Merchants’ Academy supports and delivers a firm commitment to developing and upholding British Values.
We have our own Student Parliament made of up of elected representatives for the Primary and Secondary, Senior Prefects and a Senior Student Leadership Team. Students are taught in a variety of ways including tutor time, assemblies and in subject specific content about the importance of democracy.
The Rule of Law
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the Academy or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout all aspects of life at Merchants’ Academy. Students and parents/carers are taught the value and reasons behind our rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. We have visits and talks from the Community Police team to students on the rule of law.
Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety and tutorial sessions. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our co-curricular clubs and opportunities, our students are given the freedom to make choices.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Merchants’ Academy is situated in an area which is not culturally diverse. We therefore see it as exceptionally important to place a considerable emphasis on promoting a genuine awareness of diversity within the student and staff body. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes, just as our students and staff are able to share their cultural heritage and experiences. Visiting speakers and trips to experience other cultures and faiths are an integral part of the experience for students at the Academy.
The Wider Curriculum and British Values
Within the wider curriculum and its delivery we expect all students irrespective of gender, ethnic origin or beliefs:
- To participate in PE lessons
- Female students in all years can be taught by a male PE teachers
- All students are expected to take part in PE, Art, Music and Drama lessons
- To participate in wider activities and discussions, for example, during lessons and tutorial time, that uphold British values
- To show tolerance of different faiths and beliefs, including Christianity.
Radicalisation and Extremism
The Academy believes and actively supports the view that all students should be protected from radicalisation and extremism. Our approach to this is in line with the Government’s CONTEST strategy (the counter terrorist strategy) and PREVENT (stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism).
Radicalisation is the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism, and in some, cases participate in terrorist groups. Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to the fundamental British values.
Our 100% commitment to safeguarding student welfare means we are vigilant to monitoring vulnerability to radicalisation including:
- Family tensions
- Sense of isolation
- Distance from cultural heritage
- Experience of racism or discrimination
- Feeling of failure
Any concerns must be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead and members of the SafeguardingTeam.
A cross-curricular approach
We deliver a cross curricular approach throughout the Academy to the delivery of SMSC, including British Values
- via current affairs – via our weekly tutorial discussion sessions centred on a topic in the news such as Extremism
- via assemblies – sessions centred on a theme that links to British Values, for example, Human Rights and Freedom
- via student leadership – actively voting in Academy elections at all levels to elect posts of responsibility
- via RE lessons – predominantly Christian but exploring beliefs and values of other faiths including multicultural celebrations
- In subjects where we map how other subjects deliver knowledge and understanding of key concepts that link to British Values.