A statement of the School’s approach to British Values at QEGS
QEGS Blackburn promotes fundamental British Values in the following ways:
- Through the curriculum. Please see Annex 1 below.
- The opinions of pupils are represented through the School Council and the Food Committee (both of which meet termly.) As regards the Food Committee, pupils’ opinions are represented in both the choice of food served and the systems operated in and around the dining hall.
- We hold elections for Prefects and the School Council and Form Representatives.
- QEGS is an ethnically diverse community and this is something that is celebrated. Pupils develop their understanding of different religions through Ethics and Philosophy lessons, assemblies and through day-to-day interaction with their peers. See Annex 2.
- Giving to charity is an activity with a long heritage in British society. Pupils are actively encouraged to engage in activities which raise money for charity. There is a range of activities that take place each year;
Year 7 raised in the region of £1200, which has enables QEGS to sponsor a dog “Vargo” for the Dogs for the Disabled charity.
Year 8 have been collecting for the Blackburn Food Bank.
Year 9 have completed a 20-mile cycle trip.
Year 10 raise money for a charity set up by a former soldier injured in the Middle East.
Frobisher House raise money for Uganda and there is a biennial trip that goes out to Africa. The last trip was in summer 2017.
The whole school had a non-uniform day in Michaelmas Term and well over a £1000 was donated to charity.
In December 2017 the staff took part in a QEGS Strictly Come dancing Event and raised £600 for charity.
The PSHE programme, for Years 7 – 13 actively promotes British Values. Many of the topics, taught at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 combine PSHE and Citizenship and cover many of these values, ensuring our pupils and students are well prepared for life in modern Britain and the wider world. Our pupils and students are directly exposed to British Values through the lessons, activities and experiences.
Explicitly taught elements of Democracy are taught as part of the PSHE programme.
– All students take part in real elections of School Council. Information is provided about the main political parties and we discuss the importance of voting and making an informed decision. Students see the result of their input into student voice. (For example, as a result of discussions at School Council a school Food Committee has been implemented)
– We held an internal General Election in 2017 with pupils representing three of the major parties. A charismatic and well prepared Year 10 pupil won a landslide victory for Labour.
– Students are given the opportunity to present to SMT to share their views of aspects of school life. SMT considers the minutes of the School Council and reports back.
The Rule of Law
We have a clearly structured behaviour policy which is carefully considered by pupils and forms part of the Rights and Responsibilities topic.
- We incorporate discussion of behaviour incidents in school in lesson time, if appropriate and beneficial.
- Expectations are reinforced through assemblies and tutorials.
- We have close links with our local police.
- We examine how laws are made with specific reference to laws surrounding hate crime, homophobia, disabilities and racism.
- Our drugs education programme examines the different punishments linked to different classes of drugs.
- Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) covers the laws of consent and with the older pupils focuses on UK laws regarding forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), age of consent and how these differ in other countries.
- Safer driving presentation (Safe Drive Stay Alive) is delivered by Lancashire Fire and Rescue and attended by all out Year 12 students.
- We took part in the Youth Parliament last year. Zak Bux was a candidate in BwD and we had an assembly where pupils were able to listen to Zak’s policies and other pupils’ policies too. Zak is now on the Youth Forum and he will be standing again in the Youth MP elections in Feb/March 2018.
There is an emphasis on personal safety (e.g. reducing risk taking behaviours, e-safety) at the heart of the PSHE programme, as well as these themes being covered in tutorial/assembly/ICT lessons.
– Learning is personalised whenever possible. In particular, students are encouraged to appreciate and understand individual learning/working styles and preferences. Students are supported in preparing individual revision programmes for examinations.
– A wide variety of extra-curricular activities allow students to make choices and personalise their experience of school. Year 9 pupils and Year 11 and 12 students are supported in making choices with regard to their curriculum options.
Our PSHE curriculum encourages respect for others and for self, as well as promoting being an active citizen. The importance of trust and mutual respect is emphasised in all relationships and particularly highlighted in relation to sexual relationships. Pupils are supported in identifying the characteristics of a healthy relationship. They are encouraged to appreciate that trust and mutual respect is built over time and to recognise the warning signs of a potentially unsafe relationship.
– The PSHE programme for each year group promotes respect across the age ranges.
– Older students are encouraged to become Mentors in form time and volunteer to help lower down the school.
– The development of an understanding of right and wrong is reinforced throughout the school through discussion and role play.
Tolerance and Diversity
The PSHE curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures and how they influence people’s thoughts, opinions and behaviour.
– Our Citizenship programme promotes diversity and equality. Regular use of ‘circle time’ emphasises the importance of listening to, and learning from, each other. Ground rules are set at the beginning of each topic and reinforced in each lesson with regard to empathy and understanding and appreciating difference.
– We are actively engaged with other schools in Uganda and Tanzania and visit them and they us.
– There are Cathedral visits three times a year.
– Visiting speakers to assembly (including a Muslim speaker).
– Year 8 attended a showing of a locally made film ‘Walls’ at Darwen Library Theatre in November 2017 on the topic of tolerance, extremism and diversity.
– We have recently had an assembly on LGBT. In the last academic year there was an assembly on women’s rights.
In Year 7 History, pupils study the Magna Carta. In Year 8 History, pupils look at Elizabeth 1 and ‘Middle way’ and the Acts of Toleration. In Year 9 pupils look at tolerance and prejudice through studying the Holocaust. In Year 13, students have the opportunity to study Parliamentary Democracy and the Suffragette movement.
In Year 8 Ethics and Philosophy (EP) lessons, pupils look at Islamophobia. What it means to be a British Muslim and how this contrasts with being a non-Muslim British citizen. In Year 10 Ethics and Philosophy, pupils look at the concept of Individual liberty and mutual tolerance of diversity. In Year 12, students look at questions such as, ‘Can the Government impose values beyond the basic obligation of protecting its citizens?’