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At Copthall the exploration of British Values cuts right across our curriculum and wider school life. The values of tolerance and respect for other religious cultures ensures students make a positive contribution to life in modern Britain and a sense of what it means to be British. Our Rewards and Sanctions policy clearly outlines how opinions and behaviour that is contrary to fundamental British values can be challenged and this is also reinforced in the topics covered in PSHE.
The DfE has recently reinforced the need for all schools to ‘promote the fundamental British values of:
2. The rule of law
3. Individual liberty
4. Mutual respect
5. Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Our aim is to empower our young women to actively engage in the democratic process and have their voices heard. Opportunities to exercise their right to vote in school helps students understand the importance of voting in local and national elections once they leave school.
In school students have the opportunity to vote for:
- Form and sport Captains
- School council representatives – who provide the student voice for the school
- UK Youth Parliament candidate that goes forward to the Barnet Elections (3 candidates in the last 4 years have succeeded in being elected onto the Barnet UK Youth Parliament
Rule of Law
The importance of laws are reinforced at all levels at Copthall. It is reflected in our behaviour policy, that has clear rewards and sanctions ensuring that all students can learn and flourish in a safe and positive environment. In addition, our local Community Police Officer has close links with the school and works with our students and families to help support their understanding of the rule of Law. Our assembly programme reinforces this.
We believe that the issue of individual freedom and liberty is particularly relevant in an all girls context. Our core values of aspiration, respect, responsibility, safety and support and equality for all positively promotes our students to use their liberty to play an active and full role in the community. As a school we challenge negative female stereotypes and encourage all girls to aspire to be the very best that they can be.
Successful female role models are promoted via assemblies and in particular our Careers Fayre, where external female speakers come to talk to the students about their chosen career and the skills that are required for this. Speakers this year included representatives from our alumni, the NHS, HMRC, Law, medical science, Imperial College.
Our PSHE programme provides students with the opportunity to explore key topics such has radicalisation to develop their understanding of the risks associated and what actions to take. Staff have completed on line Prevent training and have also had training on radicalisation.
Staff are also given clear guidance and have completed on line training on the issues that affect women around the world such as Female Genital Mutilation. Our Directors of Learning, are non-teaching and are all trained in Advanced Safeguarding and students know who they can speak to if they have any concerns. We also have a school counsellor who is available for students to talk to and in addition runs clubs for LGBT
We celebrate International Women’s Day with speakers from a wide and diverse range of careers including, engineering, law, finance, media. These include Anjula Singh (Head of Business change BBC News) Julie Maister (Journalist and Writer) Geraldina Iraheta ( STEM ambassador).
One of our core values is respect and this is reinforced and acknowledged by our rewards and sanction policy. As a school we endeavour to provide our students with the opportunities to interact with each other and the local community to develop this culture.
Students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities in school and out of school, these include: Jack Petchey Speak Out challenge, English National Ballet, Alan Sennitt Project, Holocaust Memorial Project, Sports Leadership Academy, participation in Sports, Music, Dance and Drama events, Mock Bar Trial, Debate Mate, Franklin Scholars. In addition, our students are used as guides for Open Days, are on interview panels for the recruitment of staff and have a wide range of leadership opportunities.
Our enrichment programme is sponsored by Saracens and this ensures our students have the opportunity to culturally enrich their lives, which previously they may not have been able to, increasing their interactions with each other and the wider community.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At Copthall we take pride and respect the cultural diversity of our school. Students are tolerant of other faiths and beliefs and this is accomplished in the following ways:
A tailored assembly programme, PSHE, celebration and acknowledgement of religious and cultural festivals, rewards and sanctions policy, anti-bullying policy, form time activities.