Building aspiration, achieving excellence
Ormskirk School exists to equip future citizens with the skills and personal qualities to be successful in a rapidly changing world. We seek, first and foremost, to allow all our students to achieve to their potential and to develop intellectually, morally, socially, spiritually, ethically and culturally during their time with us.
We recognise that our world, and the expectations of schools in it, is changing beyond recognition. However, the moral values we aim to nurture in our pupils remain constant and critically important. Working hard, doing one's best, valuing everyone's contribution, respecting others and learning to work together are, and will remain, a vitally important element of our community.
Our aim is for all our students to receive:
- Inspiring, Challenging and Engaging teaching and learning
- A curriculum that gives all the opportunity to excel and builds high expectations
- Strong pastoral care, guidance and support
- A sense of worth and ambition for their future
- Outstanding preparation for their future working lives
We will do this by creating a school ethos which is characterised by:
Opportunity, Resilience, Respect
Background and Rationale
Though it has acquired a greater urgency in recent months, the importance of schools espousing British values is not new:
- The 2008 National Curriculum includes the following statement:
The school curriculum should contribute to the development of pupils’ sense of identity through knowledge and understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural heritages of Britain’s diverse society and of the local, national, European, Commonwealth and global dimensions of their lives
- The 2011 Teachers’ Standards state, as part of teachers’ personal and professional conduct:
Teachers uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school, by not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- These values support the national Prevent Strategy, put before Parliament in 2011 by the Home Secretary as a response to radicalisation of British citizens.
The Prevent Strategy recognises the importance of schools in counter-terrorism activities. More recently, concerns about the inappropriate actions of some schools were highlighted in the Birmingham Trojan Horse case, where a number of OFSTED inspections revealed a failure to promote British values adequately in some schools, meaning that young people in them were vulnerable to radical and extremist ideas. Consequently, all schools need a clear statement of British values and how they are promoted through the school’s curriculum.
What is meant by “British Values”?
We believe that the following list exemplifies some of the values held dear by British citizens:
- Respect of the rule of law
- Appreciation of the rights of other citizens
- Individual liberty
- The promotion of opportunities for all
- Support for those who cannot, by themselves, sustain a dignified life-style
- Religious tolerance and respect for cultural diversity
- Treating others with fairness
- Participation in community life
- The contribution to, as well as the benefit from, cultural and economic resources
Although this list is not exhaustive, we believe it encapsulates the attitudes Ormskirk School values and seeks to inculcate in its young people.
How does Ormskirk School go about promoting these values?
At Ormskirk School we believe that our statement of vision and values, found on the school’s website, makes explicit our fundamental belief in many of these values. This statement is the foundation of all our work with our students.
British values are embodied in the following more specific ways:
- Our school’s motto is “Opportunity, Resilience, Respect”. All students are regularly spoken to about the importance of these three attributes for success in school. Explanations of each of the three points are provided visually all around the school for the benefit of our community and for visitors.
- All our students study RE (also known as Philosophy and Ethics) from Year 7 -11. The majority of students take the subject as a GCSE.
- The RE curriculum contains the following elements which are directly applicable to promoting British values:
- Year 7 – Neighbourliness and charity, The family – mutual respect
- Year 8 – Importance of the law – democracy, mutual respect
- Year 9 – Interfaith relationships – tolerance, individual liberty
- Year 10 – Christian and Islamic beliefs and practices - respect and tolerance of beliefs and faiths
- Year 11 – Religion, peace and justice - respect and tolerance of beliefs and faiths, individual liberty.
- Students participate in one 40 minute lesson per week of Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education from Years 7-11. These lessons, known in school as “Skills for Life”, are taught by staff on a carousel basis in order that they can work in particular areas of expertise.
- The Skills for Life curriculum has a citizenship module in each of Years 7-11 and this contains the following directly relevant elements:
- What does it mean to be British (Year7)
- Crime and the law (Year 8)
- Local citizenship and the importance of voting in a democracy (Year 9)
- Human rights and responsibilities (Year 10)
- Extremism and terrorism (Year 11)
- Government and Politics is offered as an option for A Level study
- College Assemblies, held once every two weeks led by the Head of College or a senior member of staff, focus on many of these identified elements through their fortnightly themes.
- The school’s system of organising students in colleges encourages involvement of every pupil in school life. College Councils feed into a whole school council which encourages active participation in the school community.
- A Christian Union, a Fair Trade Group and an Amnesty International Group run in the Sixth Form.
- The school supports local, national and international charities. In 2014 more than £6000 was raised for Project Peru.