ETHOS & CULTURAL VALUES
At BVC we strive to be a healthy, happy community whose members support each other to thrive. Our standards are high: we challenge ourselves to excel; we work together to enable all to become the best they can be. We contribute, lead and take part. We enrich and extend our learning and challenge ourselves to experience new things. We create memories. We celebrate diversity and cherish difference: we keep each other safe. We respect each other and are ready to achieve.
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to 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.”
At Bottisham Village College these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Students have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our strong commitment to ‘student voice’. Year groups have a year council whose representatives are selected by students to illustrate student democracy. Ideas are fed to the school council for debate. Student voice ideas are presented to the College Leadership Team for discussion and feedback is provided.
A student senior leadership team oversee the take responsibility for a range of school activities and organised school events. Student panels form a key part of the consultation process e.g. for staff appointments, new school meal contracts.
The key concepts of democracy and justice, rights and responsibilities and identities and diversity are covered in e.g. the PSHE curriculum and REP. Students are taught about democracy and the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England. Students are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views when discussing e.g. political views. Students have the opportunity to participate in a debating as an enrichment activity.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws whether they be those that govern the school community or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour. Students, are taught to respect the value and reasons behind the school’s rules and code of conduct as well as the laws that govern and protect us. The responsibilities that this involves and the consequences of laws being broken are considered for example in form times and assemblies and in PSHE.
Within the college, students are actively encouraged to make informed choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms in a responsible way through e.g. our assemblies, E-Safety and PSHE lessons. We are inclusive and encourage regular participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities for all students, e.g. sport, music, DofE award, all of which enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and confidence. Effective risk assessments are in place to safeguard and promote students’ welfare.
Our school ethos promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our ‘Behaviour for Learning’ policy which is based on the key ideas of students being ready, respectful and mindful of each other’s safety. Actively promoting fairness and equality for all means challenging students, staff and parents who express opinions contrary to fundamental British values. Incidents of concern are recorded, actively followed up and monitored through our myconcern system. Citizenship education includes a requirement for students to be taught about the UK’s relations in Europe, including the European Union and the wider issues and challenges of global interdependence and responsibility. This provides the context for the school to organise and participate in enrichment events such the International Day for Languages. The college has achieved the Rainbow Flag Award.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
Tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions is encouraged by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures. This is achieved at Bottisham Village College through enhancing student understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving students opportunities to experience such diversity. Our assemblies and learning in e.g. REP, English, PSHE and Humanities provide opportunities for discussions and debate that consider prejudices, cultural identity and diversity. The engagement of young people in society and their understanding of what it is to be a citizen is central to creating a diverse but cohesive country. Students explore what it means to be British as part of a wider discussion of their identities, and the values associated with them, in, for example, their Humanities lessons.