our local Police Community Support Officers who are regular visitors to our school, performing a variety of duties including presenting in year group assemblies, classroom lessons and intervention sessions with pupils where such an encounter is deemed to be appropriate and helpful.
We are unapologetic in our aim of challenging negative stereotypes and we want our students to use their liberty to play an active and full role in the community. Successful role models are promoted via assemblies and in virtuous form time activities and students are encouraged to consider and develop an understanding of how character strengths supported their achievements and success. We have hosted a virtual session with Fabio Carvalho, Liverpool Midfielder during Children’s Mental Health Week via the Speakers for Schools programme.
A climate of high aspirations is established across the school and students wear their leadership bands and blazer badges with pride.
Our Character Development Programme, form time sessions and assemblies are all designed to be topical and relevant, giving students the opportunity to explore recent news stories, which are often linked back to liberty. We celebrate and cover topics such as Black History Month, Holocaust Memorial day, LGBT+ History Month and use topics to highlight injustices facing groups in society across the world and within the UK. Students are also given clear guidance on a number of issues such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). We make is very clear to students where they can go if they are concerned about any issue.
We want our students to speak up and stand up for individual liberties and therefore we actively promote our 8 character virtues.
We believe that students develop mutual respect by being provided with opportunities to interact with the local community.
Students from all year groups regularly represent the school at community events with the highest standards of behaviour and public speaking skills. Events include Sutton Coldfield Remembrance Sunday Parade; participation in sports, music, dance and drama and the school’s open mornings and evenings.
Students are confident in meeting members of the public and understand how to address and engage with visitors in a polite and positive manner.
Our Careers delivery offers innumerable opportunities for students to participate in meaningful encounters with local employers both on and off site. This has led to a more work-ready and confident cohort who consequently develop a mutual respect between the school, our students and the local business community.
In addition, respect is a strong part of John Willmott School. Our school Virtuous Code of Conduct and assembly themes highlight the importance of mutual respect and how this can be demonstrated. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and this is reiterated through our teaching and learning environments. Pupils demonstrate courteous and polite behaviour’s and are encouraged to acknowledge such manners in others.
Our Character Development Curriculum, students will complete a range of activities based upon friendships and feelings to support the development of the ability to respect others and encourage respect for others (including anti-bullying).
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
We are a vibrant and increasingly multi-cultural school and we believe that it is important for students to understand Britain’s diversity. Students are tolerant of other faiths and beliefs. We achieve this in a number of ways. We ensure that students are fully appraised of current affairs that may be potential divisive in order that they may make tolerant and informed judgements. In Assemblies and across the curriculum of the existence of International Organisations such as the UN, EU and The Commonwealth and how they can play a part in promoting respect and tolerance, including tolerance of faiths and beliefs. We also focus on tolerance within our assembly themes.
We celebrating and promoting pupils’ diversity within our school community. Our Culture Day in December 2022 illustrates this inclusive ideology.