British Values

Promotion of British values

At The Matthew Arnold School we recognise not only the importance of allowing students to flourish academically but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to our students.

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and considered them to be democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At The Matthew Arnold School these values are reinforced in a pervasive manner and permeate the school community.

The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at The Matthew Arnold School and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.

Democracy

At The Matthew Arnold School the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections held for our Head Boy and Girl and prefects. The principle of democracy is explored in History and Religious Studies, as well as in form time, discrete PSHE days and assemblies.

The rule of law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students 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 are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

Individual liberty

Within The Matthew Arnold School, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education.  Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in Computing and form time activities.

Mutual respect

Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to democracy students at The Matthew Arnold School are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where students feel safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of fair play in PE to a number of buddy programmes which promote mutual respect between students across different year groups within the school.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community.  Students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school. Our Religious Education curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.

Should you feel that the school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the school office and request to express your concerns with the Head of School. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is undermining these values you should report this to the Head of School.