Newminster Middle School is required under section 78 of the Education Act 2002 to promote the spiritual, moral, mental and physical development of pupils. As of November 2014, schools also need to promote fundamental British values as part of the school curriculum.
Newminster Middle School is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the UK. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Newminster Middle School is dedicated to preparing pupils for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values alongside developing social, moral, spiritual and cultural growth for all students.
The DfE has suggested that pupils are taught about fundamental British values alongside their social, moral, spiritual and cultural (SMSC) learning. Students are expected to display knowledge of the fundamental aspects of British values. The government has outlined their expectations, stating that pupils should have an understanding of:
- the democratic process
- the rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect
- tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
- the value of the importance of identifying and combatting extremism
Newminster Middle School does not have to promote or teach any particular belief, view or way of life that contradicts our outlook or ethos; however, we will not promote discrimination, or accept intolerance against people or groups, on the basis of their belief, opinion or background.
The Democratic Process
Processes of democracy are taught through action. Our student representatives (designated for each form class) play an important role in the life of the school and work closely with our school council who participate in the decision making process. Student representatives and school councillors (allocated per year group) are elected by their form class and year group respectively and play a key role in representing the thoughts and ideas of their peers.
Student voice groups meet to discuss a range of topics and school development points to ensure that the student body can support the ongoing improvement of the school and make valid contributions to this. We encourage all students to be actively involved in the life of the school and there are a range of student leadership opportunities. In addition we aim to incorporate a range of opportunities to educate students about democracy through PSHE and the personal development curriculum.
Students take part in open discussions and make choices about activities with the most popular being carried out, encouraging responsibility and respect. All pupils at Newminster Middle School have access to the same opportunities within school and also in the wider community.
The Rule of Law
Our students will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our young people to understand that whether these rules / laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood they live in or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to. We have high expectations of our pupils and a clear behaviour policy to ensure these expectations are consistently adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. The involvement of our students in the understanding of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider public, including the police, local councillors and MP’s and the business community. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.
We have created a culture so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. Both in and out of lessons, we encourage students to reflect and make choices as well as supporting them to develop their independence.
Throughout their time in school, students will have the opportunity to make different choices on a range of issues – from decisions and choices about their own actions and behaviours, to the clubs that they join and (as they move through the Learning Trust) the subjects that they study. We constantly challenge our young people to make good decisions that are well informed and to the benefit of both themselves and others.
We offer a range of clubs and activities which students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests. Through the wide range of curriculum enrichment opportunities that students will experience as they move through Newminster Middle School, we educate students in their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely and responsibly. We believe that this will encourage students to value the right of individual liberty and develop a strong foundation for later life.
Respect is an important value that is embedded in the ethos of all students in Newminster Middle School. Students are explicitly taught about what respect means through assemblies, the curriculum and the wide range of enrichment activities that take place. Respect forms a central part of our behaviour policy and shapes conversations that we have with students in relation to this.
Students are encouraged to look out for each other and our trained ‘Playground Pals’ are there to support anyone in need of a friend or someone to play with on the yard.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Across Newminster Middle School we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected. We believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help our young people to become knowledgeable and responsible British citizens.
Value the Importance of Identifying and combating Extremism
All adults working in Newminster Middle School are aware of their responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of every pupil, both physical and emotional, inside and outside school. This involves ensuring that pupils are protected from significant physical or emotional harm and that there is a positive commitment to ensure the satisfactory development and growth of the individual. Every member of staff recognises that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society. We have a responsibility to protect vulnerable individuals from being radicalised or exposed to extremist views, by identifying who they are and promptly providing them with support.
Updated: September 2022