British Values

Promoting British Values at Ash Grove Academy

The school takes opportunities to promote British Values, defined by the government as the following:

·         Democracy

·         The rule of law

·         Individual liberty

·         Mutual respect

·         Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

In actively promoting British Values, we focus on and are able to show how our work with pupils is effective in embedding fundamental British values. Actively promoting also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views.

Listed below are some examples of how Ash Grove Academy has promoted British Values during this academic year:

Underpinning all areas of learning at Ash Grove Academy are the Four Rs of Building Learning Power.  The 'four Rs' are being Reflective, being Resilient, being Resourceful and being Reciprocal.  These four key concepts make explicit and direct links with the British Values, and they are promoted in class and through displays across all year groups.  We believe that these essential learning tools, alongside the core British values, are helping to create positive, productive and valued members of society for the future.

The children and families of Ash Grove Academy have taken an active role in fundraising this year, both for local and national charities, and for school-based projects.  This year, we have raised funds for the British Red Cross, the NSPCC, Macmillan Cancer Care, Sports Relief, East Cheshire Hospice and Action for Children.  As a result, the children have an increased awareness and understanding of the role and purpose of charitable organisations as well as recognising and appreciating the local, national and international communities of which we are all a part.

Children from Years 1 - 6 have had the chance to take part in Forest School sessions led by Ranger Dan.  These sessions have developed the children's teamwork, resilience and self-confidence, as well as supporting their understanding of the need to value and respect the natural world.

Throughout the year, Ash Grove has hosted a range of Able Curriculum days for children across Macclesfield, including a Robotics Day, a Maths Challenge Day and a Writer's Day.  These initiatives have actively encouraged collaboration and reciprocal team work, with all children recognising the importance of respecting the ideas, opinions and beliefs of others, and also understanding how individuals have the right to make a positive contribution to society.

Autumn Term 2017

The year started with some democracy in action!  Each class from Reception to Year 6 elected School Councillors to represent them on this year's School Council.  Year 6 children have also been given the responsibility of  taking on the role of Ambassadors for a range of curricular areas, including reading, writing, science and PE.

In November, children from Year 3 & Year 4 went to the Todmorden Robinwood Activity Centre for a two-day residential. The focus of the trip was team-building, cooperation and developing resilience. The children benefited hugely from understanding their own roles and responsibilities and how this underpins the values of mutual respect and individual liberty.

Throughout the autumn term, children took part in activities supporting their understanding of the Rule of Law.  These related to Hallowe'en and Firework Safety with visits from our local PCSOs, as well as online gaming and age restrictions and how to stay safe online with visits from the NSPCC and a Digital Resilience workshop for children in Years 5 & 6.

Anti-Bullying Week took place in November, and all classes explored the concepts of friendship, respect and tolerance, as well as what they can do to protect themselves and others from bullies.  The children were also treated to a fantastic performance from Firehorse Productions about what bullying is and how to stop it.  Our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors also took part in the annual Diana Award Anti-Bullying training at TMA.

Many classes recognised the contribution made by the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in wars, both in the past and taking place around the world today during Remembrance week.   Year 3 and Year 4 completed topic work on World War 2, and Year 3 visited the air raid shelter in Stockport to understand what it was like for local communities during this difficult time.  Explicit links were made across all ages between the actions of civilians and soldiers and the individual liberties and values they were fighting for.

Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and religions were explicitly recognised and celebrated when classes studied a range of festivals through their RE lessons, including Diwali, Hannukah and Christmas.  Visitors came in to share their personal experiences and aspects of their faith, including festival food and traditions, and the children were actively encouraged to ask questions about their own personal beliefs and make links with what they learnt during these experiences.

Year 6 studied the book The Island by Armin Greder in order to understand more about the topical issues surrounding immigration. The story gave children an excellent opportunity to explore the rights of the Individual as well as explore the hierarchy of basic needs. As part of the topic, Year 6 also visited the People’s History Museum in Manchester to learn more about first hand accounts of migrants into Manchester. The experience provided the children with the opportunity to learn about the importance of mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and religions.

As part of our initiative to make a positive contribution to our local community, the Ash Grove choir took part in carol singing events across the Macclesfield area, including at the Grosvenor Centre and local care homes.

In order to respect and understand more about the beliefs of others, the Year 3 children took part in the Crib Festival at St Barnabas Church.  During the visit they were told about how and why the Christmas story is important to Christians.

Spring Term 2018

In January, children from Year 1 & Year 2 visited Delamere for their first experience of an overnight residential. The focus the trip was team-building, cooperation and developing resilience. The children benefited hugely from understanding their own roles and responsibilities and how this underpins the value of respect for individual liberty.

Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and religions were explicitly recognised and celebrated when the children learnt about Chinese New Year and the many traditions and activities linked to this colourful festival.  EYFS and KS1 children also built their own festival dragons and performed Dragon Dances around the school!

Community Week - During the spring term, all children from Nursery to Year 6 took part in a wide range of trips and activities celebrating our local Macclesfield community.  This helped the children to understand how society works on a local level and broadened their understanding of the services and organisations that they can be a part of as they grow up to be citizens of Macclesfield and the wider world.  Local trips included visits to the library, Pizza Express, Tescos, Pets at Home and the nearby nature reserve at Danes Moss.  The Year 6 children also visited the Aftermath 100 Exhibition organised by volunteers from the British Legion to celebrate and commemorate the fallen soldiers of WW1.  This gave them an insight into conscription, life in the trenches, and the values that those soldiers fought and died for.  In school, parents and carers took an active part in Book & Butty, Cake & Calculation, Reading Rivers and Family Fitness sessions, all of which supported the children's opportunities to learn more about the choices and benefits available to everyone within the local community.

This term has seen several local trips and visitors to school exploring the idea of food - where it comes from and how it gets to our plate.  These have included trips to Pizza Express and Tescos as well as a visit from the staff at Warburton's Bakery.  All of these experiences have helped the children recognise the important role of food manufacture, transportation and delivery, whilst also supporting their understanding of the need for a broad and balanced diet in order to become healthy and happy citizens of the world.

The Great British Spring Clean took place this term, and the children, families and staff of Ash Grove took part, helping to clean up the school grounds and local streets.  This initiative links directly with the Rule of Law and Mutual Respect, supporting the children's understanding of respecting their local environment and taking personal responsibility for putting their litter in the recycling or litter bins.

Summer Term 2018

Children from Year 5 & Year 6 went on a three-day residential to Disneyland Paris.  The focus of the trip was team-building, cooperation and developing resilience.  The children benefited hugely from understanding their own roles and responsibilities when visiting a foreign country, and how this underpins the values of tolerance, respect and individual liberty.

Year 5 explored the topic of colonialism whilst studying Native American Indians in their topic work.  The children discussed and researched the reasons for colonialism, the impact this had on the indigenous people who already lived there, and the effect it has had on North America as a continent in the modern era.  The children were encouraged to choose a side (pro- or anti-colonialism) and then write a comparative essay arguing their case.  This unit of work enabled the children to put forward both sides of the argument and formulate their ideas in a respectful way, making them consider the values of law, democracy, respect, tolerance and individual liberties for both the Europeans and the Native American Indian tribes.

Year 3 explored the topical and complex issue of immigration by studying The Journey by Francesca Sanna, discussing the challenges faced by the characters in the book and culminating in them sharing their own 'journey' stories with the children in Year 4.  This unit allowed the children to consider life from a different perspective and encouraged a sense of mutual respect and tolerance of others through the hardships faced by children of a similar age.

Year 4 explored democracy in its truest sense by holding class elections this term!  The children formed political parties, came up with their party names, mottos and manifestoes, and then wrote and presented their campaign speeches to the wider school community.  Everyone in school had a chance to vote, and the winning party presented their manifesto to the 'Queen' (Mrs Finnegan!) for final approval.  Well done to all involved! 

Children in Year 5 had the opportunity to take part in and watch the Youth Speaks competition held at TMA in July.  The children could write a speech on a topic of their choice and then present it to a large audience including children, parents and staff from other schools across Macclesfield.  The range of topics was interesting and diverse, and gave the children the opportunity to demonstrate tolerance and respect for beliefs and ideas that may be different to their own, whilst also recognising how these ideas help to create a richer and more dynamic society.

This year saw the first Multi-Academy Trust Debating Tournament take place, hosted by Ash Grove Academy in association with Kate Wilson and Stellar Debating, a Macclesfield-based debating organisation.  The competition was tough and all competitors from Years 5 & 6 demonstrated their ability to listen, rebut and debate a wide range of topics in a respectful and appropriate manner.  The confidence, skill and ability of the children increased as the tournament unfolded, and we are proud to announce that the Ash Grove Eagles were runners-up - well done! 

This term saw a full week dedicated to exploring the five British Values.  During the week, the children were visited by key members of the local community, including our PCSOs to discuss the Rule of Law, Cllr Neil Puttick to explain the key concept of democracy, Rev Andy Williams talking about mutual respect, and members of the local Jewish and Hindu communities to discuss the importance of tolerance for those of other faiths and religions.  Running throughout the week was the idea of individual liberty, with the children exploring and sharing extracts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what this means to us all as citizens of Macclesfield and the wider world.  The week culminated in a whole school assembly where children of all ages had the opportunity to share their work and explain what the British Values mean to them.