British Values Statement
We promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’.
We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.
The curriculum in all phases offers broad and balanced opportunities.
‘British Values’ have been identified as:
The ability to understand and communicate are the most important areas of learning. Communication runs as a thread throughout our Curriculum as well as being an independent subject.
We ensure that pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate. This ‘voice’ could be using words, objects, photographs, pictures, symbols, touch cues, eye pointing or body.
At Briarwood many of the pupils have very limited or no verbal language. The communication curriculum, moving from intensive interaction through to signs, symbols, photographs, pictures, PEC’s and incorporating, where appropriate for individual students, augmentative communication methods is used to great effect to support and enable students’ receptive understanding and expressive communication.
We try to develop pupil voice within the classroom, across and outside the school during every day through regular opportunities
– Through making choices (e.g. during lessons, at snack and lunchtimes);
– Through making decisions in concrete situations that are immediately and personally relevant to them i.e. following visual timetables
– Through music in all its wonderful forms and including Communication through music
– Through the use of microphones and switches
– Through the development of peer advocacy
– Through friends
We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.
We are currently in the process of developing a new and innovative approach to our school council. We felt that although the school council had previously been very successful for the pupils involved the impact on the whole school was limited as not all pupils were given a voice in the process. As a result we have been working with the creators of the ‘Smart School Council’ to ensure that all of our pupils are able to contribute towards the continuous improvement of the school community. We are working closely with them to help adapt and develop the software so that if fits the needs of our pupils. The Smart School Councils model supports the development of essential life skills such as confidence, self-esteem, negotiation and compromise; it opens out involvement to all pupils in the school and provides a clear structure for skills development and participation.
The model links directly to SMSC/British Values, Prevent and the Ofsted guidance on social action. It also allows our school to track data on student involvement and the progress of the intervention.
We are currently trialling the Smart School Council model in a few classes with the intention of adapting and developing it to be appropriate for our pupils with the ultimate aim of rolling it out across the whole school later in the year.
Rule of Law:
We involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour, helping pupils to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large.
Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment within the school and beyond. We can help some pupils to understand the connection between actions and consequences. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure, this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
At Briarwood School we have a Positive Behaviour approach which aims to create an environment which supports pupils and staff to understand what factors may influence specific behaviours, the function of these behaviours and the strategies that can be developed to support skill development.
Pupils are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. Through our Curriculum, pupils are consistently striving to become as independent as possible and our bespoke Assessment system allows for this.
We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to ideas or activities. Some pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. Through the Myself sessions in the Briarwood Curriculum, pupils are given bespoke opportunities to learn to make choices, consider their feelings and learn to make appropriate responses.
We support others by participating in charitable events such as, Red Nose Day/Comic Relief and Children in Need. We believe that engendering a caring and helpful environment and to be independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Pupils take part in at least one session per week of My Community. This subjects supports pupils to access their local environment with many pupils taking part in activities which benefit the wider community.
We promote each pupil’s inclusion in activities, settings and locations that are appropriate to them individually to meet their needs. Within school, pupils work with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted on a personalised basis for each individual. This may include working with students from other schools, coaches, theatre groups etc. The curriculum is personalised and planned for pupils and may include transitioning within the range of resources and places on the site and going into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include: sports events, community events and shared participation with other schools/colleges.
We believe it is important to facilitate opportunities to be part of the community as the pupils, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:
We are part of a school and local community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. As a school, our staff represent 9 different ethnicities and our pupils 12 different languages and 16 ethnicities. This provides huge opportunities to share our knowledge, expertise, culture, values and experiences. Culture, faith and religion are built into our Curriculum, not only through Religious Education, but through the value we place on reflection, community and life experiences.
Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others. We celebrate festivals from different cultures including Christmas and Eid. Through our Curriculum we aim to develop an understanding of the beliefs of others, their traditions and values, and how they impact upon daily living. To develop a positive attitude towards those who are different/hold different beliefs to them and to develop a sense of belonging
Our Assemblies help all pupils to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. The themes cover areas such as: friendships, helping others and celebrations from a range of faiths and world events. At Briarwood we believe it is important for pupils to experience coming together as a whole school or class and to have the time and space to be reflective and still. Pupils have the opportunity to celebrate important religious festivals related to a variety of different faiths, therefore acknowledging beliefs and values within and beyond the school. Also, share and foster the values the school seeks to live by and offer insights into religious and other beliefs.
Collective Worship at Briarwood encourages pupils to:
• Use all their senses
• Use their imaginations
• Reflect quietly
• Express their thoughts and feelings
• Respond to information and stories
• Participate in musical or dramatic items
• Present a positive image of unfamiliar cultures, religions and traditions
Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. For example, pupils regularly visit many local places during their My Community sessions. As a school, we take part in sporting activities which helps to instil ‘fair play’ and engender a ‘team spirit’.
Although some of our pupils may find it difficult to articulate their feelings and concerns; staff are attuned to changes in demeanour and well-being that may indicate anxiety. If they are concerned about a pupil, our accepted practice links to the Safeguarding Policy which entrusts a duty of care to all staff to actively protect and promote the welfare of children.
The staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils at Briarwood are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community. We have an active Family Link team which supports this work.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC)
Briarwood School has a strong commitment to the personal and social development of all pupils. The school vision and values, put together by all the staff, supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural characteristics in all pupils.
What is SMSC – Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development?
Spiritual development is when we:
Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values, enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Moral development is when we:
Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Social development is when we:
Use a range of social skills; participate in the local community; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and co-operate; resolve conflict; engage with the ‘British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.
Cultural development is when we:
Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. In our school pupil’s SMSC development is seen for example in:
• Taking part in a range of activities regarding social skills
• Developing an awareness and respect for diversity
• Developing and appreciation of theatre
• Developing an understanding of right and wrong
• Developing the communication skills to make choices about likes/dislikes in school then in wider community visits
• Taking part in sporting opportunities
• Taking part in cultural opportunities
• Taking part in artistic opportunities
SMSC is embedded throughout the curriculum at Briarwood. This integrated approach ensures that aspects of SMSC is considered in all subjects areas. The senior leadership team audits SMSC and Governors monitor it across school.
Beyond the Curriculum:
We are also committed as a school to developing SMSC beyond the curriculum. This is done through:
• Arts, Music and Cultural Specialists visits to school over the year
• The promotion of the Arts Award through the Curriculum
• Assemblies give pupils an opportunity to explore aspects of SMSC
In order to reflect further on the impact of all our work on SMSC:
• We engage governors, families and community
• Hear our student voice
• Observe staff and pupil interactions
• Support Social Behaviour
• Complete learning walks reflecting on resources and practices