Ethos and British Values

Introduction

Victoria Lane Academy is a member of Tudhoe Learning Trust and as a school team we work tirelessly to promote the Trust’s core aim:

“To work and learn together, always striving to ensure our pupils achieve their full potential and develop the skills and knowledge required for an ever changing world”

Although we are part of a larger educational organisation, as a school we have our own unique mission statement, identity and ethos that is underpinned by specific aims and goals.

Ethos & Values

At Victoria Lane Academy, we offer an environment rich in memorable experiences,  where individuals are respected and nurtured so that they have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, embrace their individuality and develop their mental and moral characteristics.

We are proud to be a member of Tudhoe Learning Trust and subsequently aim to embed the values of the Trust in everything we do:

Excellence – We are committed to utilising our expertise and high levels of professionalism, challenging each other to ensure our focus upon standards & continual improvement is consistent across the school.

Inspiration – We aim to provide innovative and creative opportunities based upon research and our own experiences, where risk taking is encouraged, with positivity and passion a prerequisite.

Honesty – We operate our school with high levels of transparency, integrity and trust with a small t. We share information, feedback and advice freely across our school, with the aim to empower all staff to be actively involved in providing the best education for our children.

Collaboration – We encourage and demand shared responsibility at all levels, which along with joint working practices and a mentality of complete buy in, all stakeholders have a sense of ownership and are driven to support other colleagues across the Trust.

Positivity – We want our institutions to be fun, supportive and caring environments, where people want to come to work, learn, challenge themselves and be the best that they can be.

Our aspirations are:

Knowledge, skills and understanding (Our mind – WHAT we learn)

Alongside the knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, we also aspire to expose every pupil in our school to meaningful and memorable learning/life experiences. These life-enhancing experiences aim to broaden knowledge, deepen understanding and hone skills so that our children can succeed in school, and to prepare them for their future careers.

Aspiration 2: Values (Our heart: WHO we are?) 

While nurturing our pupils’ existing sets of core values, our curriculum also aspires to reinforce British Values and broaden their awareness of communities, cultures and world events outside of their immediate locality. Encouraging curiosity, awe and wonder, we strive to inspire pupils to make a difference to the world around them and to develop themselves as healthy, active, respectful and responsible citizens.

Aspiration 3: Character (Our behaviour: HOW we act?)

Focussing on R.E.S.P.E.C.T (Resilience, Empathy, Self-awareness, Positivity, Excellence, Communication and Teamwork), our curriculum has been carefully tailored to develop our pupils’ character dispositions so that by the time they leave VLA they are determined, rounded individuals, capable of facing the challenges of the modern world with confidence.

Our school motto is: “To be the best that you can be!”

Promoting British Values

Victoria Lane Academy is committed to serving its community.  It recognises the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom.  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. Victoria Lane Academy is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.

The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools.  The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.

The five British Values are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

The academy uses strategies within the National curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students.   The examples that follow show some of the many ways we seek to embed British values.

Democracy

The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at with democracy processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for the School Council. The principle of democracy is also explored throughout the curriculum as well as during assemblies.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced. Pupils are taught the rules and expectations of the school which are highlighted by the class charters and our pupil behaviour code of conduct and pupil expectations.  Pupils are taught the value and the reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.  Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service and our enrolment on the Neighbourhood Watch scheme as well as annual attendance at the Year 6 Safety Carousel reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty

At Victoria Lane Academy, pupils are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff at our school educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education.

Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety and anti-bullying work.

Victoria Lane Academy has a robust anti-bullying culture and has in place comprehensive Behaviour Policy and Guidelines.

Mutual Respect

Respect is a strong component of Victoria Lane Academy and is embedded into our Ethos & Values.  Our restorative approach ensures that pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.  All members of the school community treat each other with respect and this is reiterated through its teaching and learning environments.

Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for our pupils to express their views in a safe environment.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

This is achieved though equipping children with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community.  Pupils benefit from a number of international visitors, including students from other continents and cultures such as Jamaica and Brazil to teach students about life in other countries and develop them as global citizens. Additionally, pupils are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school and celebrate festivities throughout the calendar year.  The Religious Education curriculum, which is compulsory for all pupils, provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.

Victoria Lane Academy strives endlessly to ensure that its pupils leave for the next stage of their education with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our Society.

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