British Values at UTC Portsmouth
According to Ofsted, schools and colleges have a duty to promote the following fundamental British Values; democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
As a college, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year, for example, Remembrance during the Autumn term. We also value and celebrate national events. Further, students learn about being part of Britain from different specific perspectives. Some examples of when we teach about being part of Britain are:
In science we teach that throughout history British scientists have been allowed the luxury of free thinking without the risk of religious persecution and to be able to challenge present beliefs. Hence why we have such great achievements and world class research facilities in a small country. We teach that advancement are made when open discussion and free thought is allowed.
We celebrate British STEM achievements through close relationships with our employer partners.
In English lessons we explore war poetry around Remembrance and there is also time spent researching and investigating nineteenth century societal conventions and customs.
Our college 'houses' represent the best of British values, and are iconic and inspirational for our students
Our PSHE curriculum and pastoral program is diverse and recognises important events in the British calendar such as remembrance and St.George’s Day.
Areas of the curriculum focus on British achievements and projects. Examples include; key British scientists and discoveries in Science, applications of Geography to the local area (specifically Portsmouth) and the use of partner links in engineering to reinforce British standards in engineering.
Students are offered the opportunity to participate in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award within Enrichment. The Award enables the College to embed 'British values' in the college’s curriculum with its range of activities.
Engineering at UTC embraces British Values by complying with statutory regulations and organisational safety requirements. All students follow a code of conduct within the workshops. We promote good working relationships within the classroom and with our employer partners. There is equality within the department and the classroom and everyone is treated with respect. Students choose their pathway through the qualifications and have an understanding of employment and careers associated with their choices.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at UTC Portsmouth. Democracy is central to how we operate. Some examples are:
We use a democratic system for the election of all of our student representatives and Presidents
All students have a say in their education and are active participants in the future planning of our college
During PSHE lessons we celebrate the history of our democracy, the creation and implementation of our laws and our fair and just legal system
We value student voice sessions, whole college surveys and our links to external, democratically run agencies such as COPS/Unloc.
Parents are encouraged to express their views via the UTC Portsmouth Facebook page and through parent voice
English Literature texts like ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘The Tempest’ generate particular discussion over the themes ‘democracy’ and ‘dictatorship’
Rules and Laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our college or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices; because of this every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. These values are reinforced in different ways such as:
Our pastoral system is an embodiment of these values, using restorative actions to correct misdemeanours and ensuring everyone has as voice in the process. Decisions are professionally decided and fairly applied equally across all parties.
In English, reference is made to rules and laws from the nineteenth century, twentieth century and twenty first century. English Literature texts like ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘The Tempest’ generate particular discussion over the themes of rule and law.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
- choices about what learning challenge or activity
- choices about how they record their learning
- choices around the participation in enrichment activities
Our college charter has been designed by our students to recognise their right and responsibilities as an active member of the college.
English Literature texts like ‘An Inspector Calls’ and ‘The Tempest’ generate particular discussion over the theme of ‘individual liberty’ and ‘freedom of choice’.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Portsmouth is in an area which is culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our ethos.
Our students know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a college resource, a religious belief or whatever. This is part of our Behaviour for Learning Policy. Students learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
An example of how we at UTC Portsmouth enhance students’ understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs is by celebrated diversity through the recognition of other faiths’ holy days and celebrations such as Divali or Ramadam or Eid.
Sadly, no college can guarantee that there will never be instances which are contrary to this value. At UTC Portsmouth, such instances are extremely rare. They are treated seriously in line with our Behaviour for Learning Policy.
Something which is clearly not part of any British or European value is extremism. It is important to remember that whilst the threat from so-called Islamic State has been a focus in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Prevent Duty is clear that extremism of all kinds should be tackled too. In England, far right groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League need to be tackled, too. Extremism is not a new topic in education, but schools have a relatively new statutory duty to pay “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
At UTC Portsmouth we are committed to educating our students against hate and intolerance. A program of guest speakers, PSHE lessons and pastoral activities during tutor time will give our students the skills and awareness they need to identify and resolve any issues of extremism.
We recognise that as a city with a 'moderate' threat of extremism, our students are given tools to help them overcome intolerance in their local area and understand the prejudices that they may face.