The Department for Education has developed legislation and guidance for schools to ‘promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’
Here at The Beacon School, these values are central to all we do and are encapsulated within our Mission Statement:
"We are committed to providing an outstanding education where all students achieve academic success. Our inspirational and challenging curriculum allows abilities to flourish and self-confidence to thrive. Every individual is valued, learning is enjoyed, success is celebrated and responsibility is shared enabling our students to grow into responsible, questioning citizens who play a full and active role in society."
The democratic process is a very important aspect of many areas of school life, including:
The Student Council
Students meet every half term to discuss and share ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect and regard for each other’s views. Debate is lively and energetic and our Student Chairperson manages this with skill to ensure decisions are reached. A member of the Senior Leadership Team co-ordinates the work of the Student Council and is the link between the council and Senior Leadership Team. Decisions are made by majority voting.
The House Council is a further opportunity for students to share views and opinions on many aspects of school life. At the start of the academic year, two students are elected from each Tutor Group to represent the views of their peers at the half-termly House Council meetings. Meetings are co-ordinated by the Director of the House System and the meetings themselves are chaired by the House Officials. Decisions are made by majority voting.
At The Beacon School, we are fully committed to ensuring out Student Voice is heard with the opportunity to effect change and further school development.
Election of our School Officials by fellow students – Head Girl, Head Boy, Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl.
Each House elects a charity to support for the year.Various events take place throughout the year to raise both funds and the profile of the charity.
The PSHCE curriculum provides the opportunity for students to learn about the democratic process, including the functioning of democratic institutions such as the British Parliament.
The Issue of the Week is an opportunity for students to find out about and discuss various issues in current affairs, including the Scottish Independence Referendum.
The Rule of Law
It is, of course, of paramount importance that our school has very clear policies covering every aspect of school life, including a clear rewards and behaviour policy for within and outside the classroom. This ensures our students understand the many ways in which their efforts may be celebrated and it also ensures our students understand the consequences of not following the policy. The rewards and behaviour policy is shared with students and parents through assemblies, letters home and on the school website. During our Year 7 Induction process, students and parents meet with a member of the Senior Leadership Team to discuss a number of key aspects of school life, including the rewards and behaviour policy and a home/school agreement is signed by both the student and the parent.
Within the PSHCE curriculum, topics include the importance of rights and responsibility, drugs awareness and the rule of law. We also have the Mock Trial competition where students have the opportunity to find out how the courts system functions. This ensures our students are able to make informed decisions in life to stay within the law and to keep safe.
A clear policy ensures our students are able to make informed decisions and explore the possible consequences of their actions in an atmosphere of respects and responsibility.
Every individual at The Beacon School is encouraged to make the most of every opportunity in order to develop and thrive. We believe very strongly in providing the framework required to allow individual talents and abilities to flourish. This includes a tailored curriculum and extra-curricular activities, such as our wide-ranging Enrichment Programme and Duke of Edinburgh Scheme. Our School and House Councils also ensure our Student Voice is heard loud and clear with an opportunity for students to influence decision-making and effect real change. A clear framework of policy ensures our students are able to develop their abilities and appreciate the importance of informed decisions and the consequences of these actions.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Our school is a community of children and adults from many different backgrounds who hold a range of faiths and beliefs. This rich diversity makes The Beacon School a very exciting place to be and we all have a responsibility to ensure every individual is valued in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance. Understanding other faiths and beliefs is fundamental to this and we provide many opportunities to develop this such as our Religious Studies and PSHCE curricula, visits to a local Mosque, assemblies, World Philosophy Day, visit to the British Museum and School/House council meetings. Understanding and celebrating our differences is of paramount importance when building a cohesive, strong and supportive community both at The Beacon School and the wider world in which we all live.