BRITISH VALUES AT READING GIRLS’ SCHOOL
At Reading Girls’ School we recognise the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom. We play a vital role 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.
There will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. RGS is dedicated to preparing pupils for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to the whole school community.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools and set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The school uses strategies within the National Curriculum, across our Personal Development Days and beyond to secure such outcomes for pupils. The examples that follow show some of the many ways that RGS seeks to embed British values.
The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at RGS, with democratic processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for instance, staff recruitment process, Student Senior Leadership team, RGS Prefects and debating both in and out of the classroom.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, school or the country are consistently reinforced at RGS. Pupils are taught the rules and expectations of the school which are highlighted by the student code of conduct and 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 external speakers in assemblies and during Personal Development days reinforce this message. These include Thames Valley Police and organised experiences in Court.
At RGS, pupils are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff at RGS 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, examples include working with the Anti-bullying ambassadors, the Mental Health Ambassadors and the Student Senior Leadership team who oversee all areas mentioned.
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by pupils and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to mutual respect pupils at RGS are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where they are safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum, from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to the student mentoring programme ( in various departments eg sports leaders, SSLT, Peer mentoring by former pupils etc) that is embedded across the school community.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through equipping pupils with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving the opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. Pupils benefit from international visitors, including students from other continents and cultures. We also run trips abroad from which our pupils gain valuable experience of other cultures and languages. Additionally, pupils are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school and celebrate different cultural festivities throughout the calendar year; a highlight of this is the Annual Black History Event held every year and run entirely by a team of Year 11 girls. RGS strives to ensure that its pupils leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful career and a positive contribution to our society.