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British Values & Social, Moral, Spiritual & Cultural

British Values and Social, Moral, Spiritual & Cultural (SMSC)

Promoting British Values at the Priory City of Lincoln Academy

Every effort is made to ensure the Priory City of Lincoln Academy (PCLA) ethos promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs; and encourage students to respect other people, with particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.

The governing body aims to ensure that this ethos is reflected and implemented effectively in Academy policy and practice and that there are effective risk assessments in place to safeguard and promote students’ welfare.

As part of the SMSC programme, we:

  • Actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs;
  • Ensure that principles are actively promoted which -
    • Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
    • Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
    • Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the Academy is situated and to society more widely
    • Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
    • Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
    • Encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010
    • Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England
  • Prevent the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the Academy; and
  • Take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that where political issues are brought to the attention of students they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.

This should be

  • While they are in attendance at the Academy
  • While they are taking part in extra-curricular activities which are provided or organised by or on behalf of the Academy; or
  • In the promotion of the Academy, including through the distribution of promotional material, of extra-curricular activities taking place at the Academy or elsewhere;

At the Priory City of Lincoln Academy, British Values are broken down in to five parts:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law (religious law and criminal law)
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At our Academy, students encounter these principles throughout everyday Academy life.  Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our Academy community:

Democracy

Student voice and the house system play major roles in the functioning of the Academy. Each tutor group has two democratically elected tutor group representatives who represent that tutor group in a House Council. Members of the house councils also come together to form the Academy council. The Academy council has a formal constitution that outlines the rules, by which it operates, and the roles and responsibilities of each of the executive officers. The Academy Council is overseen by the Head Boy and Head Girl, who are elected in a formal democratic election each year. This year the campaign has been designed to coincide with the general election timetable, with all members of the Academy community having a vote in this first past the post election.

Student voice is used on a regular basis to inform both academic and pastoral decision making. Student views are sought on a variety of issues using questionnaires and face to face discussions. By involving students in the democratic life of the Academy, we hope to foster a wider sense of democracy and engagement within the student body.

The Rule of Law

Our students will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives including both criminal laws and religious laws.  We want our students to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the Academy, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.

This understanding of the importance of rules is consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our students in the creation of the Academy rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through our Personal Development Programme and the wider academic curriculum we look at the rule of law and the role of the courts, parliament, the police and the judiciary in upholding and enforcing the law of the land. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police and other emergency services, armed forces, local politicians and many more.  We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our students.  

Individual Liberty

We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our Academy, so that students are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged.  In lessons, we encourage students in tasks that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning.  We offer an extensive range of enrichment activities which students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.  Through our Personal Development Programme, we educate students on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely.  At the Academy we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily Academy life will foster a value for individual liberty as the students embark upon their adult lives.

Mutual respect

Mutual respect is at the core of our Academy life.  Students learn to treat each other and staff with respect.  This is evident when walking around the Academy and in classrooms. We are currently working towards the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award that targets mutual respect and tolerance as a key focus.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At the Academy we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected.  We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding.  Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily Academy life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help students to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.

ASPIRE and Academy Values

The Academy ASPIRE ethos captures the key characteristics that we aim to foster and develop in our students during their time in our Academy. We have aligned our ASPIRE ethos with the Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA) UNICEF charter as part of the work we are doing to attain the UNICEF Rights Respecting Award. Students are therefore able to link the Academy ethos to specific sections of the RRSA charter.

ASPIRE

Ambitious

To foster an aspirational culture where all aim to achieve their personal and academic targets.

Successful

To maximise the attainment and progress made by all.

Polite

To respect the rights and beliefs of each member of the community.

Independent

To provide opportunities to develop everyone’s personality, talents and abilities through academic, cultural and artistic activities.

Resilient

To encourage strength and determination in the face of challenge and adversity.

Empowered

To ensure all members of the community are confident to express their thoughts, beliefs and opinions.

Rights and responsibilities

At The Priory City of Lincoln Academy we promote the importance of rights and responsibilities amongst our students.  We are currently working towards the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award, which uses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a basis for modelling rights and respect in all the relationships in the academy, be they between students or between adults and students. The convention also encourages and supports the following rights and responsibilities:

  • the right to be heard
  • the responsibility to listen to others
  • the right to be safe and healthy
  • the responsibility to keep myself and others safe and healthy
  • the right to learn
  • the responsibility to do my best at all times and look after equipment
  • the right to have friends
  • the responsibility to be kind to others
  • the right to be myself
  • the responsibility to respect others` differences

Community Cohesion

The Priory City of Lincoln Academy plays an important part in the Community.  By community cohesion, we mean working towards a society in which:

  • There is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities
  • The diversity of people`s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued
  • Similar life opportunities are available to all
  • Strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in the Academy and in the wider community

We contribute to community cohesion by:

  • Promoting diversity and shared values in teaching, learning and curriculum
  • Ensuring equity and excellence for all students
  • Engagement and extended services to provide opportunities for students of different backgrounds to come together

Our curriculum fosters students` keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld.  Teaching equips students with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments.  It also aims to prepare students to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions.